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