Africa, the drama of child soldiers in the book "The broken innocence"


A true story: the planetary phenomenon of the recruitment of children in conflicts, told by an expert from Africa, Antonella Naples, Italian journalist who lives under surveillance and has received the Medal representing the Presidency of the Republic. "The broken innocence", Edizioni Goree, was presented this weekend as part of the 2019 edition of BookCity, at the Museum of Cultures in Milan. The journalist has dedicated her new book to Giulio Regeni, the young Friulian researcher killed in Egypt in 2016 and whose murder has not yet been fully shed light.
"I really wanted the title of my new book to be in yellow, the color of the truth campaign for Giulio Regeni", explained the author, who is also the editor of the magazine Focus on Africa, during the presentation with the director of Caritas Ambrosiana Luciano Gualzetti and the president of Emergency Rossella Miccio.Antonella Napoli in her last work tells the story of Suleya, a 12-year-old girl who lost her parents, her father killed and mutilated before her eyes and her mother raped and made to disappear by the rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (Liberation Army of the Lord) arrived one day in his village to raid. Kidnapped and taken to a training school in the jungle between Uganda and Congo, she will be destined for the life of a child – a soldier and a sex slave.

Its existence is intertwined with that of hundreds of other victims of forced recruitment in conflicts. Torn from simple but happy lives until they were upset by the invasion of a guerrilla command in their village. The adults mutilated and killed under the eyes of their children, the main target of the rebels, the little ones kidnapped and taken to a training school destined to soon become children – soldier and sex slaves. Their missions, often extremely dangerous because they were forced to infiltrate enemy territory, were aimed at obtaining essential information on government military posts so that they could launch the attacks they themselves took part in.

Even today, thousands live in the same dramatic condition in several African countries. Particularly vulnerable to recruitment and employment in war situations due to their physical and emotional immaturity, these little ones predestined to an existence made of violence and abuse, are separated from their families, drugged, tortured, raped, forced to kill. This book, made with contributions collected in Sudan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, proposes tragic and raw accounts of reality that are too often ignored.

The use of child soldiers is one of the most cruel violations of child rights. Behind the drama of small fighters there is a worldwide phenomenon: from the exploitation of natural resources (oil, diamonds, gold, coltan) by local oligarchies and foreign powers, to wars to control these trades up to the business related to the arms sales.

Author of several books, including the best seller "My name is Meriam", published in 2015 by Piemme and translated into six languages ​​and published in 8 countries, has received repeated threats from Islamic extremists and neo-fascist and neo-Nazi Italian environments.

Last June, through a letter delivered to the National Press Federation, the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood, making explicit reference to his professional activity, told her not to return to Sudan.

But she didn't succumb to the threats. Not only has she returned but she has also told Republic about the birth of the new Sudanese government. The first democrat since 1986.

"There remains the threat of Islamists trying to derail the democratic process started in Sudan. This is why today, more than in the past, the international community must support the people and the Sudanese government", concluded its meeting at BookCity Antonella Naples.

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