25,000 children have been kidnapped through the years in Uganda. They are taken and turned into soldiers for the Lord's Resistance Army.
A heavy amount of brainwashing is done on these children to turn them into soldiers. When they escape the army, the process of undoing the brainwashing is difficult and delicate.
Rev. Donald H. Dunson first traveled to northern Uganda in 2001. He has kept going back to get to know more of the former child soldiers. Rev. Dunson has now written a book that tells their stories. The book is called “Child, Victim, Soldier,”, but we were unable to find more info on the book thru a quick web search.
Rev. Dunson is featured in this video, which does a good job of giving some background on the situation in Uganda.
One note though, the video is from the newspaper the News Herald from northern Ohio. You will have to sit through their :15 ad before the story begins..
The accompanying article also has more on the first meeting of the boy mentioned in this video Sunday Obote. Here is more from Rev. Duncan about the meeting.
Dunson remembers the exact day he met Sunday Obote: July 4, 2001. The tall, handsome teen with the broad smile and bullet in his leg joined Dunson under the tree.
“Sunday Obote was the very first child soldier I met. He was the one who opened a door that would become a floodgate,” Dunson said. “Within five minutes of talking to Sunday Obote, I knew for sure I was in the presence of the most vulnerable person I have ever met in my life. He had been kidnapped at age 7.
“He killed several hundred people. He used to eat lunch seated on the dead bodies of the enemy. How can a child survive that and go back to normality? He was gone for at least eight years with the rebel group. He forgot the face of his mother and father, what they looked like. He forgot what love is like.”
Obote was one of Joseph Kony’s bodyguards. He abducted beautiful women who would be forced to marry Kony. He was once beaten for bringing back a girl who was not pretty enough.
Now, Dunson and Obote correspond frequently and Dunson visits him when he annually returns to Uganda. Obote is a student now, not a soldier. He’s in fourth grade, though he’s in his early 20s.