each year 11m Third World children under age 5 die*

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Thu Jun 4 20:20:40 PDT 1998

I thank Mark and Patrick for this thread. Mentioning Hanlon reminded me of those horrific years of constructive engagement with South Africa; that most hideous of men Reagan turned a blind eye to Pretoria and the terrorist forces it supported throughout Southern Africa. I never finished the book on Renamo's terror from which I quote quote; indeed I never got beyond this first "tale". From Dumba Nengue: Run For Your Life: Peasant Tales of Tragedy in Mozambique (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1988).

It happened at night, as it always does. Like owls or hyenas, the bandits swooped down on a village in the area of Taninga. They stole, kidnapped and then forced their victimes to carry their good, radios, batteries, the sweat of their labor in the fields or in the mines of Joh'burg where many of those possesssion had come from. Among the kidnapped were pregnant women and little children. Among the little ones was a small girl of nearly eight. As usual the bandits forced the people to keep on moving, although theywere more heavily laden than beasts of burden. There was no relief; someone who could not endure the weight fell and remained forever where he or she had fallen, disembowelled or beheaded with a bayonet. Two men had already died in this way, and the others forced themselves to keep on going, to endure. Since it was at night, only the bandits knew the way. After many trips to and from the same place, only they couldmake out the target. And the hours went by and dawn broke and finally there was a halt. They put down their loads and the bandits selected who could return home and who had to carry on.Of those who had to keep going, many were boys between 12 and 15. Their fate was the school of murder--and a poisoning of their conscience. Others were girls between 10 and 14, who would become women after being raped by the bandits. Others were women who were being stolen from their husbands and children. To demonstrate the fate of the girls to those who were going back, the bandit chief of the group picked out one, the small girl who was less than 8. In front of everyone, he tried to rape her. The child's vagina was small and he could not penetrate. On a whim, he took a whetted pocketknife and opened her with a violent stroke. He took her in blood. The child died.

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