Interviews

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 2nd Interview with Beatrice Lamwaka

  • 24
  • 12 Jan 2005
  • 13yrs when abducted
  • Abducted in her house at night
  • Raining, parents were resisting the rebels - said girl was only showing them the way and she would return, so they let her go.
  • When the reached they met many other rebel groups and stayed there for 5 months before going to Sudan
  • From Palak they walked to Payok and a vehicle was brought for them to reach Palutaka.
  • 3 vehicles were traveling with hundreds of abducted people
  • In Sudan they found a military ground where they were divided and had military training. Boys and girls together, no age distinctions
  • 5 months in Uganda they were not doing anything
  • They were scared because the commanders said that they would punish or kill them if they tried to escape, she and 3 friends tried to escape. They were beaten so badly they could not sit down.
  • When they got to Sudan the beating were as bad, but also there was no as much food, there was so much starvation.
  • In Uganda they stole food from villages but not in Sudan
  • Stayed in Sudan for 9 years
  • In Sudan they had attacks and were displaced to go even more North where they could farm in Arua, near Juba - from there the Govt attacked again and they had to move again. They ran together with Arab troops to be protected/defended (Sudan Govt troops)
  • Dinka, a Sudan rebel group, would attack the LRA (govts supplied the opposite rebels with protection, ammo, etc).
  • Boys and girls treated the same
  • Given to an army man - not married, given. Given to officer in Sudan, she was the only one at the time. His previous wife had tried to escape and was killed.
  • Sharon - girl is 4 yrs old.
  • She had 7 yr old boy who was shot in crossfire with the govt.
  • Rebels got attacked by government in Uganda and that is how she escaped, near Kitgum
  • 3 days to get to Gulu from where she escaped
  • Government troops picked her up and took her to the barracks in Gulu where they reassured her and she was taken to CPU to register and then taken to WV.
  • Father and brother were killed by the rebels and mother is in a critical condition after an extensive spinal operation.
  • Last week her auntie offered to take her in - she will move there with child in 2 weeks.
  • She feels at home at WV
  • Some of her closest friends have died in the bush
  • She was allowed to talk
  • Rules: don't escape, no sexual relations among rebels
  • Kony uses radios to communicate
  • RV = centre where leaders meet. Not specific place
  • Never met Kony. He looks young. Never shook his hand. Kony would share words of love, care, would pray with the regular forces to keep the rules.
  • Hardest part was walking long distance with severe hunger/starvation
  • Her son died in an attack when they were crossing river and UPDF fired on them. He was put up on river bank. They had to continue running and leave body. Came back later to get the corpse.
  • Rebels v. civilians are two distinct groups
  • She had a role as a porter - she had never killed but she had witnessed other civilians being killed and killing. If they tried to escape this is what would happen to them - always done by beating or stoning to death. What kept her strong is the faith that she would escape; she thought when she got to Uganda she would escape; she wanted to see her family again and tell them she was ok; she also knew she never did anything wrong so she deserved to get out.

 


Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - Evelyn

  1. 18 years old
  2. Been here for five months
  3. C-Section at World Vision
  4. At World Vision for 5 months
  5. She ran away and was caught by another rebel group. The group released her because she was too weak to do work/be helpful(from pregnancy)
  6. She was released to peace negotiator Betty Bigombe
  7. In Bush for 7 years
  8. Happy to be brought back; glad because in the bush they had to do VERY hard manual labor and they could be attacked at any time.
  9. Abducted when she was 12.
  10. Abducted at home at 12am, the men came in and began kicking her legs. Telling her and the other women she was sleeping with to get up. She was sleeping with sisters and grandma. The men were very harsh and said show us more children and we will let you go. They got up and were tied with a rope together at waist and killed uncles and boy cousins with a club in front of the girls?? The commander told the rebels to come and capture the girls and kill the boys and they stopped at an empty hut and were distributed to different groups.
  11. She was the only girl among a big group of boys to be trained as soldiers to - it was very brutal training.
  12. Traveled to Sudan but some were left behind to uproot cassava and some of them were shot and killed by another group of rebels
  13. The government troops were firing at them and it was very scary.
  14. Stopped for a night and sent ??? to Sudan and the other ??? left behind because they were too sick to keep going.
  15. 6am-6pm they were not allowed to eat
  16. 6 days to reach Sudan
  17. They talk and share amongst themselves at World Vision and feel relieved
  18. Big smile after I tell her we are educating the world about the war in Northern Uganda. She says she appreciates it. The help she needs is for a house and a room to stay.
  19. Has contacted family, but her mom was sick and died and her father was killed by the rebels. Her brother is the only one left. She is trying to establish a relationship with an aunt she has never met.
  20. Helps her to have convos like this to release emotions. She hears baby crying and another child brings her the baby and she begins nursing him.
  21. Father is out of the bush and he came to see the child at World Vision. Ok for him to check on child but she doesn't want him to be part of her life
  22. She wants to be a tailor
  23. WV has been wonderful and the only hard part was the birthing operation
  24. Abducted when she was in P3
  25. Says thank you
  26. Stephen is the baby's name

 


Mary Lawmaka - Thursday, June 23, 2005

  • Arrived at WV in March 2005
  • 20 yrs old
  • 10 yrs old when abducted
  • Was abducted when staying with her parents and 3 siblings at night. They were given luggage to carry.
  • Taken to road but different rebels started shooting at them (still LRA rebels but not the same group that abducted them - didn't know they had already been abducted, thought they were civilians) and they dropped the luggage and left the road to go somewhere else at night
  • Seven girls taken to a larger group
  • Together for 3 weeks but then given out to men and were forced to have sex with the men or else they were killed or beaten severely.
  • Given to 60 yr old captain
  • He had 5 wives
  • She stayed with him the whole time (10 yrs)
  • She didn't give birth - neither did the other women - when man wanted you he would call.
  • She was there for 13 yrs with him.
  • In Sudan
  • Group was very big - LRA HQ's and squats around HQ, 4 km from Juba, moved 3 different times
  • Got along with other wives and stayed together with them in hut.
  • Females had some favor over males. Males treated more harshly, forced to fight more, get food, and do abductions
  • Very rude commander. He beat her (she begins to cry) Meredith is told not to console her because it will make her weaker and she will not be able to continue with the interview. Monica talks to her for awhile firmly and then gently as she stops crying.
  • When she was traveling with huge group including Kony in June 2004 they were coming back into Uganda and divided into groups of 15 because they were afraid of the helicopter attacks. Got to Kitgum when the UPDF helicopters started to attack.
  • People scattered after bombing and ground attack from UPDF. She escaped that shooting and walked until she ran into government troops and was rescued and taken to barracks. In barracks she was told she was safe and then they took her to CPU and she stayed at child center for one week before coming here to mother's center.
  • Her mother has died but she hasn't made any other family contacts.
  • Her 2 brothers have come to visit, but she hasn't gone home.
  • She plans to join her brothers in Gulu when she leaves.
  • She like WV and appreciates what is going on (counseling her to forget her problems).
  • She feels safe here because what happened out there can't happen here but she is afraid of being abducted when she leaves because they automatically kill anyone who is re-abducted
  • She has met Kony, but never close up. He just spoke to them as a large group
  • Kony teaches them to be obedient and not escape, if they do they will be like their fathers "sitting on his dead wife's ashes and not doing anything" (Monica says this is cultural connotation) But she realized that in the bush she was actually doing nothing.
  • Kony told them WV would poison their food which will make them fat and then kill them. "It's all medicine and its bad for you and it's prison."
  • Heard of Labor Farm but doesn't know what it is.
  • What she heard when she was in the bush was that she would be killed when she got out, or be in captivity, etc.

 


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