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If my Life as a Child Soldier Could be Told von Nzita Nsuami, Junior 'Kadogo' (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 25.07.2016
  • Verlag: THAC
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If my Life as a Child Soldier Could be Told

This autobiographical book tells the story of Junior Nzita Nsuami who was forcibly recruited at the age of 12. He was demobilized in 2006 after 10 years of military service. The book has to deal with the challenges of returning to civilian society and the traumatic experiences and feelings of guilt. Junior Nzita describes his experiences as a child soldier and how he managed to leave the army to resume his educations and work for peace and justice and in particular for the concerns of children. Junior Nzita Nsuami is a former child soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is now a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations to the issue of children in armed conflicts and dedicated to the support of former child soldiers. He is the founder of the organisation "Paix pour l'Enfance" and a partner of the Trauma Healing and Creative Arts Coalition (THAC).


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 110
    Erscheinungsdatum: 25.07.2016
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783906821009
    Verlag: THAC
    Größe: 2374kBytes
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If my Life as a Child Soldier Could be Told

I. Portrait

My name is Junior Nzita, son of Mr Nzita Fidèle and Mrs Muhindula Hasya. I was born in Kiondo, on the 28th May 1984 in the Province of North-Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I am of an average size, my complexion is fairly light and I weigh fifty-five kilos. I used to live in the Ofce district, in the commune of Karisimbi and I am the youngest in a family of five children: two boys and three girls.

I went to Primary School 1 (E.P.1) in Karisimbi, a government regulated Catholic school, until I received my Certificate of Primary School Education (CEP), in 1996 and I went to Kiondo, also in North-Kivu, to carry on with my secondary education.

One evening, before sending me to the boarding school, my dad gave me some fatherly advice; he exhorted me to be humble and calm, to show respect for my elders, for my teachers and for my schoolmates. For me to better assimilate his advice, he took the example of Pharaoh in the Bible:- he, who was amongst the most powerful men of his time, had found himself powerless and weak in front of his own dream, which he had one night and which was to be interpreted by one of his weak subjects.

My father gave me this example to make me understand that it wasn't necessary for me to be puffed up with pride or to feel big when in front of the weak.

It was after giving me his wise advice that he took me to the boarding school; it was on a Sunday after church.

II. About A Forced Recruitment Into The Army

As I mentioned before, I went to Kiondo, still in North-Kivu, to carry on with my secondary education. That's where people from the Alliance of Democratic Forces forcibly enlisted me in the army for the Liberation of Congo, referred to as the AFDL.

It happened on a Saturday in November 1996, when I was only twelve years of age that after a friendly soccer match with classmates, we went to wash before the evening study session which took place before dinner. It was after taking our bath that we started hearing the crackling of bullets outside. Those who were in charge of our dormitory quickly locked all the doors but they could not resist the brutality of the assailants who managed to break them down, and in an atmosphere of sustained gunfire they overpowered us.

We were all subdued and then lined up in single file in containers in which we were tightly locked up in order to prevent us from being able to recognise our route. On the way, some of the children succumbed to traumas they could not endure.

We drove inside the container for about an hour or more and when the vehicle stopped, still at night, we were taken down from the container to be brought to a training centre that is called "Rumangabo", also in North-Kivu.

As soon as we arrived in the centre, I started experiencing things that I could not have imagined I would ever experience in my life. Immediately after we had arrived, a soldier gave us blankets, Godjo rubber ankle boots, army suits and other pieces of equipment such as razor blades to cut our hair.

We were put into groups of five, so that each group would use only one razor blade. It already sounded hard and this was just the beginning. At that very instant, a soldier introduced the commander of the centre to us. He spoke in Swahili and explained that if we were in this centre, it was for the purpose of acquiring military training in order to go and chase away Mobutu, the dictator who was in power in Kinshasa.

Having received this disturbing news, many of my colleagues could not contain their tears and others would faint every time they thought of their dear parents who were staying far from the centre.

III. About Our Military Training

We started our military training with what is called "rehi" in Swahili. Rwandan instructors first taught us how to roll on the ground and crawl. Th

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