Boyden - Chapter 06
Just as Africa is a continent on which youth constitute a demographic
category of tremendous and increasing importance, because of the
troubling number of military conflicts in Africa today it is also a
continent on which a large percentage of the world's 'children at war'
are to be found.2 Children at war and, particularly, 'child soldiers',
feature prominently in international media coverage of Africa,
especially when journalists wish to portray a chaotic continent
plunging headlong into anarchy. Even if such media accounts and images
often sensationalise and exoticise Africa, they not only play on the
anxieties and suspicions of their readership, but also echo the
ambivalence of many Africans toward the liminal category of youth. If
we are to deepen our understanding of the broader issue of youth in
Africa, we must better understand the place of Africa's youth in war.