A Long Way Gone

What atrocities does the lieutenant say the rebels shave committed? What reason does he give for why they should not be allowed to live?


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After several days of skirmishes, the lieutenant gathers everyone in the village to the central square. There he informs them that the rebels are near and the military needs the help of able-bodied men or boys. He says those unwilling to join the military are free to leave, but they will have no more food or supplies from the village. The boys discuss their options and realize they only have one choice: join the Sierra Leonean army. To leave the village is to die.

The next day the lieutenant shows the villagers the mutilated bodies of a boy and a man. He informs the villagers that the two attempted to leave the village freely, but the rebels captured, tortured, and killed them. The lieutenant insists that this behavior shows the evil of the rebels and the need for good people to stand up against them.