'I was certain he would be killed'

A young Central African describes how Unicef helped reunite him with his brother, a former child soldier

 

Share
Related Topics

The author of this piece is the brother of a former child soldier and has asked not to be identified

Please donate to our appeal for child soldiers here.

When I learned that my brother Malik had become involved with the rebel group, the CPJP, I was heartbroken. I was devastated by the news, it felt like I’d been informed of his death—I was certain he would be killed sooner or later anyway.

It was months before we heard anything from him, and it was only after he called that the family began to relax. I begged him to leave the CPJP. He promised to leave one day, but he had been made an officer by then and he couldn’t just go. He said that if he left the group he would be forced to leave the Central African Republic, and that he would never do that. I wanted to see him, but how?

When I heard that the Unicef team was going to Akoursoulbak to release child soldiers, I thought my prayers had been answered. On July 27, 2012 Unicef managed to secure Malik’s release. I arranged for out reunification to take place in the capital, Bangui. This was because it was further from the fighting, further from the CPJP. They thought Malik would come back, but I believed in him even when nobody else did.

On November 15, 2012 the dream became reality, at five pm Malik arrived at the airport in Bangui. I was in college when I hears the news. I rushed home to get there before him. I heard a knock on the door and there he was. It was very emotional. I could help but cry, truthfully, I cried because I missed him.

I informed the family, my mother and my siblings the same day. What a joy this day was. We celebrated as if Malik has been resurrected.

It is thanks to Unicef’s work that I got my younger brother back.

I pray that Unicef is able to continue its programme to release child soldiers and reunite them with their families, to give them a chance to succeed and earn a living. Malik’s example shows that this is possible.

Malik is my youngest brother, and although he was formerly associated with an armed group,  a child with a gun in his hand, I believe he will now complete his studies. I'm sure he can succeed with my support.

With his courage and determination, he will one day be of great service to his country.

Names have been changed to prevent identification

Please help Unicef reunite more children in the Central African Republic by supporting our campaign

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Education Editor: This shocking abuse of teachers should be taken seriously

Richard Garner
Brand loyalty: businessmen Stuart Rose (pictured with David Cameron at the Conservative conference in 2010) was among the signatories  

So, the people who always support the Tories... are supporting the Tories? Has the world gone mad?

Mark Steel
War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?