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Colonel Mother Blessing and his 11 years old bodyguard, "Hitler the Killer" I don't want to kill anymore

For six years, young boys have been trained to sow terror throughout the Liberian countryside. Used and manipulated by each of the six factions, they have been willing to commit atrocities for a little marijuana.

"Hitler the Killer", 11 years old, describes seeing his father killed and his mother fleeing the village when he was seven. He joined ULIMO (The movement for Freedom and Democracy in Liberia), starting out as a commander's servant. Soon, he learned how to shoot and was given a Beretta pistol, because he was too small for a machine-gun. During one of the battles, he saw the man who shot his father and shot him, although the man had no ammunition left.

Today "Hitler the Killer" (called AB by his friends) has laid down his arms but the past still haunts. "I have nightmares of those I have killed, he says. I see their faces. Sometimes I sit down and cry. I don't want to kill them anymore. I want to forget them." Still in certain ways, AB misses the easy life that carrying a gun gave him.

Children who have put down their arms have to be disarmed mentally and emotionally as well. Children at the care of CAP, a religious group that works with the rehabilitation of the child soldiers in Monrovia are addicted to marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines or gun powder (the powder is taken out of the ammunition, burned and mixed with rice, the juice of sugarcane or hashish).

Listen to the radio story (in french)  (27'57" in Real Audio) or read the transcript.

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