Non-State Armed Groups

Femmes dans la guerre d’Algérie. Entretien avec Fatma Baïchi


Amrane, Djamila. 1999. “Femmes dans la guerre d’Algérie. Entretien avec Fatma Baïchi.” Clio. Histoire, femmes et sociétés, 9, en ligne. DOI: 10.4000/clio.1530

English: Amrane, Djamila. 1999. “Women in Algeria’s war. Interview with Fatma Baïchi.” Clio. History, women and societies, 9, online. DOI: 10.4000/clio.1530.

Author: Djamila Amrane


Article is divided into three parts. The first part is a summary of an interview with Fatima Baichi in 1998 on the topic of women in the Algerian War. The second part of the article is a summary of an earlier interview between the author and Fatima in 1980 on Fatima’s life story and how she came to be involved with the Nationalist movement and her experiences therein with her “sisters in combat”. The third part of the article is the questions and responses of the 1998 interview on life after the conflict.


“Sollicitée en 1980 pour un entretien sur la guerre de libération nationale, Fatma Baïchi accepte sans réticence et, dès la première rencontre, devient partie prenante de ce projet d’écrire l’histoire des femmes militantes ignorées par l’historiographie. L’entretien se déroule dans une atmosphère détendue, elle parle submergée par le flot des souvenirs, son récit se déroule avec une multitude de détails. Cependant elle remarque que c’est la première fois qu’elle raconte cette période de sa vie. Elle s’étonne de son long silence... “c’est pour pouvoir vivre”explique-t-elle. “Silence de survie... Silence bruissant de l’appétit de vivre ” répond Jorge Semprun confronté à la même interrogation. Son récit aux accents d’authenticité et d’une spontanéité émouvante laisse pourtant apparaître le travail de la mémoire qui efface l’indicible et préserve les traces d’humanité protégeant ainsi l’intégrité psychique de l’individu et lui permettant de survivre à l’horreur. Elle est une des très rares interviewées à évoquer la torture mais elle le fait très brièvement. Elle explique qu’elle a été arretée et torturée à deux reprises, mais les deux fois elle n’a qu’une phrase, décousue et inachevée, pour décrire les tortures subie. Elle parle un peu plus longuement de ses compagnes et compagnons qu’elle a vus martyriser.” (Amrane, 1999, p1)

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Nationalism, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Algeria

Year: 1999

Forced Marriage within the Lord’s Resistance Army, Uganda


Carlson, Kristopher, and Dyan Mazurana. 2008. Forced Marriage within the Lord’s Resistance Army, Uganda. Somerville, MA: Feinstein International Center.

Authors: Kristopher Carlson, Dyan Mazurana


The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)—a rebel movement fighting the government of Uganda—is estimated to have kidnapped over 60,000 Ugandan children and youth. Those abducted include one in three male adolescents and one in six female adolescents in northern Ugandan. While in captivity thousands of abducted young women and girls—most of whom are from the Acholi, Lango, and Iteso peoples—fought, cooked, carried supplies, fetched water, and cleaned for LRA fighters and commanders, including those who organized and carried out their abductions. Many of those abducted also served as forced wives to male members of the group. Half of those forced into marriage bore children. A minority of abducted females was forced to fight and some used violence against their own communities.

This report is based on in-depth investigation, primarily drawing on the testimony of 103 women and girls who were abducted and forced into marriage with LRA combatants. The authors also interviewed parents and family members of abducted females; ex-LRA combatants; religious, clan, and community leaders; local government officials; Acholi and Langi clan leaders and people responsible for customary law; lawyers, and local, national, and international NGOs working in northern Uganda. (Feinstein International Center)

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2008

Women and the Military: Implications for Demilitarization in the 1990s in South Africa


Cock, Jacklyn. 1994. "Women and the Military: Implications for Demilitarization in the 1990s in South Africa." Gender & Society 8 (2): 152-69.

Author: Jacklyn Cock


Militarization--the mobilization of resources for war--is a gendering process. It both uses and maintains the ideological construction of gender in the definitions of masculinity and femininity. This article draws on material from contemporary South Africa to illustrate the relation between gender and militarization in four respects: how women actively contribute toward the process of militarization; the similarities in the position of women in both conventional and guerrilla armies; the durability of patriarchy and the fragility of the gains made for women during periods of war; and, finally, how the South African experience sharpens the debate about the relation between equal rights and women's participation in armies. The article concludes that there is no necessary relation between demilitarization and gender equality.

