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This book is a product of a research project called ‘voices of youth’ carried out - page 16 / 125





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A Lost Generation: Young People and Conflict in Africa

of girls and young women who have experienced war – and its aftermath - in very particular ways which are rarely acknowledged or documented. Excerpts from oral testimony interviews are used extensively to illustrate the country analysis. Each case study chapter concludes with a section of unabridged (though slightly edited) testimonies.

In Burundi, the process of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) currently under way pays little attention to the problem of girl soldiers. Many people in positions of responsibility for the process believe it to be negligible. The research material presented here demonstrates that it is not. In the case of northern Uganda, there already exists a mass of published testimony taken from abducted children, including both boys and girls. However, most of this material describes the actual abductions, the subsequent treatment of abducted children by the rebel forces of the Lord’s Resistance Army, and the manner of the children’s escape and return home.

The research presented here complements this literature: on the one hand, it describes the everyday trials of formerly abducted girls after they return to their communities, and on the other, those of girls who were not abducted, but who have suffered similar forms of discrimination.

What You Will Find in Section Two

The chapters consultative

in this section are developed with input from a one-day stakeholder












Burundi and Uganda were shared with a small team and practitioners in order to dissect and analyse the conflict, gender and sexual violence, human rights

of eight activists, academics contents using the lenses of and legal frameworks, and

youth participation. and benefited from

The team presented their views to participants of the seminar the one-day lively discussions which greatly enhanced the final

papers presented as chapters sixty high calibre participants

in this section. The seminar brought together representing over thirty regional organizations

over from

Africa, mainly practitioners, social justice activists and policy greatly assisted us in organizing and presenting the material

makers. Their in this book.


Chapter five presents definitions of youth and children and associated definitional problems, analyses the impact of war on the children and youth, summarises the policies and legal mechanisms relating to young people in conflict, and identifies gaps and problems arising and recommends what needs to change. This chapter draws conclusions on how far the international community is failing, both to protect and to involve young people affected by conflict. Chapter six gives an overview and background to conflicts in Africa, underscores the changing nature of actors in

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