Deep in the dark of one night’s sleep, a group of soldiers came to our village and stole many lives. Most were lucky enough to make it into a grave that night. But some of us were taken from one life of desperation to another.
Most of the boys were made into soldiers. They were given a gun and told they would get three meals a day and a roof over their head if they joined the army. I don’t know if those promises were made good on, but the boys chosen for that life tucked their heads in and went with the soldiers. They didn’t even think about running away. Or so it seemed. Cuzz not one of them looked back at the village as they walked away.
I heard some came back with limbs missing cuzz they stepped on a landmine. Some were left as carrion at roadside.
Some of the prettier and younger boys and girls were separated out and told they would be going off to rich lands to live with new moms or dads in big houses. Never again to worry about food to eat.
There were rumours of back lane sales of these kids to fund the war efforts. They gave their bodies till they weren’t so pretty any more. That’s what I heard anyway. Some as breeders for the next generation of soldiers, some as toys for men who could pay well for their aberrations.
Some hefty lads were sold to farmers who needed brute labour. There were rumours of whipping in fields if they didn’t move fast enough, or jump when given an order.
A few of us girls were culled out to become the wives of the generals. Barely old enough to read, yet we became a bride. We sat on their knees as they ruled the soldiers, or paid the price. We were considered the lucky ones. But our manic husbands often took their war terrors out on us. They weren’t the first generation, and probably not the last either.
In to the war coffers the money went. But they kept strictly to the rules and not one child with a gun was under 15. They laughed everytime the ranks were audited.
My husband had been abducted from the village well as he went to get water for his family. His little brother was sick and mother had asked him to go get the water. He was told his mother had sold him to get the younger child medicine. He believed them. He was 10 at the time.
He had a chance once to go to the village where he had heard his mom now lived. But he couldn’t tell her of what he had been forced to do at first, then gotten used to doing as habit. Till he got good at it.
He felt too ashamed to tell his own mother. But he now made others do it. And could package that away in his soul, as a war need somehow.
He saw me as his comfort, his prize, for doing what needed to be done.
He seemed like a grown and evil man, till he was alone with me. Then we played as if he were my own age. It was weird and sad, even though I was truly frightened of him.
When I was made to bear his child, I lost the battle and so did his child. My body too young to go safely thru this labour.
He went to the next village and picked another bride, as if I had never existed. He needed a wife on his arm to look like a man to his soldiers. My death and my child’s was my flaw. He just tried again.
The war would rage as long as there was a faith to fight against, and people desperate enough to fight for the cause. And kids who could fight or be sold for the bounty.
I wonder how long that will be?
## . . . .
UN says that use of children under 15 as soldiers is a war crime.
Factors are poverty, lack of opps in education and health care. In other words, desperation. If that doesn’t **recruit** them, then they’re abducted.
[unicef – child protection report][https://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_58007.html]
[UN’s #childrennotsoldiers campaign][https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org]
(watch the videos)
[cub of Baghdad?][http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-cub-of-baghdadi-has-this-boy-become-the-youngest-victim-of-isis-s-use-of-child-soldiers-9782843.html]
In 1977, the Geneva Convention was amended to include a new rule of war, that “children who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities”, and in 1998, the International Criminal Court was established under a statute that “enlisting children under the age of 15 is a war crime”.
[teen thought is linear, idealistic, emo and peer driven][https://www.livescience.com/21461-teen-brain-adolescence-facts.html]