Topics: DDR, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization, Non-State Armed Groups, Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1994

Individual Demobilization and Reintegration Process in Colombia: Implementation, Challenges and Former Combatants' Perspectives


Anaya, Liliana. 2007. "Individual Demobilization and Reintegration Process in Colombia: Implementation, Challenges and Former Combatants' Perspectives." Intervention 5 (3): 179-90. doi:10.1097/WTF.0b013e3282f1d036.

Author: Liliana Anaya


After decades of armed conflict, the Colombian government has implemented a voluntary individual disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme (DDR). This paper is based on interviews of former combatants from illegal armed groups, from both the left and right, governmental officials, and military personnel involved in the processes. The findings of this research suggest that the individual demobilization process as a military strategy is a success. However, in order to strengthen the peace-building process, the programme needs to give more support to the socialization and re-socialization processes that former combatants experience. It needs to provide the former combatants with the skills needed to be economically and socially productive members of society. This will help them redefine their identity as civilians and undergo a successful reintegration and reconciliation.

Keywords: ex-combatants, peace-building, reconciliation, reintegration, re-socialization

Topics: Combatants, DDR, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2007

The Quest for Masculinity in a Defeated France, 1940-1945


Capdevila, Luc. 2001. "The Quest for Masculinity in a Defeated France, 1940-1945." Contemporary European History 10 (3, Theme Issue: Gender and War in Europe c. 1918-1949): 423-45.

Author: Luc Capdevila


This article provides a detailed analysis of the individuals who enrolled in Vichy fighting units at the end of the German occupation. Those groups were mostly created in late 1943 and early 1944, and acted as effective subsidiaries to German troops, treating civilians and partisans with extreme violence. The enrolment of those men was a consequence of their political beliefs, notably strong anti-communism. But the fact that their behaviour seems born of desperation (some were recruited after D-Day) is a hint that it was shaped according to other cultural patterns, especially an image of masculinity rooted in the memory of the First World War and developed, among others, according to fascist and Nazi ideologies: a manhood based on strength, the violence of warfare and the image of the soldier. This article provides an analysis based on judiciary documents from the time of the purge, with a careful reconstruction of personal trajectories and self discourse in order to understand the masculine identity these sometimes very young men tried to realise through political engagement in the guise of warriors. (Cambridge Journals)




Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Violence Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: France

Year: 2001

Challenges and Opportunities for Women’s Land Rights in Post-Conflict Northern Uganda


Kindi, Fredrick Immanuel. 2010. “Challenges and Opportunities for Women’s Land Rights in Post-Conflict Northern Uganda.” Working Paper 26, MICROCON-A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict, Brighton.

Author: Fredrick Immanuel Kindi


Since the late 1980s to 2006, the northern region of Uganda underwent an armed conflict between the government of Uganda and the rebel group led by Joseph Kony. The conflict displaced virtually the entire population in the region, and by 1990 people were living in internally displaced peoples’ camps. As the war winds up, many people have left the camps returning to their former villages. The journey back home has not been easy, however. For women in particular, many are facing a lot of challenges especially related to access, ownership and use of land. Using data that was qualitatively gathered in two IDP camps in Gulu district, northern Uganda, the paper examines these challenges. It argues however that despite the challenges, opportunities do exist that can be exploited, if there is commitment by various stakeholders, to ensure that women access, own and use land in the return process.



