15 year old sex slave abducted for eight years by Ugandan warlord’s army


By SUZANNAH HILLS

PUBLISHED: 16:05 EST, 20 August 2012 UPDATED: 08:57 EST, 21 August 2012


A 15-year-old girl abducted by child soldiers in Uganda has spoken of how she was used as a sex slave for senior members of warlord Joseph Kony’s army in a horrific eight-year-long ordeal.  

Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army have waged one of Africa’s darkest conflicts for the past 25 years – using an army of abducted and brutalised children as sex slaves and to kill and maim tens of thousands of people.

Grace Achan was one of 30 girls kidnapped from St Mary’s Convent in Aboke, northern Uganda, in 1996 and taken to a Kony resistance army camp in Sudan.

Joseph Kony

Warlord: Joseph Kony, seen here in 2006, is a hunted warlord in northern Uganda who is accused of recruiting tens of thousands of child soldiers

 
 
Kidnapped: Grace Achan pictured inside St Mary's Convent in Aboke, northern Uganda, where she was abducted from with 30 other children in 1996

Kidnapped: Grace Achan pictured inside St Mary’s Convent in Aboke, northern Uganda, where she was abducted from with 30 other children in 1996

 
Target: The school was one of many targeted by the Lord's Resistance Army - believed to have abducted at least 30,000 children

Target: The school was one of many targeted by the Lord’s Resistance Army – believed to have abducted at least 30,000 children

A Panorama programme, being aired tonight, exposes the horrific ordeals of children abducted by Kony’s army after an internet campaign earlier this year known as Kony 2012 called for him to be brought to justice.

Recalling the terrifying night she was kidnapped by child soldiers, Grace told the Panorama programme: ‘The young ones were dirty and putting on rags or old school uniforms. The young ones were very aggressive.

‘I thought that would be the end of my life.

 

 

‘I had heard a lot about them, they were risky and dangerous, they can kill. I knew once they get you that will be the end of you.’

She told how she was forced to walk barefoot for two weeks to Sudan before getting to a camp of the resistance army spearheaded by one of the world’s most wanted men.

She continued: ‘The moment you begin your menstrual period they say to you now you are ready for a man. This is what they will do. ‘

Grace said that it didn’t matter what age the girls were – they were all raped.

Joseph Kony

Wanted man: Kony was indicted by the International Criminal Court on 12 counts of crimes against humanity and 21 counts of war crimes is accused of killing thousands and displacing up to 2 million people

Difficult terrain: The African rebel leader is now being hunted a team of international soldiers

Difficult terrain: The African rebel leader is now being hunted a team of international soldiers

‘I kept thinking how can I be given to a man like this. If you say no they beat you,’ she added, stating that she had seen people being beaten with machete firsthand.

Grace was then kept as a prisoner and was repeatedly raped by a senior member of the group for eight years – bearing two children by him.

Grace only managed to escape – with one of her two children – when the Ugandan Army attacked the base. 

Bafta-winning reporter Sorious Samura not only met Grace Achan, but her rapist – a former resistance senior commander, Kenneth Banya, who has been pardoned for his crimes and now lives down the road from her.

He asked why Kony felt it necessary to give young girls to his soldiers. 

 
Sex slave: Grace was repeatedly raped while she was a camp prisoner and bore two children

Sex slave: Grace was repeatedly raped while she was a camp prisoner and bore two children

 

 
Opportunity: She only managed to escape when the camp was attacked by the Ugandan Army

Opportunity: She only managed to escape when the camp was attacked by the Ugandan Army

 
Freed: The commander who raped Grace, Kenneth Banya, said he had to or faced being killed himself

Freed: The commander who raped Grace, Kenneth Banya, said he had to or faced being killed himself

He said: ‘He was doing that because he was wanting to maintain people in the bush so they don’t think other things.

‘There are so many like Grace. I was given her. I had no choice or I would be killed. Either you die or you do this.

‘I’m not proud – if I was proud I would be talking proudly. I’m only disappointed with my life.’

When Grace was asked if she could ever forgive the people who had done this to her, she struggled to answer, stating: ‘Forgiveness comes from the heart. 

‘I feel as if something has been taken out of me. Something valuable has been taken out of me.’

The documentary comes just months after a children’s charity produced a YouTube viral targeting the Ugandan warlord.

Invisible Children’s video, ‘Kony 2012’, directed by filmmaker Jason Russell, racked up 50 million YouTube hits in four days after receiving huge support on Twitter and from A-list celebrities.

Kony’s ruthless Lord’s Resistance Army, which has no political aim, has led a campaign of fear throughout northern Uganda and neighbouring countries.

Kony and his men are wanted for crimes against humanity after inflicting horrific injuries on Ugandan people

Kony and his men are wanted for crimes against humanity after inflicting horrific injuries on Ugandan people

 
About 100 U.S. troops were sent to Uganda to help in the pursuit of Kony and his followers

About 100 U.S. troops were sent to Uganda to help in the pursuit of Kony and his followers

 
This image from 2005 shows an LRA Brigadier being stretchered away by Uganda People's Defence Force officers

This image from 2005 shows an LRA Brigadier being stretchered away by Uganda People’s Defence Force officers

The organisation is believed to have murdered tens of thousands of people, abducted at least 30,000 children to work as sex slaves or soldiers and forced more than 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

A REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE

Joseph Kony launched his guerilla army in 1987 but the group has no political aim.

He claims to be fighting under God’s orders to establish a society based on the Bible’s Ten Commandments.

He has led a campaign of fear throughout northern Uganda and neighbouring countries.

The organisation is believed to have murdered tens of thousands of people, abducted at least 30,000 children to work as sex slaves or soldiers and forced more than 1.5million people to flee their homes.

The brutal campaign has forced millions to live in fear and sees families in some areas abandoning their rural homes at night to sleep in makeshift refugee camps.

Kony and several of his leading lieutenants were indicted in 2005 by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

The brutal campaign has forced millions to live in fear and sees families in some areas abandoning their rural homes at night to sleep in makeshift refugee camps.

Kony and several of his leading lieutenants were indicted in 2005 by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

The group operated for more than a decade in northern Uganda but left in 2008 and have since committed atrocities in Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

Uganda’s army has theoretically hunted the organisation’s leaders but Kony has continually evaded capture – at times arrogantly even emerging from the jungle to give interviews to journalists before disappearing again.

Last October American president Barack Obama announced he was sending troops to help the hunt for the LRA.

Around 100 US soldiers have since been deployed in the region to help local officials trace the mass killer.

Horrific: Kony's guerilla army has abducted thousands of children in central Africa to join it, forcing them to commit horrific acts of violence

Horrific: Kony’s guerilla army has abducted thousands of children in central Africa to join it, forcing them to commit horrific acts of violence

Scarred: Kony's LRA has ordered his young army to carry out acts of mutilation on the faces of other youngsters

Scarred: Kony’s LRA has ordered his young army to carry out acts of mutilation on the faces of other youngsters



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2191170/Joseph-Kony-Sex-slave-abducted-years-Ugandan-warlords-army.html


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