Susan was enslaved at the age of 16 as a child soldier in Uganda, where boys and girls as young as eight years old have been kidnapped by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and forced to become child soldiers. UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) estimates that as many as 10,000 children were taken in this way.
One boy tried to escape, but he was caught. They made him eat a mouthful of red pepper, and five people were beating him. His hands were tied, and then they made us, the other new captives, kill him with a stick. I felt sick. I knew this boy from before. We were from the same village. I refused to kill him and they told me they would shoot me. They pointed a gun at me, so I had to do it. The boy was asking me, "Why are you doing this?" I said I had no choice.
I feel so bad about the things that I did. It disturbs me so much that I inflicted death on other people. When I go home I must do some traditional rites because I have killed. I must perform these rites and cleanse myself. I still dream about the boy from my village who I killed. I see him in my dreams, and he is talking to me and saying I killed him for nothing, and I am crying.
Narrative as told to the Church Mission Society and Citizenship Foundation.