Rebel structures used for political purposes
Mariam Persson has written a guest post at NAI-researcher Mats Utas' blog. She writes about winners and losers – ex-combatants post-election in Liberia. Mariam Persson is a doctoral candidate at King's College London. She has over the last three years conducted fieldwork in Liberia with a focus on former combatants
"...the election period was yet another evidence of remaining rebel structures still used for political purposes, despite all official initiatives of demobilisation and reintegration. It revealed how very important it is for many ex-combatants to become what they regard as ‘politically active’, but more so, it highlighted the importance of supporting the ‘right’ candidate, to wit, the next president. While elections can be advantageous for ex-combatants, giving loyalty to the losing candidate can be devastating."