Beyond Civil Society: Child Soldiers as Citizens in Mozambique


Thompson, Carol B. 1999. “Beyond Civil Society: Child Soldiers as Citizens in Mozambique.” Review of African Political Economy 26 (80): 191–206.

Author: Carol B. Thompson


The conditions match any of the most terrifying and depraved suffered by past generations afflicted by war. Yet the victims are not only soldiers. At the beginning of this century, 90 per cent of war casualties in Mozambique were military; today about 90 per cent are civilian. Yet even this sobering UNDP (1994) figure does not name the problem, for the term ‘civilian’ obfuscates the vulnerability and innocence of child victims. The conditions for children who are forced to bear arms erase the traditional analytical categories of military, civilian and child. An estimated 300,000 children under 18, some as young as five years old, are currently serving in 36 wars around the world right now.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Boys, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 1999

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