Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Human body as a weapon of destruction in African conflicts

I read quite a worrying article just now. Unless you know how to surf the Angola Press archives, I can’t give you the link. It’s titled: Rights group condemns use of AIDS in armed conflicts from 15/10/2006.

[Thanks to ATW's excellent search skills, the article link was found...thanks babe!]

Apparently in the Central African Republic (CAR), during their armed conflict, “Entire units of people suffering from AIDS are being formed in some armed groups with the mission to transmit the disease mainly to women, but also to men in the opposite side.... In the CAR, we met dozens of people contaminated by the AIDS virus during the October 2002 events marked with the arrival of Jean-Pierre Bemba`s mercenaries to support Ange F`lix Patass``s regime," Kaba recalled.

Kaba is Chairman Sidiki Kaba of the Human Rights Leagues Federation (FIDH) and he was expressing his concern about this being a new form of weapon in African conflicts. The article does only cite the example of CAR, and I am really hoping it is and will be the only case where such a horrendous and stupid practice takes place.

(There is also this article from the FIDH website: "Forgotten, stigmatised: double suffering of victims of international crimes").

Rape has been used for centuries as a weapon in war. Now, with AIDS added to this, populations are left post-conflict to deal not only with the psychological trauma but also the physical trauma and after-effects. As countries attempt to build themselves up again and restore order and normal living, vast amounts of their population might be dying from AIDS and the government will be expected to assist, even though it lacks the finances and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, I know you’re all following the Madonna adoption avidly, so I don’t see the reason to blog about it. I enjoyed this article about it, that examines various sides to the argument.

DID YOU KNOW: It is illegal for inter-country adoptions in Malawi but apparently rules were waived for the celeb.

Last night I told my folks about my attempt to adopt a streetchild. My mother just kept repeating, “You’re crazy. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy” while laughing. I told her that best she is saving for that day when I need a shrink after the worrying effects she wrecks on me.

My dad got very worried and tried to explain to me that the kid would have great psychological problems throughout life and that people adopt babies, not children. Then my mom started saying, “yes, like a stray dog….they never really grow out of the trauma of being abandoned”…my child is not a stray dog!

They took me completely seriously which means they really believe that I have it in me to adopt a random streetkid at 3am …and they know me best…uh oh.


Revolving Credit said...

Does that qualify and biological warfare or physicological warfare?

PS. Comment relates to CAR, not streetkid adoption.

Champagne Heathen said...

Isn't biological with chemicals? Then it'd have to be the latter. It is just sick at the end of the day. (I think I am avoiding thinking too heavily today, looking at that last statement).

Streetkid adoption would've been both...what with the chemicals he'd manage to find in my household (Mampoer comes to mind) and physiological when he goes yet another day with an empty fridge....but it's not warfare, it's a crazy mother's love!

TwoFlower said...

f*ck, but using the 'human body as a weapon of destruction in African conflicts' is sick, sick, sick...sometimes i wished i lived in la la land and this kind of stuff only ever happened in the movies. sometimes i also wish that i could do away with all the sickos in this world (and these is a vert long list of them) and then start the world over - yes, la la land i live! ;)

Anonymous said...

biological warfare is when you use any organism or toxin to wage war. thus this is biological - and psychological. It's probably more scary than a 10 year old with an AK-47 would be as well. It takes a certain depravity to concieve this stuff though. How much would it cost to carpet bomb africa with nukes twoflower?

Revolving Credit said...

I think your streetkid adoption plan may qualify as psychological warfare, as it is you've already mind-fucked 2 Indian fellows with just the concept.

Peas on Toast said...

Champers my mate N has the same feelings as you - she wants to 'adopt' a child and kind of do a mentorship thing at a local orphanage. Where, instead of delivering funds to the place, puts these in a separate account for the child, so she is sure of where the funds will go one day.

I will email you her idea. Perhaps you guys can team up. Seriously.

Champagne Heathen said...

2F - You'd have to recreate the world, as how things stand, our world order is what is creating "the sickos". But then, one man's sicko is anothe man's freedom fighter/ saviour/ genius etc. You'll just have to become the man who decides which type gets to be popped off!

Chews - I kinda like Africa & most of the ppl here, so maybe not completely bomb the place. Where would we live then?

AIDS has the ability to be spread further, so yes, it has a wider circle of influence and destruction. But the stories you hear about the 10yr olds being made into soldiers...also raped, and being "married off to other kid soldiers" or the drugs these kids are put on to keep them amped & psycho is also heartbreaking. And then they are expected to adapt to "normal post-conflict society". I recently read a fascinating article about this & the Eritrean war, and how women that were once top of the army now have to prostitute themselves to survive.

Rev - can you imagine what those guys must have thought and said the next day. I am sure "crazy whitey" was stated alot. I just feel bad that I got the kid's hopes up, if even for a second. He was so so so upset that the Indian guy wouldn't let me take him home & was begging me not to listen to the Indian guy. And then I made the Indian guy talk about how screwed up the SA inequalities are. ....I think this country is making me lose it!!

Peas - I'll send you a mail to send to N about this topic But if she has a plan...def let her let me know! I think I need to get back to fieldwork asap.

Anonymous said...

we could save some of all the masses of cash we using to buy the nukes and use it to move all the cool people to madagascar. You get to bring ONE streetkid ok. Cos we like you so much.

Anonymous said...

This link seemed to work."Rights group condemns use of AIDS in armed conflicts".

What an horrific tale but who ever said war was ever fair or decent.
This was equally awful: Police reported finding 67 corpses scattered throughout Baghdad on Monday.

Why don't you start your adoption with hamster like Peas? ;-)

Champagne Heathen said...

Ah, thanks Chews, much obliged! Put then you bring all the meds for the crazy diseases there on that gorgeous island!

ATW - perfect!! Well done. So do you know how to speak portuguese or just cruise your way around sites? That Baghdad story's also pretty grim!!
And no hamsters for me...you can't hug a hamster!

Anonymous said...

We can buy the whole place - shouldn't cost much.Take the money outta the carpet-nuke petty cash account. Then we just gotta table some laws for our new country. i put forward a motion to ban all clothing.

Anonymous said...

Boyfriend was in the running to be transferred to Congo (not the DRC, the little country next to it). And I was looking at joining him in deepest darkest Africa... to quote your mum: crazy crazy crazy.

Very scary story.

On another note, I've only known you for a few weeks and I FULLY believed that you would've, could've adopted a streetkid at 3am...

Champagne Heathen said...

Chews - And then my kid can have a pet lemur!!

Koeks - at least you know that I would've come to visit you, as that is my kinda vibe! Crazy crazy crazy.

And it's only because you've known me around crazy people that you think I'm cooked! There have been times in my life where I have been the epitome of self-control, sensibility, calmness.... Not too sure who could account for this, but I am banking on the law of probablity to back me up!

Anonymous said...

only if the lemur can sing "i like to move it"

Champagne Heathen said...

Ohgawd. Are you talking about that terrible Vodacom creature??

Anonymous said...

have you not watched "madagascar" yet champs? please tell me you have, and that that was just a blonde moment.

Anonymous said...

PS. i hate that fukken vodacom "thing/meerkate/whatever" with a passion

Champagne Heathen said...

OH! That's what it is....a meerkat. And I so love meerkats.

Never watched Madagascar. Not really a cartoon movie fan. Half the time I want to smack the images rather than think they're so hilarious.