Video Transcript

The opening scene is an apparently hilly African scrubland. An African teenager stands in the bush with a valley behind him.

(Dramatic music plays)
(People shouting, indistinct)
A man in his sixties walks slowly beside a windowed brick building.

The souls of those people,
they've not gone away
and they haunt you,
they do sneak up on you.

A clip shows a demonstration gathering. Africans stop the traffic. Some of them wield machetes.

A female REPORTER says
General Dallaire, we've been
hearing all kinds of reports
that all hell
is breaking loose.
What has been going on?

Over the phone GENERAL DALLAIRE says
If you stated that all hell's
breaking loose in Kigali
that would be a reasonably fair

Dallaire sits at a desk in a school classroom. A caption reads “General Romeo Dallaire led the U.N. mission during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.”

Over the phone GENERAL DALLAIRE says
I need food, medicine,
and material for
two million people now.

A clip shows a younger Dallaire with a moustache and a blue military cap and brown vest walking past bodies littered at the side of a road. A caption reads “He witnessed the slaughter of 800,000 people in 100 days.”

Dallaire continues We're all late, we're already
weeks and weeks late.

Inside the classroom at present, Dallaire says
The world abandoned us.
The world-- I mean,
we had nothing.
We had no water,
we had no fuel,
we had no food.
I have never seen
my loyalty taxed
to such an extent,
and I actually wrote it
in the email,
so infuriated I was
that, uh,
that they just--
They were letting us
rot with them.
As long as I wasn't getting
soldiers killed,
we could rot with them.
(muttering) Yeah, so let's go.

He leaves the classroom.

A convoy of five or six white U.N. vehicles crosses a bridge. A caption reads “Now, a new mission. Democratic Republic of Congo.” Soldiers ride atop the vehicles, machine guns at the ready. They pass assorted ramshackle shacks and their inhabitants.
(Tense music plays)

(Shouting, indistinct)

Dallaire shouts Bonjour!
Yeah! No shit!

Riding on the back of a vehicle, he says The pull of wanting
to get back into uniform
is absolutely overwhelming.
For the last few days,
there's sort of a rhythm that
I've fallen back into
that, uh, you want to--
you want to stay with,
you want to relive.

In off, he continues The adrenaline rush of combat
is an adrenaline rush
that is unequalled
in any other sort of sensation.
It's stronger than sex.
There's no doubt
in my military mind.
Combat creates an emotion,
a high--
not to say that it's positive,
that is much more
powerful than sex.
You can't explain it in a
civilian milieu,
and people say,
“This guy's getting a rush
out of this stuff?
I mean, he must be
a whacko.”
But it's not.
It's just that your being was
pushed to that extreme.
Incredible chemicals that we can
self-generate in our body.
I remember facing
that one kid,
who had that AK-47 stuffed
nearly up my nose.
And in his eyes,
the anger and horror
and fear
and excitement that was in
these huge eyes of his.
And that finger was
on that trigger. (shakes his head)
Anything could've
made him pull it.
I saw that during the genocide
in Rwanda in Spades.
But what I haven't tasted,
what is going through
their mind?

Black armed teenage and child soldiers wearing makeshift uniforms and purple berets appear.

Dallaire continues And how do we
crack that code?
How do I crack that kid
from remaining motivated?
If we could make them cry
as a child again,
I would think that they would
want to get rid of the weapon
and not play
real-life soldier anymore.

Against the advancing cortege, a caption reads “White Pine Pictures presents in association with TVO, Telefilm Canada and Rogers Group, with the participation of the Ontario Media Development Corporation.”

An eye appears at the centre of the screen, surrounded by red guns aimed at it, radiating outward like the spokes of a wheel. A caption in high case reads “Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children. Based on a book by Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire (Ret).”

A New York street scene full of yellow cabs appears. Dallaire descends from a cab.

You're listening to
the Leonard Lopate show
on AM 820 and 93.9 WNYC.

