“I escaped because of my friend. The three of us started planning while we were in south Sudan.”
— Samuel Akena
“We had mothers whose children were crying. Sometimes government troops and helicopter gunship would be moving and you the mother they are seeing you. So I thinking of escaping. I prayed to God that, “God help me.”
— Beatrice Ocwee
For more than 20 years, rebels with the Lords Resistance Army abducted 60,000 people, from towns and villages in Northern Uganda, many of them young girls and boys who were forced to fight, kill, loot and have sex with rebel commanders. Why didn’t the government stop the abductions and the violence? Where was the international community? Who was upholding their right to protection under the law?
This week, Life of the Law reporter Gladys Oroma presents Part 2 of our special series following the lives of two of the thousands of children who were abducted beginning in the mid 1980’s and continuing through 2008.
In the first episode of the series, PART 1: ABDUCTED, we met Samuel Akena and Beatrice Ocwee. We heard about their lives before they were kidnapped, their abductions and long march to the LRA compound in South Sudan, and their years and conditions of captivity.
This week reporter Gladys Oroma picks up our story with the parents of the abducted children working to secure the release of all the children, efforts by regional and international leaders to negotiate peace, and ultimately, Beatrice and Samuel’s attempts to escape captivity by the LRA.
UGANDA: PART 2 – ESCAPE was reported by Gladys Oroma, and produced in partnership with Teddy Atim, Researcher 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.
Editor of the series is Nancy Mullane. Sound design by Tony Gannon. Our Post Production Editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle and Rachael Cain.
https://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/5290.htm (I am Evelyn Amony)
http://fic.tufts.edu/location/uganda/ (Feinstein, TUFTS work on Uganda)
http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/DolanSocial (Chris Dolan, Social Torture)
https://www.ubcpress.ca/contemporary-slavery (Bunting and Quirk, Contemporary Slavery with Bunting chapter on forced marriage as crime against humanity)