Joseph Kony Destroyed my Life: Abductee Speaks

As Thomas Kwoyelo, a former LRA commander continues to fight for his freedom through the Uganda courts of law having been charged with over 50 accounts of murder, attempted murder, rape among others, I traveled to Gulu, from where I spoke to Nancy Abwot, a former abductee of the 20 year old war.

Nancy Abwot looking clueless.

Nancy Abwot looking clueless.

My name is Abwot Nancy, 21 years; I was abducted when I was 7 years old in Kwatira In Gulu.

It was terrifying because even though I had witnessed the terrible things Kony had done before, I could not imagine I was abducted.

I was taken to Sudan immediately where we trekked for a very long distance.

On arrival, I was assigned to Dominique Ogwen (wanted by ICC) as a housewife. It was so painful. I felt as if they should have just killed me other than giving me to a man that old at a time when I didn’t have an idea who a man was.

When you are with them, regardless of your age, you were given a man whether you wanted or not. With the LRA, everything had to be a yes, because a no was equivalent to death.

Settling in Southern Sudan was really difficult but I had to otherwise I would have been killed like many were. Children, men and women would be killed over little things.

We (women and children) were then trained on how to use guns. After finishing that training, we were then nicknamed, Konys’ Kadogo’s. The Kadogos were in charge of providing food for the fighters.

Abwot is seen from fetching water

Abwot is seen from fetching water

Women like us were always given guns and forced to go loot food from the South Sudanese. It was not easy as we always had to fight for food. If you don’t take back food to the camp, you were killed immediately.

Many died in that process including my close family and friends.

The life in the bush was not easy during the six years I spent with the LRA. We were forced to do certain things which are imaginable.

The year 2003 was the defining point in my life in the bush. There was heavy fighting between the rebels and UDPF in a place called Koc. In me, I knew this was the time to free myself. I knew how dangerous my decision was but I’d to make it anyway. There was never an easy decision in the bush.

Standing by her door steps

Standing by her door steps

As the fighting raged on, I was shot on my lower lips by a bullet. I cannot tell from which side the bullet came from. I was bleeding so much but I had to put a cloth on my lip and started running.

I ran for days and nights. My lip was getting worse before I collapsed one day by the road ride. A Good Samaritan picked me up and that’s how I ended up in Uganda. I was then flown to Italy for surgery not so long after arriving in Gulu.

My life was so hard during the insurgency. Now that things are calm, it’s much better but I still ha

ve to go through a lot of hardship just to survive. Right now, I have nothing.

I never got a chance as a result to go to school; I have horrible injuries that have affected my appetite. There are foods I can no longer eat. I have an injury on my jaw, both my shoulders, and on my thigh, there is still a bullet lodged in there.

Doing her laundry

Doing her laundry

I doubt I will ever get justice enough to console my heart even if Kony caught and tried or even killed.

The Kwoyelo trial for example might be of help but in my opinion, most of these people were abducted by Joseph Kony and many of them were being pressured to do some of the things they did in order not to be killed.

I personally didn’t know much about Kwoyelo because all I knew was that he operated mostly in Uganda.

A candid look at Nancy Abwots lip.Shuttered by a bullet and miraculously, she's still alive

A candid look at Nancy Abwots lip.Shuttered by a bullet and miraculously, she’s still alive

But it’s good some kind of justice is being exercised. I believe it could help release off the burden most of us went through while in the bush.

Kony destroyed my life and as long as he’s still out there, the war has not ended

ABWOT NEEDS HELP

Abwot is currently jobless. She volunteers in a convent but the handouts she gets for her efforts cannot sustain her family. She’s now married with one child. Her husband is unemployed.

Abwot can do tailoring and requests for a SEWING MACHINE.  A good sewing machine goes for $150 (UGX.430.000).I hope to travel to do another story on her in about 4 weeks. If you think you can contribute to the purchase of the sewing machine, get in touch with either me or Justine Dralaze, Video Journalist with Reuters.

25 thoughts on “Joseph Kony Destroyed my Life: Abductee Speaks

  1. Thank you everyone who has so far pledged money towards the purchase of a sewing machine for Nancy. Here is a complete list of those who have generously contributed to this cause:

    Elizabeth Allen- UGX 120.000
    Daniel Kalinaki-UGX 50.000
    Barbara Among- UGX 50.000
    Leylah Ndinda-UGX 50.000
    Justin Dralaze- UGX 50.000
    Edward Echwalu-UGX 50.000

    TOTAL= UGX 370.000

    We are left with just UGX 60.000 to get Nancy that sewing Machine. Thank you for all who have contributed either in cash or with kind words of comfort. She needs both of those!

    Cheers

  2. I am thinking…you don’t have to be in government or parliament to make an impact in people’s lives. We have to do what we have to do to reach one person at a time in order to change the world. Thank you Edward, your mates and everybody who has contributed to this cause.

  3. We have hit our target of UGX 430.000. With an additional last minute contribution from Waninda Joseph of UGX 50.000. So we are on UGX 480.000. On that note, we close our appeal with my additional UGX. 20.000 to Seal the the pledge at UGX 500.000. Thanks everyone!

  4. #BBC’s Joshua Mmali has added UGX 100.000 for materials to start up her business. Thank you. Asanti Sana

    #Anena Harriet has put in UGX 5.000 thank you sooooo much. Appreciated.

    So that puts us at UGX 605.000 contributed by you.THANK YOU!

  5. I am touched and grateful for her and yu sharing her experiences so that numbers of victims/survivers get visible to the world. Ans I am so much thrilled seeing that so many of you managed to suport her making her dream come true. This is encouraging for me. With care Irmtraud

  6. Dear Echwalu and All,
    I had a chance to read your story today and I have a friend in Uganda, I plan to help her.. but after reading through now, I am so glad that she can start over her life now.. Thanks so much too everyone to help her have her new life.
    best,
    Napak

  7. Echwalu,

    Thank you for profiling Nancy’s story, Indeed she represents a large section of our human family in Africa whose stories quickly fade from our minds probably because its gets too much for our weak hearts and thoughts. I am looking for an uplifting comment to send to Nancy but after reading her story, my heart is still heavy as it always gets when i read such stories. Thanks goodness, she has a sawing machine, i pray that it might add a little meaning to her life as she struggles with all that is still deeply buried in her heart. My best wishes to her and her family.

    Pit

  8. After reading that story, you should all take a look at this video which explains this story and situation in more detail.
    There is a movement which is currently going on, aiming to help people like Nancy Abwot.
    You can all make a difference, no matter what country you live this is something that needs to be uncovered and show that we can all make a stand together and fight for the injustice anywhere in the world. Take the pledge!

  9. How much money are you guys short now? our class is going to have a garage sale at our school and 100% of that money is going to the Invisible Children.

    • Thanks Castro for the kindness.We raised the money and got her the Sewing Machine. But thank you so much for having the heart and willingness to help!!

  10. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

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