Professor Melissa Yedinak
9 September 2015 Essay 2: “Child Soldiers” The film Blood Diamond, portrays the life of a child soldier accurately as all someone needs to do is discover Ishmeal Beah’s autobiographical composition “The Making and Unmaking of a Child Soldier” to identify that the events are based on a firsthand account of the operation. From 1991–2002, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) carried out an insurgence that annihilated the small West African nation of Sierra Leone. The conflict created 2 to 3 million refugees and completely demolished much of the country 's infrastructure. This began a brutal war of terror against ordinary Sierra Leoneans. Villages of this nation were burned …show more content…
The film begins with the RUF raiding Solomon 's village in Sierra Leone. The RUF was notorious for using child soldiers, kidnapped from their families and trained as killers. Most of the people attacking were young children armed with AK-47 guns. It is said that the RUF used an estimated 10,000 child soldiers to fight its violent war. During this attack, Solomon Vandy is captured and forced to labor in an RUF diamond mine. In another attack shortly after, Solomon’s young son is also captured. Later in the film, he is shown at an RUF camp, being taught with a group of children his age to forget their families, pledge loyalty to the RUF, use weapons, and to kill without remorse. Dia was known as a great student and wanted to become a doctor. He was also very attached to his family. Once captured, Dia becomes ruthless and loses his identity. He is now known as “Captain Dia” to the rest of the young soldiers. While digging at the mine, Solomon discovers an incredibly large and valuable pink diamond and buries it in a secret location to protect it from the RUF. The army of Sierra Leone launches a deadly air strike against the rebels and the survivors, including Solomon, are arrested. They are taken to jail back in the capital of Sierra Leone. Due to a
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The film The War Room is a documentary about Bill Clinton that has very little to do with Bill Clinton himself. The primary focus of the film is devoted to the team of campaign strategists that got Clinton to the presidency. The two main players the film focuses on are James Carville--the Lead Strategist for the Clinton campaign and George Stephanopoulos the Communications Director. The film follows them and their team of campaign strategists and experts as they try to get Arkansas Governor, Bill Clinton, to the presidency. The documentary highlights many key moments in Clinton’s campaign, for example the Gennifer Flowers scandal. However, the film showcases what was happening behind closed doors in the War Room, where Clinton’s
In a report published by UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) it states that there are around 300,000 child soldiers, participating in over 30 different conflicts worldwide. Of these 300,000, 120,000 are serving in different countries in Africa. One of the countries where this issue has been extremely prevalent is Sierra Leone, where child soldiers made up a significant part of the armed forces during its 11-year civil war, with 10,000 out of about 50,000 soldiers being children. Accounts of child soldiers in Sierra Leone have been made, with both the book A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier and the movie Ezra telling the story of a Sierra Leonean child soldier. Even though both the book A Long Way Gone by Ishmael
III.The organization that Colonel Coetzee operates involves the use of military force and monies through European agencies that help crate civil conflict in order to exploit the natural resources of the Sierra Leone. His goal is to provide cheap diamonds found by stakeholders, like Solomon, that wish to use the blood diamond to free his family and to stop the exploitation of his peoples. Danny Archer’s means to an end is to be able to find these diamonds to make the Colonel massive profits off of them. These “blood diamonds” are the result of creating wars that destroy African communities, so that Europeans can live in luxury. Is it Danny that must find these diamonds and find ways to smuggle them out of the region during military conflict, artificially created by men like Colonel Coetzee. Maddy is involved with the American media, as she is trying to find a
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier and the recent 2006 film Blood Diamond both depict how it was living in Sierra Leone, Africa during the Civil War in the ‘90’s. While A Long Way Gone focuses on child soldiers and what they had to live and go through for many years, Blood Diamond focuses mainly on how the country is torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and rebel forces. The film portrays many of the atrocities of that war, including the rebels' amputation of people's hands to stop them from voting in upcoming elections. Both the movie and the book try to tackle major issues by asking the questions: how
The child soldier Ishmael Beah once said, “These days I live in three worlds: my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past.” This represented what Ishmael had to go through during the war. The Sierra Leone war began in 1991. This war was fought by the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) and the National Sierra Leone Army Force. As a consequence, 10,000 child soldiers were recruited, along with them there Ishmael Beah. Beah was only 13 years old when he was forced to become a child soldier by the rebels. In addition, rebel superiors brainwashed Ishmael, along with the rest of the recruited kids by inducing them into drugs such as marijuana, brown-brown and amphetamines. Consequently, a lot of problems were
Child soldiers being used around the world related to interventionism which is a policy of non-defensive activity undertaken by a national, state, or political jurisdiction to manipulate an economy or society. This is the case because nations liek the United States are aware of what is going on and are trying to stop nations from recruiting child soldiers. People around globe are trying to stop this from happening since they understand that thesekids arebeing turned into ruthless, emotionless, and dangerous individiuals as opposed to growing and learning as they should.
