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There was demonstrations in front of the courthouse and all the news media wrote articles and reported from the trial. I do not think there was a single Dane who didn't had an opinion on that kind of callous and brutal assault, that was committed by this young man. But in the midst of our excitement over the crime, there was certainly some people who did not pay attention to the fact, that Ahmed Omar Mohamed, had been a child soldier in an al-Qaeda group in Somalia.
Maybe our view of this young man would have been a little more nuanced, if we knew about his horrific background. And maybe a fewer Danes had yelled so loud if they only knew what he had suffered as a child soldier.
My views on this case has certainly changed significantly after I've read 'Beneath The Darkening Sky' by Majok Tulba.
It is a most unpleasant book that brings the reader into a world of murder, rape and cruelty to an extent you hardly comprise. Majok Tulba describes Obinna, an 11-year-old Sudanese boy, who is forced to witness his village is destroyed by the rebel army. He attends how his own father is brutally slaughtered. And after worth, he and his older brother are forced to follow the rebels back to their camp to serve 'the just cause'.
The cruelty that Obinna experiences on his own body and at the same time sees around him, forces him to mature in a very short time. The transformation from an innocent and naive boy to a bloodthirsty and cruel child soldier occurs in no time. Not because he wants to change. He just want to survive. And in the rebel army you only survive as long as the general believes in your potential as a loyal soldier. So Obinna does what he is ordered to do, and displaces its own dreams and personality traits.
'Beneath The Darkening Sky' is a book that really gets under your skin. It's unbelievable that people are able to show such a callous and diabolical evil against another fellow human being. But this is actually happening around us! It happens right now - while you're reading these words! That's why this book is highly significant.
There is no excuse for what Ahmed Omar Mohamed did to that 10-year-old girl. But after reading 'Beneath The Darkening Sky', his deeds are at least explainable. No one can live as a child soldier and remain a full, harmonious and rational thinking human being. That is the horrible and heartbreaking truth!