The legacy of war

2021

Children in the Central African Republic have been hugely affected by an ongoing conflict between armed groups that has been compounded by fighting between local communities. As a result, many of them have lost their parents. In the city of Bambari, I met a group of orphans that live in the street and sell a fruit called cola to survive. 

1. Ousmane Diallo, 10: “When my father was killed, my mother fell into deep sadness. She spends the day crying, so I have to get out and work. I sell a fruit called Cola in the streets of Bambari.


Until last year I attended the “École communautaire de la paix”, but due to the war all the teachers have left."

2. Idrissa Amadou, 12:" I was with my father when the rebels attacked our town. I saw how the bullet went through his head. Even if I tried hard to wake him up, my mother grabbed my arm and we ran to take refuge in the forest.


I never saw him again because the armed men set fire to the village and everything disappeared".

3. Babacar Adraman, 11, "If I don't work, I don't sell and if I don't sell, I don't have money and if I don't have money I don't eat and if I don't eat, I can't be calm. I can't even sleep because all my thoughts are on food. War, for me, means hunger".

4. Ali Abdou, 8: "I didn't get to know my parents. They were both killed when I was a baby, but luckily I found my place among the children of the streets of Bambari. There is a true friendship between us. If something happens to one, the rest will jump to defend him. We are like a big family".

5. Muktar Shaudoun, 10: "When I grow up, I want to work for the Minusca (UN peacekeeping mission), I want to become someone important to be able to stop the war. Because it's not going to last forever, right?"

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*Names have been changed to protect identities