Banner Image

Annuarite Kat

Annuarite Kat

Annuarite - Photo Collection
Placeholder image
Democratic Republic of Congo
25 years old
Creative art: Tailoring, fashion, photo-shoot
Interviewed: 19th April 2022
Biography collected by Serge Kasongo

[This story contains graphic descriptions of sexual violence]

In 2013, I was kidnapped by men in black uniforms. They came at night and started interrogating our mother, wanting to know where my father was. Mom answered that he’d been kidnapped the day before, and he hadn't come back yet. They raped our mother in our presence. They made one of my brothers rape her as well. Then I was raped, as well as my cousin. Afterwards they forced my brother to rape me in the presence of Mum as well as all my family. They tortured and beat us heavily, and wanted to hang my brothers. They took out knives to cut off our breasts. My brothers lost their fingers and ears because the men crushed them with a hammer. They continued to torture us until we fell unconscious. When I woke up, we were already in the bush. I don't know how I ended up there. In the bush, I was still tortured, raped, driven to drugs and violence. They used me as a wife, and the sexual violence was atrocious. Even the doctors had to rape me after treating me. I was sick, and the doctor examined me and realized that I was pregnant. The commander took me and put me in his house. He used me as a wife. He gave me guards to protect me when he was not at home. I gave birth and the doctor took a paper and wrote the child's date of birth and put the paper in a bag. Then he put the bag on the hip of the child. They spoke another language that I did not understand. The commander had a Motorola in his house, and when he spoke on the phone, he used a language that I did not understand. During the days and during the nights, men took weapons, and in the morning, there was nothing. I saw it all through the window. After a while, the commander left on a mission, and the message reached us after three days that he had been killed. The man who was assigned as my guard then took me as his wife.

The commander had often taken me to the river to bathe. Other days we had gone to the edge of the camp, and I saw rebels bringing in parcels by bicycle. Others had parcels on their heads. So many things like sugar, rice, oil, and others. I realized that this was the exit. Life in the bush was too hard. During the night, soldiers from the opposite side came to wake us up to ask us to change sides.

My child fell ill, showing signs of swelling, because he was not eating, because the caretaker gave him drugs. He tied him up while he was still because he wanted the child dead. He was hitting us, and I experienced pain because my child was still a baby. I started thinking about escaping. And I told the woman who was with me that I will leave here one day, because the condition of my child was bad. The woman told me that she also wanted to leave. We were getting ready when one day our husbands went out on an operation. It was on October 22nd, 2015, that me, my child, and the other woman escaped from the camp. For three days, we were lost in the bush. Finally, we saw smoke, and we began to follow it. We found ourselves at a charcoal oven, and we spent the night there. In the morning, the owners of the oven came and woke us up. The other woman started having an asthma attack. The owners asked us where we were from. We told them our story, but the other woman stopped breathing, and died. We left to bury her in a village called Bunagana. The owners of the oven then brought me to a pastor, because the condition of my child was not good. The pastor paid for care for me and my child. Then he gave me transport to the port. I found a boat taking packages and got inside. During the night, the people who worked on the boat came into the room where I was and asked me where I was going. I replied that I was going to Tanzania. They asked me for my ticket, and I replied that I did not have a ticket. I started to tell my story. They promised to help me once in Tanzania. At the port of Tanzania, they abandoned me. I started asking people for help. I saw a man who I asked for help, and he asked me what had happened to me. I told him the whole story. He told me that there is a refugee camp in Malawi, and that he would help me. That's how I ended up in Dzaleka. I met my biological mother 6 months later.