Testimonies

 1. August 27, 2015 meeting with 13 rebel leaders:

In this conflict on Mt. Elgon from 2006 to 2008, about 600 people were killed, 500 missing, and 100,000 displaced.

Thirteen of the former leaders of the Saboat Land Defense Force (SLDF)  attended the meeting with three TCSC facilitators. Getry Agizah reported, “I could see fear in their eyes and their expressions. I felt I was safer than they were and [had] a sense of empathy with the need to understand what happened and what they really wished us to do for them. It took them a long pause to open up and talk.” The  facilitators mostly listened as the rebel leaders poured out their fears and concerns. “As the discussion continued, they went on and on, each wanting to talk, and we only managed to nod our heads and patiently listened.”

Because of the rumor that SLDF was reorganizing, the rebel leaders were concerned that they would be attacked by government police or military again. They totally denied that they were regrouping. Rather they said that they wanted to be reintegrated into the Mount Elgon community, as many of them were still sleeping in the forest. They wanted to be part of the peace and reconciliation work TCSC was doing on Mount Elgon. They requested to be reconciled and trained to live in peace. As they raised this request, there was desperation in the room. One of the members said, “My sister, we live in fear. We don’t know what spirits are after us. We are carrying big loads of pain and emotions in us. We need our community. We really want to be put together with them and start a life.”

2. Kakuma Refugee Camp

Testimony after AVP training in the camp after ten people were killed in fighting between the South Sudanese and Burundian/Congolese refugees:

Congolese refugee: We ran from death and graves in the Congo. It is very sad and scary that these graves are following us here in the camp. God should help us as we restore peace. I have learned a lot to do with alternative ways of dealing with violence. I must say that it depends whom do you know in this camp to get this kind of training. I am glad I was identify without a “godfather” and invited to this training.

Burundian refugee: Seeing the hard violence on the road as I was selling my tomatoes, it reminded me of how violence broke out in Burundi. I am still having the pain, I wonder where you people have been with this skills. I feel like my heart was burning and you poured very cool water. I want more and kindly requesting you to help my children. My husband criticized the leadership of Rwanda and Burundi. And he was loud. They sent the military to assassinate him and we ran away. I have no relative of mine alive apart from my four children and my husband.

3. Kavusali village after a Nandi man was killed by the Kabras and the Nandis retaliated by burning down houses:

Kabras woman whose house was burned down:  We have lived with the Nandis for a long time like brothers and sisters. After the landslide they really assisted us and provided food for our families. This is the devil. I blame those people who killed the Nandi boy and we are staying in cold because of them. But after this training, and especially the topic of WHO AM I, I have learned that we are all human beings and we are making a journey. Forgiveness without judgment is very important.

 

Advertisements