in Vive la résistance!

Lest We Forget

On March 17, 1993, a teenager, Shidane Arone, was tortured to death by a regiment of Canadian soldiers on a ‘peace-keeping’ mission in Somalia. This is Shidane. Behind him is Master Corporal Clayton Matchee (one of the sixteen who tortured the boy, and one of the many more in the camp who listened to the boy scream and chose to do nothing).
This is what happens when armies are asked to maintain peace.
This is hell.
This is what I remember today.
Fire on Babylon.  Lord, have mercy.
(NB: Master Corporal Clayon Matchee was never brought to trial because he attempted suicide shortly after this event and, although he survived, he suffered massive brain damage. He was residing in a Canadian psychiatric hospitality until earlier this year, when he was discharged to private care. Due to the state of his mental health, he was ruled unfit for trial, and all charges against him were dropped.
Private Kyle Brown, who took the above picture, was implicated as the other major party in the torturing of Shidane. He was charged with torture and manslaughter, convicted, and served one third of a five year prison sentence.)

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  1. I work with groups of Somali refugees, documenting their language. Things haven’t gotten any better in the African horn since that picture was taken. In one way it has gotten much worse: now most of the people fighting the wars are too young to remember what peace looks like. They live like ferocious killers because they have known nothing else.
    Somalia is, very literally, hell on earth. It is the worst place on the planet. There is no God there.