Rose, a child in a militia in Tanganyika

Since August 2016, the region of Tanganyika, covering about 500.000 km2, has been the scene of confrontations between two communities: the Twa (Pygmies) and the Luba (Bantu). Besides the political and economic devastating consequences, this intercommunity conflict has been harshly affecting children’s schooling. 

Furthermore, the children – boys and girls – have been actively participating in the fights. According to Nyunzu DCJP (Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace), over 175 children were forced to drop out of school, enrolled in these two self-defence militias as soldiers to defend their villages and their cultural identities.

Rose comes from the Luba (Bantu) ethnical group. At 14 years old, she is also called an “element”, which is how self-defence militia soldiers are called, and says, like all the other children that fight in this conflict, that she does so with her heart. 

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