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Out of WarViolence, Trauma, and the Political Imagination in Sierra Leone$
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Mariane C. Ferme

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520294370

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520294370.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 October 2019

Wartime Rumors

Wartime Rumors

Red Cross as Rebel Cross and Other Figures of the Collective Imagination

Chapter:
(p.74) 2 Wartime Rumors
Source:
Out of War
Author(s):

Mariane C. Ferme

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520294370.003.0004

The circulation of wartime rumors frames the history and experiences of particular conflicts, as well as widely shared popular anxieties that mark turning points and critical events—transitions that define clear “befores” and “afters” in the memories of those who lived through the civil war. Rumors of collusions between humanitarian agencies and the RUF rebels—particularly the multiple “Red Crosses” with their secretive and sometimes conflicting agendas—informed collective imaginaries during the conflict. The chapter also examines historical instances of suspicions surrounding the secretive diplomatic activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross in other wars and the organization’s practices of neutrality and secrecy that fail to quash those suspicions.

Keywords:   Red Cross, rumors, collective imagination, discursive regimes, power, secrecy, neutrality, humanitarianism

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