ADAMASAY KAMARA, 14, was out in the bush gathering fruit when the rebels came to her village near Port Loko, Sierra Leone, in May. Until that day she had only heard stories about the almost unbelievable atrocities they had committed - raping girls, cutting their limbs, drugging them, handing them guns to kill their parents...
That day she lived the nightmare that in the past eight years has devastated thousands of children's lives in the diamond-rich West African country. "As we were walking back to Magboru, our village, we could see that the rebels were there. So we ran away.
"But another group found us. They had uniforms and they said they were Ecomog (West African peace-keepers) so we thought we were safe. They tied our hands behind our backs and led us to Magboru," she said.
Later that day in Magboru, Adamasay's hands were cut off by machete. Her village burnt down, she now lives with surviving members of her family and other "useless" people, as the amputees call themselves, at Murray Town refugee camp in the capital, Freetown. It is a place that could be full of hope, with its new plastic tarpaulins cladding neat wood structures in tidy rows, and a prosthesis workshop. About 300 adults and children live here - amputees and their families waiting for a future to present itself.
They rarely go out on to the main road that passes their camp, perhaps for fear of the reactions of the able-bodied. In truth, it is hard to see how these war victims - mainly rural farmers who used to live by their hands - can have any hope.
Adamasay was with her sister, Mariatu, 13, when the rebels came to Magboru. "In the village, which had eight houses, there was shouting and screaming all day. The rebels wanted food. They shot many men. They forced the women and the old people into the huts, then burnt them down.
"For some reason they chose two men and the two of us to watch it all. We thought we were going to be taken away as prisoners.
"But they changed their minds. In the afternoon, after they had put black powder into our mouths which made us light-headed, they led the two men and me to the cotton tree. This is where they cut our hands, against the tree trunk. At the same time they led Mariatu away, and they used [raped] her," said Adamasay, her stumps resting pathetically on her lap.
The left stump has healed, clean, where her wrist used to be. Her right stump, which includes the knuckle of her thumb, is painted with a purple antiseptic. It was not a clean cut and has given her much pain.
Murray Town is full of lost looks - amputated children who cannot play as they used to and even need to be lifted up if they are to sit on a fence. …