Epi School Student Escapes from LRA after Kidnapping

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Epi School Student Escapes from LRA after Kidnapping

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Here the story of one Epi student, Mathieu Pakwana. Mathieu Lived with his parents close to Epi but at the other side of the Uele river. His father is a fisherman. In the year 2012 rebels of the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) walked on the road that goes from west to east and goes along the river Uele. Mathieu was at home along that riverside road. The rebels seized him and went west towards the town Dakwa. Over there they burned people in their houses and killed others in front of the boy who was 12 years old. The rebels gave him dark clothes and jackboots (as pictured above) and he stayed with the LRA a total of 3 weeks.

He escaped through a cunning act. The rebels one day walked again along where Mathieu’s home was and Mathieu knew that there was a small path towards the river. He told the leader of the group that he had fallen ill and that he needed to go in the bush next to the road. When he received the permission he ran towards the river and hid. He passed the night there and the following morning saw some fishermen he recognized. He called them and they brought him to Epi where he rejoined the school. At that moment he was in the Primary 3 class. He stayed through Primary 6 and left the Epi school in 2015. As his father had no money to send him to secondary school in Poko, where he is today helping his father with fishing.

Epi is fortunate as the LRA rebels rarely cross the Uele river into the village directly.


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