Sister Anna’s Story
Sister Anna…an African “sister,” is a Senior Nursing Officer at the
Hospital. She grew up in another village in the same district, living in a
typical hut with a thatched roof. Sister Anna now lives in a small cement
structure on the compound. She tells of the story that all the villages fear
and remember. It takes place on June 24th, 2003.
Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lords Resistance Army, a rebel group originally fighting for freedoms, but as many rebel armies, turned violent toward their own people, was said to be in Northern Sudan. No one had heard that he and his men had reached the outskirts of the area, until a man ran 8 klm. to warn the villages that men were traveling their way carrying guns. “We were scared,” said Anna. “3 Days later, at 11:00 PM. they attacked our village.
The parish priest was hurt when he tried to leave, and they beat him until he
opened the safe. He implored them to take anything and leave.” Betty and
the staff ran out into the bush and hid behind the foliage all night long, lying
on their stomachs watching through the branches, barely daring to breathe.
They gaped in horror as the army went to the Primary School to kidnap the
girls from their dorms. The night guard had bravely taken the little girls
away into hiding just before the army arrived. So the rebels angrily went to the Secondary girl’s dorm. The girls were awakened from their sleep and were tied together as one bundle of 108 girls. In the morning, Anna witnessed them being marched out the door and over the grounds to the
neighboring district, where they would begin their 1000 klm. walk to Sudan
to become child soldiers. Those who couldn’t walk were shot. Some of the
girls from the village and the surrounding villages found their way back over time.
But there are those who have never been heard from again. The fear of a repetitive attack is yet on the minds of the people.