Long Way Gone Compare Contrast

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Samantha Mackin
Period: 3, 10/27/12
Abu and Ishmael Compare and Contrast
In 1991 the RUF, (Revolutionary United Front) was established in Sierra Leone with the intent to change the government, but the only motivations it seemed to have were loot, power, and glory. The RUF’s fighting quickly became extremely violent. Using child soldiers, torture, and amputation the government responded with the same tactics.

Abu grew up in the village of Kuiva, in eastern Sierra Leone; kidnapped with around thirty other boys in 1991, Abu was a thirteen year old boy who was forced to fight with the rebels. Abu fought for the rebels for six months before he was injured and arrested during an attack on a battalion of government troops. He then was used to wash uniforms and polish boots.

Ishmael grew up in Mogbwemo with his younger brother, and mother. In 1993, when Ishmael is twelve he travels to Mattru Jong with some of his friends for a talent school, and discovers that while he was gone, Mogbwemo was attacked by rebels. He evades the rebel and government armies for a long time, but is eventually captured by government soldiers. In 1996 Ishmael is taken to the UNICEF, (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund), where he is rehabilitated and placed with his Uncle.

Abu first fought with the rebels for fear of being killed, yet Ishmael fought with the government against the rebels. Because Abu’s family was stranded behind the rebel line, Abu fought with the government after he was captured by government soldiers.

Abu often went out to clubs in the rebel army; on the other hand, Ishmael’s life in the government army had a lot less freedom. Ishmael spent his time in the government’s bases or out fighting to claim another base.

Although they both had pretty big differences, they were also quite alike. It was very hard to remember details from the war they were in because both had many drugs in their system which they were given to overcome...
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