Maria will never forget this day in November for the rest of her life. She was sitting in a bus, five blocks away from her home, when a black car blocked the road. Two masked men entered the bus and put a gun at Maria’s head.
In the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and in the south of neighboring Sudan, Ugandan rebels from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have been perpetrating acts of extreme violence on civilians in response to operations conducted against them by national armies of the DRC, Uganda, and southern Sudan.
Paul had received some money. He was supposed to share it with us. When my aunt, my brother and I went to see him, he said he had only received 20,000 francs and he would give us 1,000 francs each. We said that was not enough. He said he couldn’t give us any more than that and told us to come with him to the place where the money was.
I went to the shop to buy toilet paper for my uncle and I noticed a guy staring at me. Then he came over and asked my name. I didn’t want to tell him my real name, so I said it was ‘Junior’. He asked where I lived and invited me to come to his house.
I came back from school, I had lunch and was getting ready to go out again. My father offered me 150 francs to come to the bedroom with him. I said I didn’t want to go. But then he took me over to the bed by force and did bad things to me.