As many as 25,000 children were kidnapped as soldiers and forced laborers, as the Ugandan government fought a civil war with the LRA from the 1980s onwards.
Okello Tito says he was “one of the lucky ones” because he was not kidnapped or killed, even though his family had to flee their home in the middle of the night after the rebels set it on fire.
Today, he works as a community leader in northern Uganda, the epicenter of the conflict. He spends his time “calming people down, negotiating, finding solutions and ways forward”.
© UNICEF / Chulho Hyun
He told his story as part of an initiative called “Life after conflictFocused on international justice launched by the United Nations with the support of the United Nations The International Criminal Court (The International Criminal Court).
The International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, is the first permanent international court in the world to try some of the most heinous crimes, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
On Thursday, the court will rule on Dominic Ongwen, the former leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army who was convicted of 61 counts between 2002 and 2005 for crimes against humanity and war crimes, in the context of the conflict in northern Uganda.
Read more Here On how Okello Tito tries to heal societies after decades of conflict.