China’s story of her life as a child conscript in the Ugandan National Resistance Army starts at age 8 and continues for ten years of terror, humiliation and sexual assault.
“The harrowing story of a child who was kidnapped and forced to fight in a civil war.”
‘BBC Breakfast News’
Rejected by her father for being a girl. China was cruelly mistreated by her grandmother and stepmother. At the age of eight she was on the run from her family when she fell into the hands of Y.K Museveni’s ill-disciplined and vengeful National Resistance Army which was ravaging the countryside, and was involuntarily recruited.
Though tiny, she learned how to survive by becoming a ruthless guerrilla fighter. She was forced to participate in atrocious carnage and forced marches, with little food, and saw many of her small comrades slain in fierce fighting. Worse still, when already exhausted by the rigours of the day, she, like all the other girl soldiers, was nightly abused by senior officers.
In the bloody civil war, Museveni succeeded in overthrowing Obote and became President of Uganda, and China rose to the position of chief escort to the Minister of Records, Ahmad Kashilingi. However, when he was imprisoned, she was once more on the run. Amid all this insecurity and desolation, she briefly found love and gave birth to a baby boy, but when she finally escaped to South Africa, she had to leave him behind.
She now has a new life in Denmark, and travels the world campaigning against the misuse of children as child soldiers. She has spoken at United Nations conferences to Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela amongst others and her personal story is being translated around the world. There are 300,000 child soldiers in the world and this is the unique, haunting, story of one of them; a story of courage, indomitable spirit and the heart-rending brutalisation of innocence.
“Describes in harrowing detail the many battles she has fought and the feelings she has kept inside until she escaped and found her voice.”
“A highly compelling true account of one girl’s experience as a young soldier in Uganda… a story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the final page.”
‘The Big Issue’
“Having read her haunting memoir, I am almost lost for words”
Judith Woods ‘Daily Telegraph’