Hear the children cry.

Posted on 2 January, 2009. Filed under: Africa | Tags: , , , , , |

So, while everybody is trying to convince Israel and Palestine to live in peace,  Africa  goes on being Africa, largely unnoticed, largely uncommented on.

On December 26, the day after Christmas, which for many of us means a lot more than Santa, presents and eggnog, a group of people were hacked to death at a church in the Congo. We don’t know how many, sources vary from 30, to 80, to 100, to 120, to 150. Apparently by a Ugandan rebel group who call themselves, wait for it, “The Lord’s Resistance Army”. I can only pray that they do not for a single moment mean the Lord as in Him, God. But then, given the general prevailing madness, who knows?

These people, mostly women and children (as usual) were hacked to death with machetes.

Hacked to death.

Hacked.

To death.

It doesn’t quite sink in, does it? We are so insulated, few of us have ever seen death up close and personal. And when we have, it’s usually in a peaceful, sterile setting. In a hospital. Sickness, old age, heart attack, cancer.  Not the kind of death that comes in vivid technicolour with smells, people urinating and defecating in fear. Shouting, screaming, howling, begging for mercy. Fear, hysteria, desperation, terror. Children, old people, men, women. Trying to get away, running, being blocked, herded like cattle towards certain death. Mothers clasping babies to their chests. Begging, for themselves, for their children. Children separated from parents, alone, terrified, calling, crying, not understanding how there can be something this horrible in the world. Not understanding how a mother or a father can’t protect them from this. No instantaneous death. Bleeding, an arm or a foot already hacked off. Scramble away. A kick, something broken. Another cut, more blood, more pain, more fear. How long till you wish, not for the salvation of life, but for the salvation of death?

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc,
et in hora mortis nostrae.
Amen.

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