Our writings section features stories addressing the issue of ChildSoldiers written by youth in Sierra Leone
My Experience With a Child Soldier
by Abubakar Jalloh, age 16 and a student of the Sierra Leone Grammar School.
The rebel war in Sierra Leone which started nearly a decade ago, has caused many problems for people in the country in many ways.
During the rebel invasion in the capital city, Freetown, many children both boys and girls, were taken away to fight along side with the rebels. These children were trained to fight and they were later named by the international community as CHILD SOLDIERS.
According to one of the victims, Mohamed Kamara, I met in one of the DDR camps located in the out cast of Freetown disclosed his trauma to me. Mohamed said when they were taken from Freetown by the rebels they were carried to a nearby village in mile 91where they took some days of mild punishment. Mohamed went further to tell me that after the West Africa Monetary Group (ECOMOG) defeated the rebels in Waterloo, they were forced to leave the village and later taken to the northern part of the country, Makeni, where the rebels have one of their main bases. Mohamed said that when they arrived at the main camp in Makeni, the force commander of the rebels, Sam Bockarie, welcomed them in a grand way. In his address to them according to Mohamed ,Sam Bockarie disclosed the purpose of their abduction. After this diclosion, most of the children were very angry including myself said Mohamed.
After some weeks , they were taken to the main barracks were they were trained to fight. After some weeks of training, they concluded and were immediately sent to war front to fight against the ECOMOG troops. Mohamed said, during the fighting, some of them were killed while some others were seriously wounded. After the r4bels had suffered serious casualties, they retreated and went back to the barracks.
After some months of fighting, the rebels and the Government signed an agreement. It was during that time most of us were released said Mohamed. When I asked Mohamed if he had killed anybody, he was afraid to tell me, but later, he disclosed that he might have killed because they were given drugs such as cocaine, marijuana and the likes before they were sent to fight. These drugs he said has made them to do many abnormal things such as looting, raping and others.
Mohamed said he was very happy to be back with his colleagues and pray that everything will come to a final end.