LRA: Child Soldiers

Essay by cbishop18High School, 10th grade September 2014

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Bishop 4

Cooper Bishop

Mrs. Zinsitz

English II GT- 3

2 May 2014

Uganda Child Soldiers

The struggle for control over Uganda has been ongoing since 1987. The government has been fighting the militia group who call themselves the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony. In that time, the LRA has resorted to the abduction of children to train as child soldiers to fight for them. This has caused much destruction across all of Uganda and the fighting spilled over into neighboring countries. The abduction of children for child soldiers has led to the murder of thousands of people and the terrorization of the Uganda countryside, and efforts such as peace talks and increased international support are necessary for this conflict to end.

The kidnapping of children for soldiers has led to the death of over 100,000 people and the displacement of over 430,000 people. (Key Statistics).

Many deaths have been caused by "the LRA often [forcing] recruits to murder their parents so they'd have no family to escape to." (Boatswain). The recruits start their training as soon as they are abducted with this brutal initiation ceremony. Along with the loss of their parents and a place to escape to, the children become killers immediately to help instil violence in their lives. This is especially alarming looking at the number of abductions over the course of the conflict. "In the past 17 years, the number has approached 20,000. These child "recruits" are forced into submission and made to carry weapons; and almost immediately after they have been abducted, they are terrorized into committing their own atrocities." (Smith). Many of these kids do not survive for very long because they are killed by the LRA or in battles with the Uganda government. Many kids do not even make...