Next-Gen

Uganda Child Soldiers

by jennaallison
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Language Arts
Subject:
Literature
Grade:
10

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Uganda Child Soldiers

Uganda

Child Soldiers

In the 1980's, the Ugandan government was overthrown by a group called the LRA, led by Joseph Kony. This led to a full scale civil war between the LRA and the Ugandan government. There is evidence that both sides have been using child soldiers to fight on their front lines from the beginning. Children as young as nine years old are forced into joining, and carrying guns often bigger than themselves.

The children are often malnourished and drug addicted, with several controlled substances available at any part in time.

Often times, the female children are recruited and raped, nd they often give birth at a young age as a result.

Even though the voluntary recruitment age is 18 and there is no listed compulsion, there have been roughly an estimated 25,000 cases of soldiers under the age of 18 since the conflict began.

A girl named China Keitetsi was a child soldier by the age of 9. She was in the National Resistance Army (NRA) in Uganda. After running away from her father in 1984, she was then taken by the NRA who has been in power since 1986, when it overthrew the government. During this time, China had to undergo harsh training, fighting, and was repeatedly raped. (She gave birth to a son in 1991 at 14 as a result) “We were told that the gun was our mother, is our friend, is our everything.” -Keitetsi. At 17, she refused to sleep with a general and so he accused her of stealing and threatened her with torture and sexual abuse. She then, after a failed attempt, fled Uganda but was caught by the Ugandan secret service and then beaten and tortured. Finally, she successfully fled to the UN and was placed in Denmark, finally safe. She said they were fighting for freedom; but they were brainwashed. Now, Keitetsi speaks out against child soldiering by telling her story to people across the world.

This map illustrates the wide use of child soldiers around the world today.

Finally, in 2012, the world was heaviy reminded of the things taking place in Uganda. A group called Tri stood up against Joseph Kony (the leader of the Lord's Army Resistance) and all of his kidnappings; they demanded that Kony be brought to justice. The group encuraged the youth of the world to send letters and make phone calls to the government suggesting that the united states army do something about all the children being used as soldiers, and finally a small group of soldiers were sent to Uganda.


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