Abducted at nine to be a girl soldier for Kony: ‘Now people call me a killer’

A former Lord’s Resistance Army fighter feels marginalised and abandoned, failed by the Ugandan government after broken promises of help and support

 

When Agnes Acayo escaped from the rebel group who had abducted her at the age of nine, she felt overjoyed to be free and back home at last. She had spent 10 years in captivity as a child soldier and later was forced to marry a member of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda.

Now 30, Acayo, like many of her fellow female ex-combatants, is stuck in a cycle of poverty, despite government promises that they would be helped. Acayo, who still has a bullet embedded in her right hand from a battle with Ugandan army troops, lives in a rented mud-grass hut with her three children in Gulu, in the north of the country.