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Escape from Rebels, a Story by Essence Nadia Munir Primary School

Sometime in late 2019 while I was sleeping in a hut with my grandmother, there was a noise in the compound. The door was forced open and flashed torchlight in my face; four men pulled me out of my bed. My grandmother pleaded with them to leave me since I was still quite young and an orphan. I struggled with them and tried to bite one, instead I was given a strong blow on the back of my head as they dragged me outside. In the compound there were already a number of other children tied together with sisal ropes around their waists. I was given a heavy load of groundnuts to carry with the warning that if it fell down, I would be killed.

The following day, I was given mortar shells tied in a piece of cloth to carry. They were very heavy. I also feared that they might explode at any time. At the time there was a man with a gun following me and watching me closely so that I don’t throw down the shells. This quite frightened me. Two young girls were caught while attempting to escape, they were brought near us and chopped into pieces by other children who were ordered to do so. As the children cut them with pangas while hitting them with big sticks, the two girls cried I pain and pleaded for mercy. But their cries were ignored!

As it approached evening on the second day of my abduction, we were still walking in a single line. It was getting dark and rain clouds were starting to gather with thunder and lightning. I slid off the line and hid in an abandoned house near where we were passing. Luckily, the adult rebel in our group was still behind me and did not see me. In the morning, I tried to retrace my way back through the bushes. In the jungle I was alone, hungry and thirsty with nothing to eat. For three days I was lost. I fed on wild fruit and drank stagnant water. I was eventually escorted home by some kind people I met on the road. I was sick for some days; I still get bad dreams and wake up shaking and sweating. Even when I am not a sleep, I get bad dreams I hear the rebels threatening to kill me. I see a long line of frightened children tied with ropes and hear rebels with guns and pangas ordering them to kill the children and I still feel frightened.