War is at the root of all the troubles.
I knew some girls who joined the militia. They were my age, or even younger. They went off to battle to kill. All with the goal of having cheaper food, school supplies, and getting good health care.
We heard war was coming but we didn’t know when. Then the war began and with it came the rumours of killings.
The night the fighting started I was at home with my parents.
We woke to hear armed men knocking from door to door. They were killing people. My little sister and I got up and ran for our lives. Papa and Mama fled too but we didn’t know where they went.
I’m 15 and my sister Misenga is ten, and can only walk short distances at a time. We followed men pushing their bicycles on the road to Kananga to try and find our grandmother. We slept hidden in the bush to keep safe. we arrived at our grandmother’s house, months had passed.
Our grandmother told us that Papa, Mama, and our brothers and sisters had all been killed.
The militias caused the conflict. They told us that the war would give us a good government and we’d go to school for free. They’d give us things like notebooks and backpacks for school.
They say now we have peace because the armed groups agreed to stop, but in order to keep the peace we need the elections to go peacefully. I hope whoever wins the election has a good character. I hope he makes food more affordable, so that orphans like us can live well and eat.
I’ve seen people register to vote for the elections. We heard that even children should register, but when I tried to go my Grandmother said not to be silly, that they would chase me from the registration centre! If my grandma had let me, I would have registered. I would vote for peace.
If the war starts again, we’ll flee to another village. But right now the militia isn’t here anymore; they’ve fled.
It was March when they attacked us. Now, they tell us that we have peace.
The situation in DRC remains unstable. The country risks slipping into civil war if the elections don’t take place.