Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Ivory Coast

Kid-Soldiers; (October 30, 2009)

 

The last two decades witnessed recruiting kids to joining guerillas and armies in the various civil wars in Africa. The UN estimates that more than 300,000 kids played soldiers in various functions.  Since many kid girls were also swiped into “the war efforts” and be used mainly as “sexual slaves” and partners in many other tasks then the UN decided to name these kids “Kids associated with armed groups”.

Over thirty conflicts in the Congo, Chad, Sudan, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leon, Mozambique, Angola, Burundi, Darfur, and Myanmar (former Burma) made the forced recruiting of children a way of life; many kids who grew up quickly by committing murder and learning to survive are still carrying arms after the cessation of hostilities.  The task of re-integrating these kids into their communities is turning to be a daunting effort.  Communities had to re-create rituals of purification so that the kids feel comfortable when welcomed in their families.  The UN is doing its best in that regard under the various MINU* missions.

Isolating these kid-soldiers is not the solution: families and communities have to be encouraged to taking these kids back within society.  The main difficulty is that families have greater need for psychological supports then the kid-soldier since families will have the burden of assimilating and controlling aggressive kids who turned out to be “best soldiers” for killing and executing their “enemies”.  Many of the kid-soldiers were forced to mutilate members of their families to discourage them from escaping the military group and going back to their communities. The kid-soldiers had the opportunity to realize their dreams of omni power status; they feel immortal with power to back it up.

These kid-soldiers would not go into agriculture or solitary jobs outside urban environments: they have dreamt of getting out of their former peasant or tribal restrictions and will not return.  Kid-soldiers like driving taxis in cities, mixing with people, and get remunerated as adult soldiers when disbanded.  Kid-soldiers are mostly ready as reservists for regular armies: fighting is their main job and they learned it better than adult soldiers.

International Justice failed to sent the strong right signal to those who hired and recruited kid-soldiers; actually, many of those recruiters were elevated to ranks of Generals after the civil wars.  What the UN is doing for re-inserting these kid-soldiers is not enough and short on target: the specialists are still in the phase of learning what to do with kid-soldiers before they can measure successes of re-insertion programs.  The governments offering funds for re-integrating kid-soldiers are doing it to relieve their bad conscience and care less for effective results.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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