I am Eryoku James, a man of God, who has been wou
nded and has pains all over his life. I suffered in the bush for three years in the hands of the Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, After my primary education, I was abducted by Kony and his army who killed my parents, and destroyed all the family properties and structures.
The remaining clan members a few days later also were dead. I lived in a hopeless life in the bush with no parent or relative. After we were taken to the bush all our minds could no longer focus on anything which is human. but rather a destructive mind, and we became friendly to the inhabitants of the forest and the bush. I really encountered a lot of suffering.
I served as a boy that carried excess guns and bullets in heavy weight and also supplied food to the rebels during the way. We would sleep on open bushings using grasses as our mattresses and blankets. All mosquitoes and other predators used their advantage on us. We usually ate raw food, such as meat from dead animals, blood from
dead people under enforcement from the top officers. Failure to obey would be death. It was a miserable and terrible condition of life. One day, when I tried to escape, I almost died because a bullet came from nowhere, but because of God’s hand, it just touched on the tip of my hair since I had much hair on the head. I bled but it stopped after some few minutes.
We were used to herbal medicines as forms of healing, and witchcraft was the final game for decision making. We always believed in the spirits of the dead. Every dead body would be buried under water possibly on the banks of the river or on streams of water and this would be done by the young soldiers immediately. We used to move long distances while carrying guns and bullets, but whenever somebody would complain of tiredness, the best answer was to shoot them and eventually you die. So it was much worse than slavery.
How I got out of the bush: It was one evening when there was serious fighting between the rebels and the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF). It was a crucial battle which lasted for more than six hours. During the fighting it rained heavily and many people thought of escaping but you couldn’t see where to start from. But because of God’s favor, we were told to go and collect water tanks as it was our custom. So I took this advantage to run away in the neighborhood forest known as the Chwaba, but again the condition worsened as I developed fear in me.. I stayed in the forest three days without eating any food. The only food of mine was to enjoy the fruits from the forest and drinking stagnant water.
The next day I saw the government army patrolling the forest. I thought that they would kill me, but they questioned me and knew that I was ignorant. I was taken to the IDP camps (internally displaced people) where I started catching up from the hardship situations. I remain parentless, hopeless and a miserable person, except for my faith in God.