Child soldiers in Congo – Part 2

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 9:12:13 by

This article is a continuation of Child soldiers in Congo – Part 1.

Under Lubanga learned the rudiments of his new job, a child soldier in Africa. In recent months the service of the UPC, Gestaing became familiar with the knife, the Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers. In mixed classes using traditional tools and techniques
of torture and light artillery. "They put a Kalashnikov in his hands and taught me to kill."

To kill the Lendu ethnic rival, and its people, the Hema, who dared to protect the enemy. "I have killed many, many people, but either killed or kill me, I had no choice," says an apologetic for what he did, under pressure that exceeded orders and blinded
by alcohol. "They gave us drink, and a lot."

Gestaing and his friends also had to kill to conquer and protect the watershed of Mongbwalu gold, the source of wealth of this northeastern province, bounded north by Sudan’s south and east Uganda, a neighbor too interested in the jewels of Ituri .

During the two wars in Congo and Ituri, the road to Mongbwalu was one of the most dangerous in the world. Even now it takes six hours, a good road and a great driver to travel the 87 kilometers from Bunia in the mines … provided it does not rain, but that
is now the only unknown of the journey.

A few years ago, this way you exposed to ambushes, kidnappings, rapes and murders. At that time the mines often changed ownership, but this was the only place in the region where the electricity never missed no one tore the power lines needed for extraction.
"Miracles of gold," wryly summarizes Gestaing.

Mongbwalu area also taught him to rape, widespread unconventional weapon in many conflicts, from the Trojan War to the Balkans. "I have not violated," says no one can compare his testimony, "but I’ve seen friends, as I child soldiers, forced to rape and
others who violated no obligation, driven by the dynamics of the army, in the war.”

To be continued….

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