As the World Vision statistics suggest and O.J.'s testimony describes, the LRA does not take every child it encounters to be a child soldier. Those that are too small are set free; they are not strong enough to carry looted goods or to use weapons. It also seems that LRA units are given conscription targets that change according to need and objective. In relation to girls, age and "beauty" are selection criteria - one of the main purposes of taking girls is to use them for forced marriage to more senior male LRA soldiers. According to B., abducted in February 1997, "the ones taken are supposed to create a new clan". One child interviewed in May 1997 claimed that "rebels who had captured girls who were not beautiful or smart were beaten by the others for shaming them".
On 10 October 1996 139 girls from St. Mary's School, Aboke in Apac District were abducted. One hundred and nine were subsequently freed after the extraordinary intervention of teachers from the school who chased the rebel group and then pleaded for their release. According to selected girls, the 30 that remained were picked by the LRA commander using the criteria of "beauty" and area of origin. This is 17 year old G.O.'s description of what happened:
Fifteen year old A. was also one of those selected to remain with the LRA: