Robin Hammond

Trench Town, Monrovia, LIBERIA

Former child soldier Mamie Denis, 33, (also known as 'Smiling Pussy'), smokes a cigarette in Trench Town, an informal settlement in Monrovia inhabited mostly by ex-combatants of Liberia's civil wars.

She says: 'We use to kill people who we were not suppose to kill and did a lot of wicked things which is a bad experience for me... In the war when we were fighting, whenever we go and attack, we use to get a lot of things to enjoy ourselves. But since the war is over, we are just suffering. We are not doing anything. Therefore, we have to go on the street'.

Thousands of Liberia's children were conscripted to fight in the country's bloody civil wars between 1989 and 2003. The guns they held gave them power and status. They took what they wanted from a population that feared them. When the fighting was over many of these former combatants experienced significant stigma when they returned to their communities. In turn, the now destitute adult ex-fighters formed ghettos where they continue to call each other by their war names and respect ranks held during the fighting. Among these former child soldiers Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), with its constituent symptoms of aggression, depression, sleeplessness and flashbacks, is rife but rarely treated.

Part of story
Object Name
Copyright
Robin Hammond
City
Trench Town, Monrovia
Country
LIBERIA
Restrictions
Not available in France
Max size
admin info
High Resolution
5000 x 3333 pixels
42.33 x 28.22 cm (300 dpi)
16.67 x 11.11 inch (300 dpi)
6.0 MB size on disk
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