Aynalem Zenebe Ethiopia

image of Aynalem Zenebe

Aynalem Zenebe Ethiopia

My name is Aynalem Zenebe. I am 18 years old, and I come from Ethiopia where I live with my family in the city of Mekelle, in the northern part of the country.

On 5th June 1998, when I was only seven years old, I came back home after the end of the school as I did every day. I remembered this day well, as two strikes bombed the school and its surroundings. On this day, I was injured and lost consciousness. I have been told that some people took me to a hospital in Mekelle. I spent 5 months in this hospital, before being transferred to another hospital in Addis Abeba, the capital, with five other victims.

Not only I, but also my younger brother and my two older sisters were injured by cluster bombs this same day. I was the most seriously injured, as I lost one of my legs, and now I have an artificial limb below my knee, that I received from a physical rehabilitation centre. I don't even remember when this amputation was done; I just know that it was done in Mekelle before I was transferred to Addis Abeba.

At the time, I was too young to realize the consequences in my life of an amputation. I started to realize when I understood that it was not possible to go playing football with other children anymore.

Now in my family, we do not speak about this accident anymore, as we prefer not to remember this dark day. I just speak about the accident with my friends who are the same age as me.

I am a student currently in a vocational school where I am studying commercial studies. I have had to accept my disability, and do not think too much of my leg, even if I get pains when I cannot sit down for a long time.

I am here for the first time attending a cluster munition conference in Kampala as I do not want to see other people facing the same problems as I have because of cluster bombs, and I want to use this opportunity to make government Delegates understand how terrible these weapons are.