Article originally published by El Pais
Monica Piloya recalls every detail of the day a land mine changed her life.
“It was midday and I had just returned from the market. The rebels had attacked our village the night before. I walked away from the main road to allow a motorcyclist to pass and I stepped on a mine. In an instant, I was on the ground. These scars on my right hand were caused by the explosion and they had to amputate my leg. I tried to protect my son who was on my back but he died in hospital due to his injuries.”
In 2003, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony terrorized villages in Northern Uganda. LRA searched for children to recruit in their militias and young women to kidnap and rape as war trophies. Most of the mines and explosives that still reappear in rural areas can be traced back to those years.
“After three months in the hospital, my life became extremely difficult. I was a farmer, but without a leg, I could no longer work. I didn’t know how to deal with my disability. My husband left, leaving me alone,” remembers Piloya.
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