A male announcer says
As many as a million
people died
during the one hundred days
of the Rwandan genocide.
Many of the operations were
carried out by soldiers
who were under the age
of 18. General Dallaire
was the commander
of the UN Peacekeeping mission
in the East African nation.
In his latest book,
They Fight Like Soldiers,
They Die Like Children,
he has made it his
life's work since
to end the employment
of child soldiers.

Facing Dallaire, the announcer says
Do we know how many
child soldiers
are currently being used
around the world?

Dallaire says There are around the world
about 250,000.
Why use an adult?
Why not use a coerced kid,
and so on, and in many
of those nations,
over 50 percent
of the population's
under the age of 15.

The announcer says What you call
a youth bulge.

Dallaire says So--

The announcer says So, they're expendable.

Dallaire says You got it.
We've got hundreds
of thousands of kids
who are used by adults
who are deliberately
arming them,
training them,
drugging them up
and using them
not only as weapons,
but also as sex slaves
and bush wives.
This is the most sophisticated
low technology weapons system
in conflict today.

Dallaire autographs his book for people standing in a line.
(Crowd chatting,

Standing in an auditorium facing a round table with a screen reading “Carnegie Council” behind him, Dallaire says The use of children
as a weapon of war
should be as abhorrent
as using nuclear weapons.
Do you kill children who kill?

At a round table discussion, a WOMAN says
First of all, these children,
you call them “the innocent,”
they're really not innocent.
When you grow up in Africa
and the Middle East
you're not innocent after
about the age of three.

Leaving the discussion, Dallaire says to a younger man with a blond curly beard “I'm still pissed off
at what that woman said.”

The man says Yeah.

Dallaire continues An ex-congressman.
I cannot believe--
so stupid!
For a minute I had forgotten
we were on Fox News.
I should've remembered that
and expected it a little more.

In off, against a scene of him walking with two other men and then sitting eating with them and a woman, DALLAIRE says
When you spend your life in command,
you realize early on
that everything you do
is being observed.
And so you are
throughout your career
always in front of people.
But once all that's over and
you're back in your cab--

He passes a homeless man and gets into a yellow cab.

On scene, he says See you guys!

Dallaire continues And you're going back home,
that's the terrible part.

A typical Canadian lakeside scene features a road beside a pine forest. A modern white and brown log bungalow residence appears. A caption reads “Val Des Monts, Quebec. Dallaire sits on a rise overlooking a valley.
(Loon calling)

Dallaire says Didn't sleep much
last night.
After the third--
the third dream,
I just sat around
and watched
the moon and...
really was more afraid of
going back to sleep than...(pauses in thought)

He strolls up a forest lane.

Dallaire continues Every now and again,
the whole dream is all of the
sudden in super slow motion,
in which you're facing
a child soldier
and then the ethical problem
comes about.
Do you open fire or not
when they're firing on you
and firing on those
you're protecting?

He Stoops to relieve back pain and continues
So you're going through a
zillion operations in your mind
of “yes, no, yes, no,
yes, no, yes, no,”
until all of the sudden
one of the bullets from
the child soldier
is coming
towards you.
And you see
the bullet coming
and you actually see the bullet
touching you
and starting to
puncture your skin.
And that's when you wake up.

He sits writing on a laptop.
(Clicking keys)

Dallaire says This urge to want to write,
I found it not something
that I enjoyed doing.
The satisfaction was actually
getting it on paper.
But there was no joy of going
back to hell every time.
Because when I tried to
articulate the child soldier,
I wanted the child to speak,
to show that the child
still was a child
although it had been turned
into a murdering soldier.
But it's in your brain,
and it's your brain talking.
And it's there and for you,
it's alive.

As he writes the words, he says Imagine yourself
on a hillside.
Morning is the most--

A black BOY says
beautiful time of day
in my village.
I love the thick mist
in the valleys
and how they make the green
peaks of the hills
seem to float free
of the earth.

