Abducted, Forcefully Conscripted, Trained to Kill, Mortally Wounded and Narrow Escape to Forge a New Life: A former Child Soldier’s Harrowing Account of Survival and Ultimate Redemption
By Moco McCaulay
The sound of gunfire and rocket-propelled grenade ferociously sliced through the air, shattering the calm of the humdrum morning. It was August 1990 and the town of Tubmanburg, in Bomi County, one of Liberia’s provincial districts, was under attack from the invading rebel forces of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), the defunct rebel army headed by Charles Taylor, who was recently convicted and sentenced to a 50-year jail term for “aiding and abetting” the commission of war crimes during the civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone.
Morlee Gugu Zawoo, Sr., who was just 15 years old at the time, along with his twin brother, Alex, and the rest of his family were hunkered down in their house as bullets and rocket-propelled grenades flew helter-skelter over their heads. Fearful and gasping from the suffocating uncertainty about the fate that awaited them, they stayed indoors all day and night, waiting for the fighting to subside.