But by the time the attack was halted, he had lost the sight in his right eye. The boy has yet to be told that his year-old brother was lynched by the community and that his grandfather was beaten and driven from the village. Not surprisingly, many child warriors simply refuse to go home. I can't go,' '' says the Rev. Joseph Berton, head of the Family Homes Movement, an agency working with child war victims.
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Some are young enough to have spent half their lives with the rebels. Should we compel them to return? And if they do, will they always be marked as 'the boy who killed my father' or 'the boy who amputated my arms'? What does all this mean to a child like M. I belong nowhere.
All the people in my community know I was a rebel. Everyone knows what atrocities I have done.
Children of the Civil War: On the Home Front | American Battlefield Trust
I didn't want to do any of it. I was forced. It isn't fair. I'm just a child. I'm very afraid.
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I have very bad dreams. The rebels stole my name, my good name. They stole my future. If the future for boy soldiers is bleak, for girls it is worse, as I learn from I. She sits unmoving, her head down, as she describes the rebel attack on her village when she was She has the flat manner and voice of one who is severely depressed.
Just once, tears slide down her cheeks, but she appears not to notice them. We tried to run, but they caught us. Three girls resisted. To punish them, the rebels cut off their ears. They knifed out their eyes. Then they killed them. I was so afraid, I couldn't move. They said if we struggled, they would kill us too. They raped us. They held me down. It was the first time I had sex.
View all New York Times newsletters. Over the next four days, the tall, graceful girl, now 16, was gang-raped repeatedly by rebel soldiers. It was two weeks before she could walk again. Later, at the rebel base, the assaults went on. The rebels had sex with us in the presence of everyone. It was always different men. Every time, they hurt me. If I cried, they beat me. I prayed all the time I would not become pregnant. During the day, she was used as a human shield, and watched as other girls got gunned down.
She was also a porter. The loads were so heavy, I could barely lift them. If you complained, or stopped, they beat you. Mostly, however, they are employed in a perverted form of their traditional roles: as porters, cooks, looters and sex slaves.
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Many of them, like I. In December , Government forces overran the rebel base. At the time, I.
I will never forget her cries. They cut out her unborn baby. In front of my eyes, they killed Mariam. For a month I.
She pushes her sleeves up to show the ridged flesh where the ropes cut into her. Since we were rebels, we had to be punished, they said. Six of the boys were killed. Because of a lack of Government funding, she has never been tested for H. But I. It's very shameful. To escape the stigma, girls have to undergo a traditional cleansing ritual, which involves animal sacrifice the same can be done for boys who have committed atrocities. With his ''uniform'' of ragged T-shirt and burlap cap festooned with fetishes made of twine, shells and mirrors, tiny M.
His outfit is part of what he calls the magical protection conferred on kids when they join the Government forces. Instead of the drugs preferred by the rebels, the Government pumps up its child fighters with promises of supernatural immunization against bullets. Once initiated, a number of the younger ones march naked in front of the troops to ''protect them by drawing fire'' away from the adult fighters.
It's why I'm still alive. Pulling a cloth-wrapped deer horn from his cap, he thrusts it in my face. No woman can. His swagger and belligerent, I'm-in-charge tone of voice give this skinny runt of a kid the air of a dictator. The casual ease with which he wields his AK conveys his menace. And his words confirm the image: ''I like to kill. It makes me happy. The rebels killed my father. Condition: New. Seller Inventory More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. Brand New. Seller Inventory M New Book.
Shipped from UK within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since Seller Inventory LQ Book Description Scholarly Resources Inc. Language: English. Brand new Book. Seller Inventory AAV This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title While information regarding children and their outlook on the war is not abun-dant, James Marten, through extensive research, has uncovered essays, editorials, articles, poems, games, short stories and letters that tell the story of the Civil War through the eyes of children.
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