(Birds chirping)

As the boy speaks, colourful animations appear. The masked child soldiers have prominent fangs and claws. Guns radiate towards the two children. Hands are bound by a rope like snake.

The boy continues I met my best friend Jacob
by the mango tree behind
the schoolhouse
and we took turns
hoisting each other up
to try and reach
the lowest fruit.
I remember we were having
so much fun.
(Children chattering)
(Crashing noise)
All of the sudden, there were
soldiers outside the school.
All of them looked our ages,
but their faces looked as if
they were wearing angry masks.
Both of us froze with fear
when we felt some of
the guns poking at us.
They tied our hands together
with twisted plastic rope.
I had no idea where we were
going, I was so scared.
We were being taken
to another world
filled with scary, scary things
and strange, bad people
who carried guns.

A man with white hair in his fifties stands talking for the camera. A caption reads Major Phil Lancaster (Ret) - Former U.N. Head, Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Lancaster says He had to choose something
to get engaged in.
You used the term
Don Quixote--
well, he's not trying to
fix everything.
He's just understood that
there's one thing
that he might be able to do
something about.
And he's chosen
child soldiers
because it resonates with his
own experience.
It's both a humanitarian and
a military-security problem.
And that's an area where
a former soldier
and a current politician
like himself can deal.

Cars drive along a road through the jungle. A caption reads “Kigali, Rwanda.” Dallaire, sitting in a moving car with Lancaster, points through the window.

He says There's the CND.
We're really back now.

In off, Dallaire continues It had been seven years since
I'd been actually in the field,
so there was
a sense, yeah,
well, you're back home trying to
put something together,
but you really don't know.

On site, he continues And this route at the time
wasn't paved.

Lancaster says Nope.

In off, for the camera, DALLAIRE says
The trip is absolutely essential
to establish a credibility
that the old General
doesn't have a pot belly
and is sort of sitting behind
his desk smoking cigars
and pontificating,
but that the guy is ready to go
get his boots dirty.

On site, he says And so they opened fire
with two guns.
And they missed!
And that's the worst part!

Lancaster says With artillery,
what do you expect, eh?

Dallaire says Yes, yes, they're
all over the place.

Lancaster, speaking to the camera, says
I knew General Dallaire
in the 1970s.
I think I was a lieutenant
and he was a captain.
He became a lieutenant-general,
I became a major.
And then, when the opportunity
to go to Rwanda came up,
when everything blew up,
I ended up working very closely
with the general
as his military

Photos show them both at the time.

Lancaster continues Today he's part
of the history
and he's treated a little bit
like royalty.
He's a celebrity here.

A soldier opens the car door and Dallaire gets out.

Dallaire says Ah. Thanks.
What a place.

He and Lancaster walk toward a monument along a brick path lined with ornamental hedges. A caption reads “Kigali Genocide Memorial.”

Dallaire says It's incredible, you know,
to build such
a sophisticated memorial
as a sign that the country
wants to move on
and has a place to reflect on
that difficulty and not hide it.

A local military man says Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, that's true.

Dallaire receives a floral tribute with a ribbon reading “Genocide Never” from the soldier, lays it on the glass top of the memorial and says
Thank you, Captain.
It should've never happened.
We could've prevented it.
And nobody will ever
come and explain
really why they abandoned
all of you.
And abandoned all of us
who survived it.
I've often said
that my soul
is still in the hills of Rwanda
with the thousands of other
souls that are still there.
And it sort of hit dead on
that all of a sudden
I was mourning.
Which I haven't had,
in a funny way, much time to do.

Walking toward a car with Lancaster, Dallaire says It looks like
a Brit one. Eh?
Yeah, what do they call
the Brit ones?

Lancaster says Land Rovers.

Dallaire says Yeah, Land Rovers.

