Joweri Museveni and his child soldiers

This is what the Ugandan president Joweri Museveni says of child soldiers in 1985; he was still in the bush at the time.

“In Africa here, around the age of four, you learn how to fight. It’s our tradition. If you don’t know. We fight with the sticks, spears, arrows, that’s the tradition. So if you are trying to think that this might disorient them psychologically or socially, that’s not the case. They are never deployed until the right age. But they learn the skills of the warfare.”

If you are African, have you been part of that tradition of learning to fight with arrows and spears from the age of four? Your opinion please.

Since the arrival of Joweri Museveni in the political arena of the Great Lakes, this is around 1981 when he is defeated democratically and decides to enter in the rebellion, there has been a proliferation of child soldiers in the region.

1994 in Rwanda and 1997 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, when the rebels claimed victory, there were each time cohorts of child soldiers among the jubilant victors.

Do we ever take time to reflect on the fact that those children had a father, a mother, and other relatives? Or have they always been child soldiers? What happened to their families, if they had them? What could be the responsibilities of their military leaders in the fate of their families?

Think about it and imagine the cruelty accompanying those claiming that they are proud of teaching warfare to children instead of letting them be at school and with their parents.

Further reading:


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