Posted by: koolwine | August 20, 2017

Chad: A Teenager in the Chad Civil War

To avoid being killed during Chad’s civil war, fourteen-year-old Ésaïe Toïngar leaves his village to join a group of rebel soldiers. He’d much rather be continuing his schoolwork, and worries constantly about possibility of being forced to kill somebody.

Country Focus: Chad

A Teenager in the Chad Civil War: A Memoir of Survival, 1982-1986
By Ésaïe Toïngar
Published by McFarland & Company, 2006.
224 pgs.

Genre: Memoir

About the author:  Toïngar entered the United States in 1999 as a refugee. He and his family currently live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he is an electrical information engineer. The former child soldier has founded a nonprofit group, Wake Up for Your Rights!, whose mission is to promote peace and justice in Africa.

Esaie Toingar


A few days later, I was selected for a group that would go on patrol. I was sad to go and fight against the innocents who were hiding in the bush to protect themselves or had concealed themselves as CODOs fighting for a just cause. For the sake of our innocent people who were being killed, I had asked God not to allow me to kill. I remembered that during our time with the Green-CODOs in the maquis, we had learned an important military rule: the authority that gives soldiers the order to kill someone or to do something is responsible for the consequences of the soldiers’ actions. If I killed someone, therefore, it was not really I but the officer who gave the order who did the killing. On the other hand, my religious conviction did not allow me to kill someone, because it was said in the commandments of Moses, “you shall not kill.” So I could not rely on the military rule for spiritual justification.

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