If the aim of the game
was for the General
to get a feel for what's
happening in this region
with regard to how it
affects child soldiers
and his work
on child soldiers,
then the idea was to get
as broad a look as possible,
to see as many of the players
as possible
and just to try to get some idea
how it all fits together.

In the car, Dallaire says I have an incredible
apprehension of coming to this border.
Because of how
significant it was
in moving over a million people
through this road.
Tens of thousands of people and
they were going into hell.

In a clip, families pack the road, the women carrying bundles on their heads.

You have to remember
that immediately after the
genocide ended,
over a million Rwandans
flooded across the border
into Eastern Congo.
Among the refugees were the
perpetrators of the genocide.
The executioners,
if you want.
These perpetrators reformed
as an organization now known as
the Forces Democratiques
de Liberation du Rwanda,
or the FDLR.

On a map, the border area between Congo and Rwanda is coloured light blue, with a black patch inside. On either side of the blue patch, areas shaded in red are labeled F.D.L.R.

Lancaster continues Who remain to this day hell-bent
on taking back
political control in Rwanda
by any means necessary.
Since the most likely means in
their view is military,
then recruiting child soldiers
makes perfect sense to them.
They deny it, but--
they don't hide it
very well.

A clip shows armed boy soldiers in camouflage uniform.

Lancaster continues In recent years,
a concerted demobilization campaign
run by the UN in Congo,
known today as MONUSCO,
have reduced
the FDLR forces
to a nub of what
it formerly was.
To try and convince the
remaining FDLR holdouts
to lay down their arms,
the UN uses
a number of methods,
including radio broadcast
from anyone
with some authority
or some personal connection
to the region.

They enter a mobile radio unit,

Dallaire says Okay!

A man speaks to him and says “Please introduce yourself to our listeners.”
(Speaking French)

Dallaire, translated, says “Let me present myself - I'm Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire, former commander of the U.N. mission in Rwanda. I've been given the chance today to encourage you, to ask you, even to plead with you, to reconsider how you're living. To members of the FDLR and your families,
there's no reason to continue a war that's long finished. A war that just brings suffering. Go home with pride and serenity to your native land. Thank you.

I know they've been in the bush.
Maybe there's some of them
who need an outside voice
who's been on the ground
to say, “Listen, you dummies.”
You know, “Go back.
You can re-establish yourself.”
And so this opportunity
was incredible.
(Drumming, singing)

The car approaches a military barracks. As the drummer plays, men in red and white costumes dance and bystanders clap. A caption reads “Former Child Soldiers' Camp, Musanze, Rwanda.”

Dallaire continues These soldiers were
killing machines,
and abused and indoctrinated,
and have seen every
possible horror.
And they were there
back as children.
Because the raw material
of youth and positiveness
was still there.
(Iranzi Tumaini speaking)

A very young man says “My name is Tranzi Tumaini. I was born in Congo. When I was 9, war broke out in the camps. We fled, and I was separated from my parents. Some FDLR soldiers grabbed us. One captain took me and raised me. At 15, I was forced to join the military. I lived a difficult life. My parents died when I was young. My life's been horrible, but I'm still alive. The U.N. was sending messages over the radio. They'd tell us about life in Rwanda and how much better it was than the war we were suffering through. I didn't want to spend more sleepless nights fighting. So I decided to leave and went to the U.N.”


“Children of Rwanda, leave the bush,
stop being divided, stop being sad,
return home and see what lies ahead,
they manipulated you and fed you lies,
saying you would go to school,
but instead they fed you crap.
I lived a difficult life,...”

If they can talk
to another human being
and at the end of it not be
arrested, or laughed at,
or abandoned,
imagine how the relief is.
And the far, far greater
the ability to ease the pain.

The U.N. cars drive along the road. A face is outlined in red and a boy speaks anonymously.

