Tuesday, 13 May 2014


This is the concluding part of the Aboke Abduction story, I pray fervently that the Chibok Girls be found and reunited with their parents and loved ones as soon as possible. If you missed the first part of  this story you can read it here

The leader ordered the woman who had joined Bosco and Fassera to leave and the pursuers and the LRA rebels then continued up the ridge, Fassera stayed close to Ocaya in the knowledge that only he could release the girls. They caught up with the girls and continued walking with the rebels and their abductees, both the students and other abductees that the rebels had taken before the band made camp near the railroad at Acokara.
Ocaya told Fassera to separate the St. Mary’s College girls from the other captives and warned her against trying to add the other captives from her group.

Fassera began to think that she would actually get all the girls back but at that moment a UPDF helicopter gunship passed overhead, forcing everyone to scatter and hide in the brush and Ocaya ordered everyone to move again. Crossing the railroad tracks, the group came under fire from UPDF soldiers and everyone scrambled for cover. For four hours, the group continued on a forced march, periodically hiding from the gunship searching the area, as a rearguard of rebels slowed the UPDF soldiers.

The group, apparently losing the UPDF, arrived in a camp where there were still more abductees and the St. Mary’s College girls were again separated from the others. One of Ocaya’s “wives” took Fassera behind a hut to bathe and they had an argument when Fassera refused to change out of her habit into a dress. When she returned, Bosco whispered some of the girls were not being released. Fassera asked Ocaya if he was releasing the girls and he shook his head, wrote “139″ in the dirt with a stick and said that he was releasing 109 and keeping 30, having selected them for desirable traits while Fassera was absent.

When Fassera protested, Ocaya said that she could write a letter to Joseph Kony with the names of the girls and he might agree to release them. Taking a piece of paper, Fassera went back to the girls, she found that the 30 had already been separated. When she approached, the 30 began calling out to her to save them and, at an order from Ocaya, nearby soldiers began beating and kicking the girls. When they again fell silent, Ocaya again ordered Fassera to write down their names.
As she came close, the girls again asked her to help, telling her that they would be raped if they stayed until nightfall. Again, Fassera asked Ocaya to release the 30 as well, but he replied that either 30 would stay or all would. One of the girls named Angela offered to write the names, as Ocaya insisted that Fassera join him and the other LRA commanders for tea and cookies. When she returned, Angela whispered that a girl named Janet had slipped into the 109. Fassera knew that Ocaya was thoroughly capable of ordering all 139 to stay if he found Fassera trying to sneak one of the 30 out, so he went to Janet and told her that she was endangering the entire group. Janet apologized and rejoined the 30. After telling Judith, the head girl of the class, to look after the other 29, Fassera and Bosco took the 109 and eventually found their way back to the college.

Five of the thirty girls died in captivity and of the remainder all but two eventually made their escape by 2006. Soon after the abduction, a girl named Jennifer went missing. When she was found hiding in a hut, the rebels dragged her into the open and ordered the others to beat her to death. The girls hit her lightly at first, but then the rebels surrounded the group and beat anyone who was not hitting Jennifer hard. Afterwards the LRA rebels left the corpse in the open and beat those who wept, both as an object lesson about attempting to escape and as a way to break the social ties between the girls.
Of the fates of the thirty, the death of Judith, the head girl, is notable for its brutality. It is Sr. Rachele’s belief that her request of Judith that she look after the others led her to do something that annoyed the rebels. One evening, Judith and another girl from the group of other captives, Caterina, had their hands bound behind their backs and were attacked with sticks, bicycle chains and machetes. Caterina died of her wounds the following morning, but Judith was still alive 24 hours later and asked for water. The rebels instead dragged her into the forest and tied her to a tree. A group of captives gathering firewood found her body a week later but the body had not started decomposing, indicating that she had not been dead for long. After a week of walking, the girls were brought north to Kony’s base in Southern Sudan where they were given to various commanders as “wives”.
Sr. Rachele and the parents of the remaining abducted children formed the Concerned Parents Association (CPA) to raise awareness of the abductions and work for the children to be returned. In the course of their advocacy, the tale of the Aboke girls became one of the most widely known horror stories of the entire conflict. The CPA appealed to Pope John Paul II, who condemned the abductions, therefore drawing international attention to the incident and the situation in northern Uganda in general.
On 7 March 1997, President Museveni wrote to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan Describing the plight of the Aboke girls. In June 1997, Sr. Rachele and members of the CPA met with LRA commanders in Juba, Sudan. After originally denying that they held the girls, they then said they would release them if the Ugandan military declared a ceasefire. The Ugandan government rejected the proposal and stated that they were not responsible for anything that may happen to the girls.
One of the most active CPA members has been Angelina Atyam, mother of Aboke girl Charlotte. Sr. Rachele and Ms. Atyam have, between the two of them, met the UN Special representative for children and armed conflicts, Olara Otunnu, then-U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton, Kofi Annan, Yoweri Museveni, the Pope, members of the European Parliament, former South African President Nelson Mandela,Libyan President Muammar al-Gaddafi, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, as well as numerous diplomats of other nations.

The Lord’s Resistance Army continues to operate in Uganda, as well as Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, attacking civilians and abducting youth. While the profile of the conflict has been raised since a 2002 government offensive into southern Sudan, a 2005 poll of humanitarian aid professionals named it to be the second most “forgotten” humanitarian emergency in the world. The leaders of the LRA were indicted in 2005 for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, though others note that the indictments complicate the sporadic attempts at negotiations. A 2006 study estimated that 66,000 children and youth had been abducted over the course of the 20-year conflict.
On March 14, 2009, Catherine Ajok, the last of the abducted Aboke girls still held by the rebels, returned to Uganda. Ajok escaped during the Garamba offensive against the LRA, and made her way to a UPDF base in Dungu in DRC Congo. She returned with her 21-month-old baby, whom she said was fathered by Joseph Kony.

Source : Modalan

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