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Toy soldiers
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-02-14 08:42:38
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A few days ago Amin George Forji wrote an extensive article about child soldiers and all of us somehow expressed out disgust on the subject, disgust because this is the best word to describe the feeling of seeing a child carrying a gun in its hands and blood on their soul.

I don’t feel like adding anything more to what he wrote, except some testimonies of some of these children. One twelve-year-old boy revealed his fear, “I was afraid that first time. The section leader ordered us to take cover and open fire. There were seven of us, and seven or 10 of the enemy. I was afraid to look, so I put my face in the ground and shot my gun up at the sky. I was afraid their bullets would hit my head. I fired two magazines, about 40 rounds. I was afraid that if I didn't fire the section leader would punish me.”

An eleven-year old tells his story, “On the way home there were many checkpoints. At one checkpoint the police stopped me because I had no ID card, and took me to the police station. There the police threatened me, saying that because I had no ID card I could be put in jail for six years. Then they told me that I could choose to either go to jail for six years or join the army. I was afraid of spending six years in jail so I decided to join the army.”

A seventeen-year-old tries to express himself, “Sometimes, about once a month, I have bad dreams of killing people. I become angry in situations when I feel I'm not good. Yes, I think of myself as violent. I drink to enjoy myself.”

How you feel? We are talking about children that should be playing Subbuteo, Monopoly or football, but they play with lives, their lives included. Instead of playing with toys they have become toys themselves in the hands of monsters thirsty for power.

One thirteen-year-old describes the horror he witnessed, “We captured about fifteen women and children... three babies and four others who were under eighteen. They took the babies away from their mothers. We gathered them in one place and sent a report to headquarters by radio. . . . The order that came over the radio was to kill them all… Then six of the corporals loaded their guns and shot them. They fired on auto. The women had no time to shout. I saw it. I felt very bad because there were all these people in front of me, and they killed them all. Their bodies were left there. The soldiers were holding the babies and the babies were crying. Two of them were less than a year old, maybe nine or ten months. One was maybe fourteen or fifteen months old. After the mothers were killed they killed the babies. Three of the privates killed them. They swung them by their legs and smashed them against a rock. I saw it."

That’s about humanity in the 21st century! That’s about the future of our world. Whatever else I write it will be just built on anger and sadness.

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