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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Child Soldiers in the Civil War in Sierra Leone
Author:Zack-Williams, Alfred B.
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:Sierra Leone
Subjects:civil wars
child soldiers
Military, Defense and Arms
External links:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03056240108704504
Abstract:This article examines the factors which have brought children into social movements challenging those wielding political power in Sierra Leone. It analyses the ambiguous situation of the current generation of the country's children, who are caught between disintegrating family forms, an authoritarian State and a grasping global capitalism. It argues that with ongoing crises in both the economic and political realms undermining kinship structures and leaving children with little security, some have turned to surrogate families for protection, either on the street or in the ranks of combatants. The article reviews the millenarian appeal of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) for the marginalized children and examines how children have been recruited. Although some of the children who have participated in the war have been volunteers, thousands more have been abducted and socialized via brute violence on both sides. These circumstances need to be borne in mind when formulating an effective demobilization and rehabilitation policy. Bibliogr., sum.