Intro to SAP

Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children


  • Officers would tell kids to kill their parents or siblings and once they have the child would feel guilty and ashamed to go back to the village. The officer would then tell them that it's okay and justify the child's actions. (manipulating them into trusting the officers and enlist in the militia)
  • Many of these kids have seen the ones they love die right in front of them - in my genocide class we learned that as humans we tend to do horrid things in bad/stressful situations, as a means for survival (we tell ourselves that it's the only way)
  • Some of the kids felt as if they had no other option - one of the boys was given cocaine and a gun, and had shot someone. Once he realized what he had done he thought that there was no going back (this could be a form of manipulation - getting the child to believe that they are a monster and that there is no going back)
  • A boy held a gun for the first time, and when he pulled the trigger, he shook and trembled with fear, but with practice and time he had impeccable gunmanship. His leader told him that he was "crucial to their group's success" - the child was proud of his new skills
  • The child soldiers were waiting out side the school and looked as if they were wearing masks as they held up guns and tied up fellow children - the children being tied up were scared, as they were being tied up by monsters, monsters that looked a lot like themselves
  • A killed or be killed situation - the soldiers fear for their lives


Exposure to Violence

  • Peoples' corpse lay on the street covered in blood
  • The citizens of Rwanda had become accustomed to seeing people die - 800 thousand people died
Child Soldiers (also falls under sociology)
  • Around 250 thousand child soldiers
  • Ethical problem when facing a child soldier - Do you open fire on them? Whether their firing at you or the ones your protecting - Do you view this being as a child or a soldier? (psychological)
  • Kony kidnapped over 30 thousand kids - forcing the males to become child soldiers and the females to become sex slaves
  • "Children are more likely to become child soldiers if they are separated from their homes, living in combat zones or have limited access to education. Children may 'voluntarily' take part in warfare, not realizing the dangers and abuses they will be subjected to. Most likely these children are responding to economic, cultural, social and political pressure." (
  • It was common in Africa to have child soldiers (socially accepted - sociology)
  • The child soldiers were abused and have been through harsh conditions


  • kids were taught how to use weapons at such a young age
  • Omar Kadhir - was forced to enlist in the militia at the age of 13 - was later arrested for killing a white soldier
  • no other nation wanted get involved as they would be sending in more of their own soldiers to die
  • some of the refugees fled to the Congo
  • it was common to see children using various weapons (child soldiers were 'socially accepted')
  • it was so common that many people didn't see the harm in having child soldiers
  • children were kept as soldiers because they were young and naive, meaning that they were obedient and didn't question anything - conformity (they adapted to the 'militia life' fairly quickly - going from an innocent kid, to becoming a weapon of war)
  • wanted to take back political control of Rwanda
  • a boy was separated from his family and taken in by a FDLR captain. at the age of 15 he was forced to enlist in the miltia. - he didn't want to spend another "sleepless night fighting"
  • take in kids under the age of 15 but deny to doing so (child soldiers)
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