Our Lost Jewels

The Women’s Advocacy  Network and the Unaccounted For

By Evelyn Amony

Daniel is one of the boys who never got the chance to come back home like we did. Many of us were abducted but not all got the chance to come back. Some died and others are still alive. They live with other tribes in other countries. When Daniel finally found his way home, he told us about his fate and that of the other children. There are people who are still in Sudan and living among the Lutugu tribe. Some of the girls have become wives while the boys become soldiers.   The boys have also been given women from the tribe to marry. Like Daniel they would like to come back home but are held against their will by the Lutugu tribe. 

We know for sure that the same is happening in Congo. Some of the children who were released by the rebels at a young age did not make it home. This is because they cannot remember the way back. Some are with other tribes within the country and others must have gotten lost in the wilderness. We still have hope that one day those who are still alive will be reunited with their families. There were also women who were taken by government soldiers and forced into marriage during the conflict. Others are in other districts in the country. Most of the women who were taken as young girls are still unaccounted for.

All in all even those who managed to come back home are not doing well. They need to be supported. Their lives have to go on well now that they returned home so that they do not suffer. Those who lost their children should be talked to and involved in campaigns on missing persons. They have valuable information that can assist to trace missing persons. They also want to feel part of the process as they are victims too. 

As the Women’s Advocacy Network we think we can help work together with institutions and well intentioned individuals to trace these people and re unite them with their families. We can also work together with the governments where these children are so that they can assist with tracing and repatriation.  

Evelyn Amony is the chairlady of the Women’s Advocacy Network (WAN).