“In this paper I examine the challenges of women’s land rights in the return process in the region. I also assess the effectiveness of Peace, Recovery and Development Plan in addressing these challenges in the post conflict reconstruction. I conclude by noting the opportunities that can be exploited to address some of the challenges in the post conflict reconstruction.” (3)

“In situations of high mortality of men during the war, the women who have survived have found it difficult to secure access to land that was formerly owned or jointly owned by the husbands or with other male relatives. This is because such women might be denied access to land by their in-laws or by other surviving male relatives. This phenomenon has been widely reported in countries that have experienced armed conflicts. For instance, UNHCR (2001) noted that in the aftermath of the genocide and massacres of 1994 in Rwanda, many women who became widows met stiff resistance from in-laws or male members of their own family in accessing land. While in Kenya Mwagiru (2001: 19) reported that the conflicts of 1991-1993, including one of 1997 due to general elections, had serious consequences that adversely affected social patterns, including access to land and property rights.” (5)

“As Hetz, et al (2007) argued, the time span of displacement tends often to correlate with the incidences of disputes and conflicts over access to land and land rights. In such a context, women’s chances to own and access land are thinned as most of them flee from such conflicts.” (5)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Non-State Armed Groups, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2010

From Aba to Ugborodo: Gender Identity and Alternative Discourse of Social Protest among Women in the Oil Delta of Nigeria


Ukeje, Charles. 2004. “From Aba to Ugborodo: Gender Identity and Alternative Discourse of Social Protest among Women in the Oil Delta of Nigeria.” Oxford Development Studies 32 (4): 605-17. 

Author: Charles Ukeje


From the outset of the 1990s, the Niger Delta became a hotbed of communal rivalries and violent protests by deprived oil communities against the alliance of the Nigerian State and multinational oil companies. Community grievances mostly revolved around issues such as ecological degradation, unemployment and dearth of basic social amenities. In 2002 a wave of protests by women from different ethnic groups led to the occupation of major oil platforms. This paper contextualizes the separate protests against the background of crude oil-induced violent conflicts in the Niger Delta. It explores the various dimensions of the revolts, drawing on historical antecedents of gender-specific social actions in Nigeria. Finally, it examines how the protests and occupation of oil platforms by women challenge orthodox wisdom about the autonomous agency of women in stimulating alternative social and political discourses and actions.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Economies, Environment, Ethnicity, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Multi-National Corporations, Political Economies, Political Participation, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2004

Why Women Are at War with Chevron: Nigerian Subsistence Struggles Against the International Oil Industry


Turner, Terisa E., and Leigh S. Brownhill. 2004. “Why Women Are at War with Chevron: Nigerian Subsistence Struggles Against the International Oil Industry.” Journal of Asian and African Studies 39 (1-2): 63–93. doi:10.1177/0021909604048251.

Authors: Terisa E. Turner, Leigh S. Brownhill


This study is an inquiry into why women were at war with oil companies in Nigeria and how they internationalized their struggle. Employing the Midnight Notes Collective’s concept of “the new enclosures”; Shiva, Mies, and Bennholdt-Thomsen’s “subsistence perspective”; and McMurtry’s concept of the “civil commons,” the study elaborates a “gendered class analysis” to consider the social anatomy of coordinated global actions by producers and consumers of oil. Part one examines the period from July 2002 to February 2003. Nigerian women occupied oil terminals and flow stations and inspired global protests against war and oil companies. Part two considers widespread Nigerian workers’ strikes in the period from February 2003 to July 2003. These included work stoppages in transport, the oil industry, and the public service; a two-week seizure by oil workers of four Trans-ocean deep-sea platforms and an eight-day general strike against increases in the price of petroleum products. Part three analyzes the July–September 2003 period. From 10 July 2003 peasant women occupied oil facilities throughout the Delta. As official government neared collapse, village and clan-based organizations assumed much of the responsibility for the oversight of their own communities. By September 2003, insurgents shut down some 40 percent of Nigerian crude oil production capacity. Villagers denied oil companies all physical access to the western Delta. Chevron/Texaco, Shell, other majors and their contractors evacuated their Warri headquarters. The autonomous village organizations, linked to each other through regional solidarity networks, coordinated pan-Delta defense against Nigerian and U.S. military counterinsurgency. The study concludes with an analysis of the roots of insurgent power and direct deals in oil.

