"I like to go to the front line on drugs," a young girl clad in green beret and camouflage gear declares defiantly to the camera. "When I'm on drugs, even if I'm face-to-face with someone, I have no pity and kill them and then walk away." Sixteen-year-old January is one of more than 20,000 child soldiers recruited by militias in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Dragging on a cigarette, she boasts of taking up arms at 10 in retaliation for the murders of family and friends. Other kids were abducted from their villages, like Mafille, a melancholy 15-year-old. Back home after a traumatic stint in the army (where, like many girls, she suffered sexual abuse), she is now a changed creature. Her mother confides that Mafille avoids boys and is too fragile to... More >>>
By photo: Kate Englund
When Im on drugs, says January, 16, I have no pity and kill them.