Bang! Bang! “At that instant several gunshots, which sounded like thunder striking the tin-roofed houses, took over town. The sound of guns was so terrifying it confused everyone” (Beah 23). In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah conveys his amazing journey through war and hardship as a child soldier. Sierra Leone--a country on the western coast of Africa--was embroiled in a bloody civil war in the 1990’s. Battles multiplied as bloodshed abounded and as a child, Ishmael Beah was forced to survive, find food, and face unimaginable dangers. Running from the battle front was also a routine ordeal. At age 13 Beah was captured by the military and brainwashed into using guns and drugs. As a child soldier, he perpetrated and witnessed a great deal of violence. At 15 he was rescued and taken to a rehabilitation center. With time and continual treatment, Beah was able to recover, to some extent, and reconnect with his Uncle Tommy, who adopted him. He was later chosen to speak to the United Nations in New York City about his experiences as a child soldier. When he returned to Sierra Leone, war broke out throughout the city where he lived, causing many deaths including his Uncle Tommy. Eventually Beah escaped Sierra Leone and managed to reach New York City, where he began a new life. Through the book A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah conveys a central theme of having to survive, at a young age, through the hardships of war with the use of imagery.
Since the start of the Sierra Leonean war in March of 1991, innocent civilians have been the primary target of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF)’s wrath. The people of Sierra Leone have faced significant problems due to the invasions and attacks by the Rebel Forces and are the main population that is being affected by this group’s disapproval of the government. One person who experienced profound changes in her life due to the start of this war is Mariatu Kamara, a victim of a Rebel attack that cost her both her childhood and her hands. Throughout her memoir, “The Bite of the Mango,” she is faced with numerous traumatic events and meets an abundance of people who were very significant in her life and some of whom helped her survive the war. Kamara also gives the reader a variety of themes to use as a foundation to understanding war life, which also serve to help readers learn more about life, grow as people, and rise above to help others in need. Mariatu Kamara has not only changed the lives of people all throughout Sierra Leone by giving them a voice and an outlet to share their experiences, but has also proved to be an inspiration for countless amputees around the world.
Beah shows how poor leadership could have been the cause of war. Africa suffers from human rights violations which characterize the era of the civil war (Correa - Velez, Nardone, Knoetze 143). The civil war in Sierra Leone brought abrupt changes to children's lives due to the power of the Sierra Leone government. Beah goes on to say that “sometimes we were asked to leave for the war in the middle of the movie. We would come back hours later after killing many people and continue the movie as if we had just returned from intermission. We were always either at the front lines, watching a war movie, or doing drugs. There was no time to be alone or to think” (Beah 124). Beah explains that soldiers freedoms were taken away as they were asked to “leave” for combat often. This shows the abuse of power of the government of Sierra Leone as they revoked the freedoms of its citizens for war. Many believe that due to corrupt governance, child soldiers were not given the choice or option to become a soldier (Spencer 222). Beah finds that it’s “…not easy being a soldier, but we just had to do it” (Beah 199). Beah discusses how he did not have any decision in “being a soldier” and is instead forced to. He further explains how he has to force himself to survive. Throughout the novel, Beah
In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah, a former boy soldier with the Sierra Leone army during its civil war(1991- 2002) with the rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), provides an extraordinary and heartbreaking account of the war, his experience as a child soldier and his days at a rehabilitation center. At the age of twelve, when the RUF rebels attack his village named Mogbwemo in Sierro Leone, while he is away with his brother and some friends, his life takes a major twist. While seeking news of his family, Beah and his friends find themselves constantly running and hiding as they desperately strive to survive in a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. During this time, he loses his dear ones and left alone in the
The Sierra Leone government also took up child combatants, they were best known as rarray boys. Abdullah describes these young men as ‘thugs’, they worked for politicians and caused much trouble throughout the community. The rarray boys were violent, they used drugs and often stole from their fellow people (45). The war continued to progress and eventually became worse. The country was left in disarray and the citizens were left traumatized, “January 1999, the country experienced an unprecedented orgy of violence, destruction, and untold human suffering. Close to 50,000 people were killed or maimed in the process” (240). At this point many of the citizens feared for their lives and fled the country. They went into neighboring countries such
Ismael and the group of kids were so close to meet their families up a hill in a village. Then RUF killed everybody in the village before they got a chance to meet them. After that they got ambush by the Sierra Leone army, make them forced, and brainwashed them to join the army by putting a gun at their heads. Even if they didn’t join the army or didn’t encounter them they will have a slim chance of living of the lack of food or get kill soon. They have to join the army to survive. After their few days they started with the army they play soccer and have their final days of their childhood left before
The change in Sierra Leone culture is one of the first consequences of war seen in the story. Throughout the civil war the rebels (RUF) recruited or forced many children to become soldiers. In order to get these children they would raid villages and then draft the strongest ones. They would then tell the children that they would not need their families
This film was eye opening for me. As a psychology major I have heard about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and know that soldiers returning for war have been largely affected by it, however, I had never experienced the story being told from the perspective that it was shown in this film, incorporated footage from the events that the soldiers were describing with their personal accounts of the events. This combination allowed me to not only understand the feelings that the soldiers were describing, but also allowed me to feel along with them. Some of the gut feelings that I experienced while watching this film were sadness, empathy and a sense of loss. While I did not personally experience the loss that these soldiers felt, listening to them
“Compelled to become instruments of war, to kill and be killed, child soldiers are forced to give violent expression to the hatreds of adults” (“Child Soldiers” 1). This quotation by Olara Otunnu explains that children are forced into becoming weapons of war. Children under 18 years old are being recruited into the army because of poverty issues, multiple economic problems, and the qualities of children, however, many organizations are trying to implement ways to stop the human rights violation.