Our writings section features stories addressing the issue of ChildSoldiers written by youth in Sierra Leone
Effects of War
by Jabati Mambu, Student of albert Academy Secondary School, Aberdeen Displaced Camp, Freetown, Sierra Leone
When the Sierra Leone civil war began in March 1991 , when the Revolutional United Front(RUF) entered Sierra Leone from Liberia, launching a rebellion to over-through the one party rule of the All Peoples Congress(APC), I was in Daru town, Jawie chiefdom, Kailahum district. After a month, Daru town was attacked by the rebels, because Daru was the strongest military base at that time, and a strategic town along the Koindu / Kenema high-way. In this attack some of my major family members were killed , others like my Father , Mother, brothers and sisters were all put into a house and blazed fire on the house , and they were all burnt alive, that made me run to Kenema to seek refuge.
In Kenema, conditions were very unfavourable, but I was still managing until when the town was hit again by rebels and my guidian was killed. This propelled me to finally leave Kenema as the rebels were hunting young men at that time to join them or to kill them. From Kenema , I headed for Freetown which at that time was the only safe ground. There I was staying with my friend at Kissy( the eastern end of Freetown) because at that time there was no displace camps in Freetown. I later went to register as a displaced and I was supplied by CCSL( Council of Churches in Sierra Leone) and the Methodist Church of Sierra Leone. From then I was getting supply from the churches. I started managing my life with it by selling some of it and used the money to pay my school fees.
This is what I was doing until when this city was invaded by rebels on the 25 of May 1997 and over- threw President Armad Tejan Kabba. In this invasion only friend which I was staying with was killed because they said this my friend was working for the Nigerians.In this case we the occupants of the house were hunted by the rebels and ran to the bush to seek refuge .We were staying in the bush for sometime and only returned there when our president also returned to this country. On our return to town we didn't meet the house again at kissy(burnt down ) and there was no place for us to stay except when a friend of mine gave us a room at kissy.
On the 6 OF JANUARY 1999 agan the rebels invaded in freetown and killed my friend we were staying with , burnt house and also amputated my hand .nd I am presently staying at the Aberdeen Amputee Camp, also attending the Albert Academy Secondary School in freet own asking people for assistance for me to continue with my education..Finally I fill so bad among my friend in school, because I am the only amputee among them.