Arrow boys

The air is hot and humid. The beat-up dirt road, lined with hastily abandoned huts, is soon to be swallowed by jungle. The first man to show up sits on a motorbike with a homemade rifle in his hands. After him they start coming out of the bush, one by one: men in worn-out t-shirts, armed with bows, shotguns and Kalashnikovs. They call themselves Arrowboys, a vigilantes group of thousands of frustrated farmers in southern Sudan. Their common enemy is the Lord’s Resistance Army – one of the world’s most dreaded militias. After the civil war in Uganda ended, the LRA divided into smaller units, now raping, looting and killing in southern Sudan, northern DR Congo and the Central African Republic instead. Over 140 000 people have fled their terror since December 2008. Arrowboys fight the LRA with any means, sometimes only bows and arrows. “We are tired. The LRA keeps killing our people and nobody even talks about it. But we will fight them, because we have no other option,” says Luke Umerebati. Text by: Anna Roxvall