RealNews

Youth Abducted, and Trained to Kill

A report paints a chilling portrait of the phenomenon of child soldiers in Liberia. The children had nicknames based on their grimmest deeds — like “Castrator” or “Laughing and Killing.” Some dyed their hair bright orange. Others fought naked to terrify the enemy. Some girl soldiers fought in their underwear because they thought it would make them magical and bulletproof. They carried the scars of secret initiation rites and wore neck charms that they believed would protect them from enemy bullets, though one 17-year-old, Isaac T., conceded that the magic did not work against larger artillery. The commanders in Liberia’s four-year war deny recruiting child soldiers. But, according to the accounts of child soldiers interviewed by the New York-based organization Human Rights Watch, the government and two rebel groups abducted children as young as nine and turned them into combatants during the past four years. The kidnappings occurred when children were on their way to school or from camps for displaced people, said the group, which protected the children’s identities. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.