Gulu, Uganda - Republic of
TO ACOMPANY FEATURE BC-UGANDA-CHILDREN.
At dusk each night, dusty roads leading to Gulu are crammed with
thousands of children flocking from nearby villages to the relative
safety of town to avoid abduction by the Lord's Resistance army (LRA).
They camp out on verandas, in the bus station, school playgrounds and
hospitals, and go home at daybreak. The LRA has been waging a slow but
devastating civil war against the Ugandan government for 17 years,
snatching tens of thousands of children from rural villages and forcing
them to work as soldiers and sex slaves in the bush. Those who try to
escape are tortured and killed by peers ordered to carry out grisly
mutilations and ritualistic murders. Children are pictured making their
way to the town of Gulu August 20, 2003. TO ACOMPANY FEATURE