"CONDEMNED - Mental health in African countries in crisis"
A week before this photo was taken 12 year old Simba Merci escaped from The Lord’s Resistance Army after 18 months captivity. She talks of her time in the bush: “I was there in the bush carrying heavy loads. I dreamed of escaping. Every time you spoke you’d be beaten, not just with sticks but sometimes with a machete. Every day I was beaten for something. And they killed people and that was bad. I was very sad all the time. When they beat someone like that with machetes or kill them, they get everyone else to gather around to watch. I had to kill people, or hold someone while they killed them. I had to kill people who had become my friends while we were walking. To kill someone for no reason, it made me very sad. Here I’m not going to have to kill anyone. I can be with my family. So I want to try to be happy... I see those things, they play out in front of my eyes and even at night these things keep coming back in my dreams. It happens all the time and it makes me very frightened." People live in fear of the frequent and sometimes brutal attacks of The Lord’s Resistance Army. Children are often targeted and violence perpetrated sometimes extraordinary. Northern Democratic Republic of Congo. June 2011. Robin Hammond/Panos