Henning Mankell tells Liberata’s Story


Barengayabn Liberata_2_photo Michele Sibiloni

Henning, Liberata and her children in Rwamwanja refugee settlement. Photo by UNHCR/M. Sibiloni/2013.

Henning Mankell, Swedish crime novelist, tells Liberata’s story, refugee in Uganda.

“Towards the end of the day, after all the school visits, I meet Barengayabn Liberata, 48 years old. Her village was attacked by rebels in November 2012. During the escape, she was separated from one of their children, the son Aaron. Her husband was killed and she had assumed that Aaron too had been killed. But one day he was also in Uganda. By UNHCR, he was identified and was reunited with his mother. How did you feel about this? I ask, fully aware of the ridiculousness question. Berangayabn Liberata answers not in words. She bursts into a huge cheering laughter.”

Aaron, 12, had escaped the attack and for ten months lived on his own in Democratic Republic of Congo. He survived by doing odd jobs for people such as collecting firewood and digging in exchange for food. He is now relieved and grateful he is no longer alone.

1 family torn apart by war is too many

Learn more about our work with refugees at UNHCR.org