Stumbled upon this article, where BBC programme is looking at the stories behind the AK-47.
It’s a story about the Sierra Leone child soldier’s carrying and using the AK-47, it’s the weapon of choice for child soldiers, as it is light and easy to use but can discharge 600 rounds per minute.
The AK-47 is a gas-operated assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, and produced by Russian manufacturer Izhevsk Mechanical Works and used in many Eastern bloc nations during the Cold War. It was adopted and standardized in 1947.
In 1808, Freetown became a British Crown Colony, and in 1896, the interior of the country became a British Protectorate. The Crown Colony and Protectorate joined and gained independence in 1961. From 1991 to 2000, the country suffered greatly under a devastating civil war. To end the civil war, UN and British forces disarmed 17,000 militia and rebels, in the largest UN peacekeeping act of the decade. The average life span of a Sierra Leonean is 38 years for men and 42 years for women.
I killed a lot of people. I feel so bad now that I am in the town, training people for skilled jobs. I feel so discouraged for the fact that I have been killing people, so sad for the lives that I have dislodged. May God have mercy upon me.
Children, on account of their special vulnerability are the most seriously affected. This stands to justify the ever increasing attention that the subject of child combatants or child soldiers is now given in many countries of the world.