My Country

I love my country. I am proud to be from here. But I do not love the slaying of innocent people by armed men. The men enter villages and kill all the men, rape all the women leaving them to die. They recruit our young boys, desensitizing them to blood and war. They sell our little girls as slaves. They burn our huts, and kill all the livestock.

I love the people I am surrounded by. I would love to be with them forever. But I never know when our last day is coming, as our village is the last in the area to not be pillaged. No scratch that, our village is the last in the area to not be massacred. Mass graves lie outside of every surrounding village.

Reporters often visit, and stay for a short amount of time. They come to hear our story, our life. With the reporters, comes little aide. They bring potato sacks full of flower, wheat, and maize. We know that as the visitors are here, we have temporary protection.

This visit is different though. It will be the last any of us see another foreigner. As usual, translators tell of the things we see in other villages, the smoke we see from burning huts, and the reporters write and write. They bring the usual aide for us.

I love that I can look around, and see how happy everyone is that the outsiders came. But I know we are no longer safe, and try to warn others about the dangers. We no longer have protection from the guns. We have nowhere to run in the vast desert.

The gunmen start to show up, and the villagers start to panic. I warned all of them about what could possibly happen. We expected them at some point, but not on a day like this. Like any other village, they shoot the people on spot who try to approach them and persuade them to leave. Next they take all the men and line them up just to take away any major threat.

I love the men of my village, now they are gone.

The teenage boys are now lined up. The ones who look strong, and the best hunters, are forced to join them in their campaign of war and death. The ones not chosen are never seen again by the world.

I loved these boys; I saw them grow from babies.

Women and children are forced towards the center of the village, where the best looking are chosen for slaves. They are taken to somewhere that cannot be seen. I am left in the center with several other women. An order we cannot understand is shouted to the gunmen, and each woman is approached by separate men. Others around me start to fall as I realize I am the last one alive. Though they cannot understand me, but I still have something for the man to hear.

“I love my country, but not this war. I pray for you.”





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