|This article by eminem.net aims to convey the suffering caused by the ongoing conflict in northern Uganda, where over 80% of the population have been forcibly displaced and confined into settlements. It is based on data and personal testimonies by people from three of the worst affected regions in the north: Acholi, Teso, and Lango and those who are strongly tied to them.
Each story is unique in itself, we will focus on one. In all cases the impact of the conflict has been devastating, and people have developed different strategies to cope with the continued exposure to violence. Although individuals have agreed to share their life stories in this report, names have been changed to ensure their protection.
I strongly believe that we need to help those who are not strong enough to survive on their own and that is why I am writing this article. It might not be much, but by driving attention to these attrocities, at least we are making sure these poor people and their issues and traumas are not forgotten.
Whether it's our or somebody elses children, they all need our help and support - strong should always stand behind those who can't protect themself. Even more so when they are children and women, left at mercy of those who never heard of such a word.
There are many people who could tell their stories, unfortunatelly most won't get a chance, if things don't change soon.
On 29th of March, 2005 eminem.net webmaster received an email, urging us and Eminem to do our part in bringing attention to this sad matter. Being this an unofficial website, we can't speak for Eminem, but we sure can do our part in fighting oppression towards the innocent.
The following email was sent to us by a woman whos identity and personal info we decided not to disclose, since it might cause her unneccessary problems and even put her life at risk for oposing those in power.
Email quote from March 29th, 2005 by (censored) to ensure senders safety:
Eminem's song Toy soldiers, touches the suffering of the children of Northern Uganda who are facing ethnic cleansing, and some as young as 6 years are forced to kill, and to be child soldiers. We're being finished. We cry everyday and are slaughtered like animals. Children are raped, maimed, limbs,ears,lips etc. cut off, daily. Even today,now, as you read this email. Those who survive are abducted and taken to be slaves of the LRA, torture never stops. Please have spare us a thought, have a part of your webpage that tells people about our suffering, even the UN has broken its promise and fails to protect Acholi Chidren, and labels us " a forgotten Crisis" a war of terror going on for almost 20 years, please help stop the ethnic cleansing of the Acholi children. The entire population of Acholi tribe live in "protected" displaced camps, subject to LRA terror attacks, and their abducted children forced to be child soldiers.
Please tell our story to the world, pass this message (!) on to Eminem. His work and talent is amazing, this is a plea for him to dedicate this song to raising awareness about the horrors faced by child soldiers so the world can help us. EVERY single day at least 6 Acholi children are slaughtered in cold blood, not counting the ones who are abducted and used as slaves, not counting the ones who are raped, maimed, ears, lips, limbs cut off. On the record 12 000 children have been abducted in the last two years. Last week alone almost 100 innocent children were added to this statistic some as young as 5 or 6 years. Last Friday 5 women were mutilated their breasts, lips,ears,breasts cut off. This is so wrong, I am Acholi, I grew up a refugee, I've been given the chance and I'm now studying *** at *** University, please give Acholi children the chance, we have so much to offer you, so much to offer the world. Please don't keep quiet, don't let them finish us with the world looking on in silence.
O.R. (14) was abducted from his home in Kitgum in February 2003. He spent four months in captivity before escaping in June. Here he recounts some of his experiences while in captivity:
On the way to Sudan, they forced us to kill many people. One morning, a young boy was brought to us. We were told he had tried to escape. His body was swollen and had cuts from many beatings. They killed him. We were told to chop the body into smaller pieces. Boys were given the heart and liver to eat. Girls were told to cook and eat the rest of the body parts. We did as we were told.
A few days later, a commander called me and said he had a special task for me to carry out. He was carrying a newborn baby. He placed the baby in a large wooden mortar, the one we were using for pounding grain. He gave me a heavy wooden pestle and ordered me to start pounding. I was afraid to do it, but I did as I was told. I knew I would be killed if I didn't. All the boys in the group had been forced to do something similar. I knew the baby's mother. She was one of the captives. She screamed when she saw what I was doing. The commanders beat her up so much, and told her to shut up. But they did not kill her. They told me to continue pounding until they were satisfied the baby was dead. (end of O.R.'s testimony)
Can you imagine the Horror?? There are countless other horror stories, many much worse to be told by over 30 000 thirty thousand children...
End of email quote.