RealNews

In Uganda, a Fresh Start For Former Child Fighters

AFRICA: Center Helps Those Who Escaped Rebels Face Their Traumas. The afternoon bell rang at the Children of War Rehabilitation Center, and a column of former child fighters filed stoically across a dusty yard, past blooming bougainvillea vines. In silence, the children entered a thatch-roofed hut and sat on straw mats. Colorful murals on the walls depicted scenes from their lives in Africa’s longest-running war: being captured by rebel fighters, training for warfare, escaping and finally reuniting with parents and beginning therapy. The children are victims of a 20-year insurgency waged by the Lord’s Resistance Army, a shadowy rebel group that wants to overthrow the government and install the Ten Commandments as law. Since it was founded in the 1980s, the group has kidnapped an estimated 20,000 children to serve as fighters, porters and sex slaves. Full Story

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