Uganda’s Warrior Girls
Yes, this slight, shy girl talking with me in the schoolyard killed four people. The rebel soldiers had given her the dictum so many warrior Ugandan children live under: “Kill, or we will kill you.” She tells her story in a rapid-fire, hushed monotone—as if rushing to deliver a memorized passage from a tale too awful to really think about. And that it is. She is only now 16 years old: as an 11-year-old soldier she killed grown men. I don’t give her name because life is still too dangerous for her. Abducted from her school by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) as a small child, she is now rebuilding her life in northern Uganda—a student at a boarding school for girls in Kitgum, near the Sudanese border. In the run of her life, she managed to escape from the brutality of the rebel army only to return to her village to find her parents dead.