“Those who were not able to walk were killed then. And then the greatest challenge was walking long distances for examples of 8 miles without any drinking water. There were those who were drinking the urines of their colleagues.”

–Samuel Akena, abducted by LRA rebels in northern Uganda at the age of 11


“They told me, ‘Girl stand up’, and I did. They told me to remove my blouse and I did. They said, ‘This is a grown  up girl because her breast has already developed.’ And they came and picked me.”

–Beatrice Ocwee, abducted by LRA rebels in northern Uganda at the age of 15

Today, a man named Dominic Ongwen is on trial before the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands. The 42 year old Ugandan is charged with committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Northern Uganda.

Ongwen is the only commander with the rebel group, The Lord’s Resistance Army, who is on trial before the ICC, but he wasn’t alone. From 1986 through 2017, over the course of more than 30 years, LRA rebels abducted tens of thousands of people, 20,000 of them children as young as five years old, and held them captive for years.

Life of the Law begins our 4-part series on Uganda. Reported by Gladys Oroma from Gulu, Uganda where she reports for local, national and international press, Gladys follows the stories of Beatrice and Samuel, two of the children abducted by the LRA. Throughout our series, Beatrice and Samuel share their experiences, from the nights of their abductions, through their years in captivity, their harrowing escapes and finally, their return home and their lives in Uganda, today.

Part 1 – Abducted


UGANDA: PART 1 – ABDUCTED was reported by Gladys Oroma, and produced in partnership with Teddy Atim, Reseracher in Kampala, Uganda; Annie Bunting, Scholar at York University in Toronto and the “Conjugal Slavery in War SSHRC Partnership” at csiw-ectg.org; and Life of the Law’s Senior Producer, Tony Gannon.

We had additional support from Daphne Keevil Harrold, Ian Coss and Rachael Cassandra.  Tony Gannon and Nancy Mullane co-edited the story. Our Senior Producer is Tony Gannon. Our Post Production Editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle and Rachael Cain.

Music Credits:
Ugandan Music courtesy of Gladys Oroma
Awili Maa Lwongi
Abedo i Camp  – Labot Mon
Uganda Wins Independence (1962)
The Downfall of Idi Amin
General Idi Amin Short Documentary
Elections in Uganda in 1980
Tarehe Sita
Museveni and Child Soldiers
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Suggested Reading and Viewing:

Suggested listening:
http://csiw-ectg.org/resources/videos-interviews/  (interview with Teddy and others)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2Yuc4ugw48 (interview with Bunting on CSiW)