(Newsweek) – As dawn broke on January 10, a small group of rebel fighters from Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) quietly took up positions along a road near Aza, a small mining community in eastern Central African Republic (CAR). Over the next few hours, they intercepted dozens of unwitting travelers leaving the village by foot and on bicycle. Each traveler was escorted by an armed LRA fighter to a small clearing in the forest, where they were ordered to hand over their phones, as well as any cash or diamonds they carried. Looted of their belongings, the captives were then given a terse warning: “If you run, we kill.” As the sky grew dark, an LRA commander ordered the collected prisoners to return home, with the exception of seven young boys and men. One of the boys was only 10 years old.