Child to Soldier: Stories from Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army
Published: April 2013© 2013
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 240 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
240 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.65 in
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What happens when children are forced to become child soldiers? How are they transformed from children to combatants? In Child to Soldier, Opiyo Oloya addresses these timely, troubling questions by exploring how Acholi children in Northern Uganda, abducted by infamous warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), become soldiers.
Oloya – himself an Acholi, a refugee from Idi Amin’s rule of Uganda, and a high ranking figure in Canadian education – is a scholar who challenges conventional thinking on child-inducted soldiers by illustrating the familial loyalty that develops within a child’s new surroundings in the bush. Based on interviews with former child combatants, this book provides a cultural context for understanding the process of socializing children into violence. Oloya details how Kony and the LRA exploit and pervert Acholi cultural heritage and pride to control and direct the children in war.
Child to Soldier is also ground-breaking in its emphasis on the tragic fact that child-inducted soldiers do not remain children forever, but become adults who remain sharply scarred by their introduction into combat at a young age. Given the constant struggle in courts in deciding whether former child-inducted soldiers should be pardoned or prosecuted for their activities and conduct, Oloya’s eye-opening book will have a major impact.
2. Conceptual and practical challenges
3. Gwooko dog paco, defending the homestead, cultural devastation and the LRM/A
4. Culture, identity and control in the LRM/A
5. The autobiographical voices of becoming CI soldiers (I)
6. The autobiographical voices of becoming CI soldiers (II)
7. Dwoogo paco, returning home
“Child to Soldier is an incredibly fascinating, engaging book. Along with offering gripping testimonies of former CI combatants, Opiyo Oloya helps readers understand how Acholi and Ugandan culture shaped the dynamics of children who became a part of war and illuminates the challenges faced by the Acholi people seeking a way forward.” George J. Sefa Dei, Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Social Justice Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto