Soldiers as Victims of War: Congolese and Zimbabawean Soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (1998 to 2002)


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of Anthropology & Sociology


While scholars have presented the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) war as 'Africa 's Great War' (Prunier, 2009), in which soldiers emerged as perpetrators of violence (Baaz & Stern, 2013), there has been little focus on soldiers as victims of and in the same war in which they were deployed. Hence this book manuscript focuses on the ways in which Congolese soldiers (as local forces) and Zimbabwean soldiers (as intervening forces) became victims of the war in which they fought in. The book manuscript will reveal that soldiers were not mere 'killing machine', but they lacked food, combat clothing, logistical support, and witnessed the death of their compatriots in the war trenches., burying them in shallow graves. The book manuscript will draw on an ethnography of war, i.e. observations on, and conversations with fellow soldiers at a time when the author was a soldier deployed in the DRC war. In addition, life story interviews and focus group discussions were employed to gather data among former Congolese and Zimbabwean soldiers living in South Africa.