Aboke Girls is a true story. On 9 October 1996, a hundred and thirty nine girls, between twelve and fteen-years-old, were abducted from St Mary’s College, Aboke, one of the better schools in northern Uganda. In an act of extraordinary courage, Sister Rachele, the Italian deputy headmistress, followed the abductors. Her journey took her to the Lord’s Resistance Army, one of the most cruel guerrilla armies in the world, led by the religious fanatic Joseph Kony. She secured the release of the majority of her girls, but she had to leave behind thirty.
What happened to the thirty remaining girls, and what happened to thousands of other children who disappeared from their homes and schools in northern Uganda since the emergence of the Lord’s Resistance Army? What is the matter with Joseph Kony? Why is he killing his own people? And what has the Bible to do with all this? In this book, Journalist Els De Temmerman reconstructs the journey of two Aboke girls who managed to escape from the Lord’s Resistance Army. She also tells the story of one of the abductors, a fourteen-year-old boy who was part of Kony’s elite troops. And she describes Sister Rachele’s tireless search for her missing pupils. This was a search that brought her to the highest political and religious authorities, from Pope John Paul II and Kofi Annan to the presidents of Uganda, Sudan and South Africa. Aboke Girls is a sharp protest against the use of children in armed conflict. It is a reality which, at the beginning of this new millennium, is more topical