Friday, 6 February 2015

In blood stepped in so far

The character Macbeth in Shakespeare's play said that

"I am in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go" over,

meaning that he has already killed so many people that he should stay on the same path.

One commentator wrote that the Revolutionary United Front, the Sierra Leone rebel group, used a similar tactic in its recruitment in the 1990s.  They forced children to kill their families so that they could never return to their homes.  The current violence perpetrated by the Nigerian group Boko Haram may be pushing them in the same direction.

The Interahamwe, who massacred Tutsi civilians and Hutu moderates in Rwanda in 1994, were similarly excluded from society by their actions and were forced to flee into the East of the DRC for the last 21 years.  The fighting force is no longer primarily the soldiers who fought back then, but their children or new recruits.  Whether this next generation will find it easier to put down their arms, or whether they are too stepped in blood, may help to decide the Eastern DRC's fate.

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