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Press Releases

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Former Child Soldier Charles Wratto Speaks at SU Thursday, September 5

Charles WrattoSALISBURY, MD---From age 8, Charles Wratto witnessed and survived the horrors of two civil wars — one in his native Liberia and another in neighboring Sierra Leone as a refugee.

At age 15, he was forced to become a soldier in the cannibal war of Liberia. He speaks about his experiences and the terrors he faced Thursday, September 5, as part of Salisbury University’s “One Person Can Make a Difference” lecture series. His presentation, “Broken Calabash: Join the Fight Against Child Soldiering and Slavery,” is 5:30 p.m. in Teacher Education and Technology Center Room 153.

Wratto considers himself fortunate compared to many of the child soldiers he fought alongside. In 2001, he left Liberia and went to Mali, where he met Belemina Obunge, a Nigerian national. Obunge took him in as a son and helped him finish grade school. Wratto then completed his B.S. in international relations at Nigeria’s Igbinedion University Okada. Today, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in crisis and conflict management at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca, Romania.

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He writes about peace and conflict on his blog,, and shares his story in the forthcoming book Broken Calabash: Memoirs of a Survivor.

Sponsored by the Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution Department and Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution, admission to his talk is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

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