Keywords: international oil industry, Nigeria, subsistence, women


“Women are at the forefront of social movements because, despite their being largely unwaged, capital exploits them as it commodifies and uses up “free” nature, social services, built space, and the production of paid and unpaid work.” (Turner and Brownhill, 2004, p. 64)
 “In 2002 women who are responsible for much of the farming, fishing, feeding and life sustenance stood up against corporate destruction.” (p. 64)
“A much more fertile form of anti-imperial, transformational ‘globalization from below’…provoked women outside of Nigeria to defend subsistence as life-affirmation in the context of global anti-war mobilization” (p. 65)
“The international oil companies bring two (among several) groups of people – those resident on oil reserves and those who consume oil – into one organization (i.e. the organization of the oil corporations themselves and the oil market that they define). Because the oil companies bring these two groups into one global organization; the groups, by acting together, have the power to destroy the corporations by simultaneously denying them crude oil and product purchases.” (p. 65)
“In much of Africa, women throw off their clothes in an ultimate protest to say ‘this is where life comes from. I hereby revoke your life.’ Nakedness by elderly women, in particular, is used in extreme and life-threatening situations. Women wielding the weapon of the exposed vagina could be killed or raped. It is with the knowledge of the act’s life and death implications that women enter into such protest. Women who go naked implicitly state that they will get their demands met or die in the process of trying. Many men subjected to this “social execution” believe they will actually die when exposed to such a serious threat.” (p. 71)


Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Class, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Globalization, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Multi-National Corporations, Political Economies, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2004

Contextualizing Petro-Sexual Politics


Turcotte, H. M. 2011. “Contextualizing Petro-Sexual Politics.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 36 (3): 200–220. doi:10.1177/0304375411418597.

Author: H. M. Turcotte


Petro-violence is a feminist issue. Through the examination of U.S. mainstream narratives of gender violence and petroleum violence within Nigeria, the author reveals how gender and sexuality are central to representations of terrorism and ethnic-gang conflict within petroleum politics. Through a framework of petro-sexual politics, which links histories of gender and petroleum violence together, the author considers how petro-violence materializes in multiple forms that have always been gendered and systemically violent. By demonstrating that gender violence is not merely an effect of petro-violence, the author argues it is the necessary condition for such violence to even take place. Understanding petro-politics means recognizing that gender violence is part of a larger political economy of violence that creates the conditions fostering and facilitating petro-politics in the first place.

Keywords: gender violence, petroleum politics, social imaginaries, transnational feminisms, contextualizing petro-sexual politcs



“Within international studies, ethnic conflict is constructed as ‘internal,’ an unfortunate result of long-standing ethnic and racial differences that can flare into fear, hatred, and war. Only very rarely is such violence recognized as a condition of systematic inequality and colonial state structures, a consequence of capitalism’s restructuring.” (202)

“Polgreen represents gender violence as endemic to the community rather [than] a condition or and for the petroleum industry… this view denies the material reality of the ways in which petro-communities, and women, have struggled for decades against violence such as environmental degradation, exploitation by multinational corporations, repression by the state, and depredations by domestic and international security forces deployed to protect oil interests… women are constantly negotiating through multiple forms of petro-violence, including intense forms of gender and sexual violence enacted by security forces of the state and those connected with multinational oil companies.” (203)

“Sexual and gender violence is a means of securing productive and reproductive resources that include bodies, labor, and land as well as oil. For Nigeria, this means an overlapping relationship between petroleum and sexual politics during its colonial period… The frameworks of colonial state practices of resource extraction and violence did not dissipate with independence; rather, they are further solidified within postcolonial state relationships of international security.” (206)

“The Biafran War is thus a key historical moment that, within discourses of international security, sediments the legitimacies and trajectories of petro-violence, reaffirming the state and MNCs as owners of the petroleum and, hence, as the sole legal and legitimate actors where oil is concerned and petro-communities as illegitimate bodies of threat… this war and its consequences also serves as the institutional link between the securitization of petroleum and sexual-gender violence.” (207)

“The Biafran War is an important historical marker in the instantiation of sexual violence as a necessary and naturalized security practice against people and communities who contest imperial oil practices. Sexual violence is more than just a “tool” of war, it is the condition on which global oil politics are made possible.” (207)

“In other words, today, as in the past, the security forces of the state and interstate system protect the oil industry through the regulation of petro-communities. Regulation relies on a constant fear of injury and danger, which are substantiated as “real” through material acts of ethnoracial, gender, sexual, environmental, economic, and political violence.” (207)

Topics: Economies, Ethnicity, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Political Economies, Sexual Violence, Sexuality, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2011


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