The BOY says
As we got to the camp,
one of the leaders
pulled me aside and said
“You know, you belong to us.
You'll soon be fighting this
war too, for the good side!
The side of freedom!”
I followed my leader to a field
where they were teaching
the newest children
how to use guns.
My leader put a bullet
in my rifle
and told me to shoot a big
melon a little ways away.
But as I pulled the trigger,
it shook so hard and made
such a loud noise
I nearly dropped it.
And as I looked at my hand,
it was still shaking.
But as soon as I continued to
do this, I got very good at it.
My leader told me I was crucial
to the success of my group.
And I was proud of my
new skills.
The rifle had come to life
and it was now
a dangerous thing.

A cartoon animation shows the story and the rifle turning into a red snake.
(Snake hissing and rattling)

Just imagine when I was a kid,
playing with all these toys and
stuff like that,
just imagine when I was
joining cadets
and how the cadets were.
I mean, they were teaching us
how to use weapons!
I mean we were dressed just like
World War II guys.
We had steel helmets
and webbing and all this stuff.
They had us on grenade ranges,
on rifle ranges, you know
and I mean it was--
and doing small time tactics
like, you know, orienteering in
the woods and stuff like that.
I mean, and I felt it was fine.
So there's an incredible power
that adults can have
on indoctrinating
these children
that they themselves see
no other option than to be fanatical,
to kill, to destroy and so on.
So you're actually reframing their mind.

A trainer shows kids how to steady and fire a gun.
(Gunshot firing)

Dallaire continues It's not just a crime against
humanity, it's a sin!

They approach the Rwanda-Congo border.

Dallaire says Alright.

GENERAL DALLAIRE greets an officer and says
Good morning.

The Officer says Sir, I'll be your
Liaison Officer in Goma.

Dallaire says Are you? Very good.
Thank you very much.

To the camera, he says It's like coming to
an isolated outpost,
but this outpost is absolutely
in a scenario
that just continuously
sees horror.
I mean, the social, economic,
the political,
is all still just
at each other's throats.
And the ability of the
international community
to come to grips with this
complex conflict...
And so it's like walking into
a totally different scenario.

We have to keep in mind
that Eastern Congo
has been in constant conflict
for nearly 20 years now.
There's no strong central
government, no national army.
And in this vacuum you've got
a toxic alphabet soup
of militia groups - FDLR, CNDP,
various Mai Mai groups.
It's beyond confusing,
and in the struggle for power,
everyone is looking
for some advantage.
And in this context,
that advantage is often
child soldiers.
Easy to find, easy to get,
easy to control.
So the competition,
the pressure, to use them
will be there in spite of
and, in some cases,
because of the fact
that they shock international
And they shock people
like General Dallaire.

Dallaire approaches two men standing with Lancaster and says
Oh, okay.

A man says Hi, how are you?

Dallaire says I'm well.

The man says Hi, my name's Matthew.

Dallaire says Hi, Matthew.
How are you doing?

Matthew says Good, good.

Dallaire turns and shakes hands with the other, saying
Salut, Guillaume,
comment ça va?

Guillaume says Ca va bien.

In off, LANCASTER says
Guillaume and Matthew are two
very talented young men,
both of whom I recruited
from other organizations.
These are people
who figure out
how to get this huge, creaking
Byzantine bureaucracy
that is the U.N.
to actually work.
Certain elements
of what they do
are better off not understood
by their own mission.
They operate successfully
because they operate
in the shadows.

In the car with Dallaire, Lancaster says Okey dokey.
I have no qualms of me
being shot at,
but I do if I'm
hauling other people in it.

Dallaire says Yeah, especially when we have
a soft-shelled car.

Lancaster says Oh well--
that's all we've had. Yeah.
It is incredible still,
although there's a sense
of normality,
how much tension is
hidden underneath.

Dallaire says No, it's not normal.
It's not normal.
Things can blow up
really fast here.

