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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:When the war de-professionalises soldiers: wartime stories in exile
Author:Maringira, Godfrey
Year:2015
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Volume:41
Issue:6
Pages:1315-1329
Language:English
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:veterans
memory
war
armed forces
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2015.1084769
Abstract:The narratives of Zimbabwean soldiers who fought in the Democratic Republic of Congo war (1998-2002) have received scant attention, particularly at a time when the professionalisation of the Zimbabwean National Army (ZNA) is questioned by scholars and, largely, by the private media, in and outside Zimbabwe. This article explores accounts of soldiers who joined the ZNA in post-independence Zimbabwe: those without a liberation history. The article reveals these ex-soldiers' accounts of their profound disappointment about the way in which the Zimbabwean army was 'de-professionalised' in its deployment in the DRC war. They felt that the army, particularly the commanders, became unprofessional in their practice. The men's disappointment ranged from the poor conduct in war, lack of food and clothing, and the inability of the army to repatriate soldiers' dead bodies from the war terrain. The author argues that the accounts of de-professionalisation provide a vantage point from which to analyse the current politicisation of the Zimbabwe defence forces. The article is based on 44 life histories. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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