By Magali Chelpi-den Hamer
Youngest Recruits is an unflinching exam of the advanced motivations that force Ivoirian youngsters out and in of armed teams. Drawing on firsthand adventure with baby squaddies, Magali Chelpi-Den Hamer argues that the preferred narrative approximately children’s restricted corporation is inadequate to provide an explanation for their participation in violent conflicts. particularly she explores intimately the pre- to postwar trajectories of kid and adolescent recruits for you to convey that even the youngest workout some extent of mirrored image and corporation whilst enlisting into the military. as well as laying off mild on a space of significant cultural main issue, the writer invitations readers to mirror at the combined influence of humanitarian interventions that try and reintegrate those kids into society.
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Additional resources for Youngest Recruits: Pre-War, War & Post-War Experiences in Western Cote D'Ivoire
I fell sick. I told my chief I wanted to look after myself so I went to my grandmother’s. But he came and brought me back to his house. I used to work for him, sweep his ﬂoor, prepare his food... I left a second time and that time, my grandmother hid me. When they came to look for me, she told them she did not know where I was. But they told her that she should not lie otherwise they would kill her. She showed them where I was, in a village nearby. I was sick anyway. I could not even get up. When my chief saw me, he told me to come back to him when I was better.
She asked me to quit. She told me she would ﬁ nd me work. I listened to her, and I left the camp. I had no problem to leave. I talked to my commander, and I told him I was tired of the life in the camp. I told him I wanted to go home. He was ﬁ ne with that. ’ ‘My chief had a lot of debts and had failed to pay back those higher in command. He was killed because of that. I saw it. I quit right after. My chief had told me that he would give me money, but now that he had died, I told myself that I would not get anything and that I might die as well if I stayed in the rebellion.
Other times, it is more complex. Not continuing an activity can be linked to stigma (being known as a former recruit), discrimination (being labelled idle or a thief ), or lack of means (lacking the money to pay the tuition fee to the workshop owner). Such behaviour must therefore not be interpreted as deviant, and development actors have a genuine interest in understanding what motivates participants to divert from their initial reinsertion stream. It can pave the way to better programming. ‘My ﬁrst boss kicked me out.