In off, Matthew Brubacher, graying in his thirties, says
Well, I'm raised a Mennonite,
but again, I mean when I get
the draft thing,
you know, I signed
conscientious objector.
But then in '94 when the
genocide was happening,
I was in Senegal.
And I remember hearing all those
things that Dallaire was saying.
And then I was thinking well, you know,
if we could've stopped that
genocide using force,
then we should do it.
But then if the U.N.
should do it,
or somebody else
should do it, you know,
then I should do it.
I mean, I'm not a soldier,
I don't shoot guns,
but you know,
now I'm working side by side
with the military.

Lancaster asks They following?

What I do normally is try to go
for the top commanders
because that's the way you
neutralize an organization.
We develop relationships
with all the militias.
From the worst to the smoothest,
to the whatever, we try
to make friends with them.

Dallaire and Lancaster sit with a black commander. A caption reads “General Luanda, Mai Mai Militia Commander.”

Dallaire says Hello again.
Bonjour, d'accord.
(Speaking French)

Dallaire says “I want to talk with you, commander to commander. Since you led forces on the ground. Why were you successful right from the start?”

Luanda says “We were determined and concerned about our homeland.”

Dallaire says “And you're a good commander.”

He's a very unique situation
because he is very
well educated.
He runs one of the more
effective Mai Mai groups,
to be frank.
He was able to do something
that we never thought would be possible,
which is basically pushing out
the FDLR from a particular area,
which is right on the doorstep
of their headquarters.
And he's right,
that he did that in a way
because the government wasn't
able to provide him
with any protection.

Dallaire says “Did your families see you as heroes on the battlefield?”

Luanda says “Yes, when we enter a village everyone's ecstatic. Everyone greets us - You're our Moses! Without you, we had lost hope.”

He's a very smooth operator.
So he knows
what we're thinking
and he knows what
we're looking for
and he'll give us the answers
that we want to hear
in order to raise
his legitimacy
and raise his stature.

Dallaire says “Tell me if my questions are too direct. At what point did children join your forces?”

Luanda says “No, there are no children, because we have controls in place. Once we find a kid, we send them home.”

Dallaire says “Why?”

Luanda says “We know that there's an international law that protects children.”

Dallaire says “From the beginning you knew that it was illegal to use child soldiers? From the beginning?”

Luanda says “From the beginning - well, maybe when we started - In any case, we sent the children back home.”

Dallaire says “So, that's 15 years and under?”

Luanda says “No, It's 18 years and under.”

Dallaire says “Huh. What about girls?”

Luanda says “No, there were no girls.”

Dallaire says “Hmm! You're pretty unique!”

Luanda says “Because so many others use child soldiers.”

Dallaire says Hmmm...

To the camera, DALLAIRE says
I really wanted in the end
to say, “Listen, you asshole.
Come on, we know
what you're doing
and we're both commanders.
Come on and tell me
what the hell you're doing
with these kids.”

A man in his thirties with curly hair speaks for the camera. A caption reads “Guillaume Lacaille, U.N. Consultant.”

You have two different logics.
The logic of Eastern Congo
and the logic of the West.
I mean, here is
the Far West, right?
Everybody is going
after the gold,
and the sheriff is
a lot of times
also the bank robber.
This notion that
there is a bar at 18,
it doesn't really apply here.
A lot of people here are really,
really mature early on,
because they have
seen stuff.
So when they are
reaching 14, 15,
sometimes they actually
want to be part of the fighting
whether it's because they have
seen their family
being hurt by the war
or it's because they want to
have something to do
that will get them
some money and survive.
When you don't
have a choice,
when you don't
have a salary,
then why not join an armed group
and make a living?

We get on average, we get about
20 child soldiers a week,
through our system.

Your extraction system?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
And your system is based on
doing what?

Matthew says Just getting guys out
of the bush.

Dallaire says I mean, what the hell.
Do you just drive into the
compound and say
“I want the kids”?

Matthew says No, no, no.
We're always co-located
with the MONUSCO bases
and then we have our radios
and things like that
that are broadcasting messages,
and people know that if they
come to a MONUSCO base
and they said
they're a child soldier,
we'll accept them,
and we'll bring them back here
and process them.

Dallaire says Although you're demobilizing
these kids,
nothing's being done back home
to help the family
not have to go
and provide--

Matthew says The main reason they're
being recruited
is because of insecurity,
because once they go back
they're in the same insecurity
that they were in
when they left.
That's why with the child
soldiers today
we have between a 20 and 25
percent recidivism rate
where we'll see
these kids again.
You know,
we'll take them out,
they'll go through
the process, go back.
And so when you
send a kid back,
you know, what's he going to do
when he goes back home
and the same guys are
attacking his family?
He's going to rejoin the militia
that's protecting his family.

A passenger jet flies over
(Jet engines)
Matthew and Lancaster arrive at an airport.

A U.N. officer in a blue beret says You'll take it from there.

Matthew says I don't know, they told me
yesterday here, so. Here?

The man says Yeah.

Matthew says It'll be fine.
We'll get it going.

In off, MATTHEW says
I've been doing this
for quite a few years.
I mean, you develop a little bit
of a tolerance for it.
But I also cover myself
with a professionalism.
I mean, this is a job
and I'm trying to
become friends with you
because I want you
to get out
and it's my job
to get you out.

He approaches an entrance to a building. A big sign reads “Monusco Air Terminal Entry Gate.”

Matthew continues And so when you come
into environments, you know,
whether you see some kids
that are shot,
you know, you never
really relax.
You're always
in operation mode.

He and Dallaire approach a U.N. helicopter.

The fact that the Russians
were flying the helicopter,
my experience in Cambodia
was not a very positive one,
but these guys were sober
and they seemed to know
what the hell they were doing.
And the maintenance
of the aircraft
was a lot better
than what I remember.

The helicopter takes off. Dallaire, wearing ear protectors looks out a window. An aerial view shows mountains and lakes.
(Helicopter rotor)

Dallaire continues We were going over potentially
hostile territory.
It was all the more so because
of the insurrection
that was going on within
the government forces.
And although we were going
to a U.N. site,
the territory was not
necessarily under U.N. control,
nor government
force control.

They land, and Dallaire exits the copter.

An officer in a blue cap greets him and shakes hands.

the officer says Good morning!

So, doing that
brought the reality
of trying to go
and get some of
these children out
of these complex scenarios
to light.

Some child soldiers appear.

Dallaire and two officers enter a base. A caption reads “The Monusco Base at Abiondo, Congo.”

Have you given them names?

Pardon, sir?

Dallaire says Are there names
for your COB?

He greets the kids and says Bonjour. ça va?
Très bien?

Today was a very
simple extraction,
because you had
a number of individuals
who had already taken the
decision to come out.
So they have no other option
but to continue that decision.
And then it's our job then
to try to keep them out -
from going back.
Bonjour. Jambo.

Two teenage boys sit behind a table. Captions read “Hukuru Bayomba” and “Ajefi Safari.”

Dallaire says “I hope your future will be better than your past. How old are you?”

One answers 16, and the other 15.

Dallaire says Oh, yeah. Very young.

Matthew says “In the bush you were fighting against each other?”

One answers “Yes, we fought against each other.”

Matthew says “Now are you friends or enemies?”

They both answer “Now we are friends.”

Matthew jokes and says “that's good, because if you start fighting here, I'm going to have to use force.”

The ones we picked up
were fairly fresh.
They hadn't been in
the armed group for very long.
But I've met guys that have been
in there for a long time,
that have seen
their parents killed.
They have bullet wounds
in them,
old bullet wounds
and things like that.
So when you're treating them,
when you're picking them up
and coming out,
you treat them
as soldiers.
You treat them as men
because they are--
they are soldiers.
And they don't want
to be disrespected.
(Speaking Congolese)

A black officer says “So I asked him - Were there lots of child soldiers there? Yes - lots, even 14 year-olds.”

Matthew asks “Can a 14 year-old handle a gun?”

The kid grins and says “Of course he can handle a gun.”

As Dallaire leaves the tent and comes up to him, MATTHEW says
These are the two
that we're gone to be
bringing back with us.

Dallaire says Oh yeah?

Matthew says It's really interesting because
they worked on opposing sides.
They were enemies
in the field.

Dallaire says Is that right?
(General Dallaire
speaking French)
(Translator speaking
local language)

With the kids, Dallaire says “Can you tell them I'm also an ex-combatant, and I'm here to talk with them as equals? Did they volunteer, or were they recruited?”

One of the kids says “Men came and tried to recruit us. They said “The FDLR - the enemy - is here and you have to fight them.” but I was still in school and wanted to think about it. Later I had issues with my parents and they stopped paying for my schooling. I ended up hanging around the house with nothing to do. I thought “no use staying here, I'd rather die on the frontlines.”

We would expect them to have
been shut down,
but what we found
was not reticence,
but we actually saw them
dynamically wanting to express.
I'm sure if we had
pushed them to say,
“Okay, show me
how you used a machete,
or show me how
you used the rifle,”
they would've done it.
You know, because they said,
“You know, that's what we did.
And that's what we did!
That's not what
we're doing now.
That's what we did.”

One kid says “They watch us day and night. The only chance to escape is during a battle, because that's when we get separated. During my last combat, I finally managed to escape.”

(Drums play)
A U.N. soldier watches a village street from a guard post.
(Radio transmission in Congolese)

An announcer says “You're listening to Radio DDRR Monusco, a peaceful radio station. We urge all fighters to come to the Monusco base, where the U.N. Demobilization Team is eager to receive you. Safe journey and successful decision-making.”

The two kids approach the U.N. helicopter carrying their belongings.

The pilot checks a list and says No, no, no, wait.
I have ten people
from Masisi.

Matthew says Yeah.

The Pilot says Okay, total should be 21.

Matthew says Yeah.
These two are small.

The Pilot says And then we'll go.

Everything was
coordinated, right?
“A la U.N..” Right?
So we knew that we were
picking up some UN staff
who were going back
and there was us.
And they knew it.
The paperwork was done,
all the normal crap
that you had to do--
which is essential, I mean,
what the hell, it's an
organization-- was done.
And so all of
the sudden, bingo!
There's too many people
on the aircraft.
(All talking loudly)

The PILOT says
We cannot take them. 24 people.

Dallaire says Hey, listen.
You throw other people out,
or we don't fly.
These guys come back.
This is the whole aim
of why we came here today.

The Pilot says But you see we take
people from Masisi.

Dallaire says That's up to you
to sort out
with the Indian
Company Commander.
We were coming here to pick up
these two child soldiers
and they must come back.
With us.

Can I just have a minute with
the company commander?

Speaking for the camera, Dallaire says I have no control
over the aircraft.
I mean, the guy who runs the
aircraft could say,
“General, why don't
you leave?
You know, and take your
two kids with you?”
I mean, they could've said that
and I would've had no recourse.
I didn't have any weapon.
I didn't have any authority.
I mean they could've
said that.
But there was no goddamn way
they were going to say it.

Dallaire sits in the copter with Matthew and points

Dallaire says The radio guy,
does he stay here?

In off, MATTHEW says
Sometimes we push the envelope
a little bit,
so sometimes
we get criticized.
A lot of people accuse us
of being cowboys,
of breaking rules,
breaking the procedures,
like we did today.

Two U.N. soldiers leave the helicopter.

Matthew continues Like, of course these guys
have to get off.
Get off the helicopter
because that's part of your job.
You know, don't make
a big deal out of it.
In the end I mean, you know,
who else wants
to do this kind of work?
I mean, and who else
can do this type of work?
It's people like us that
understand our client.
And we're trying to reach out
to them and touch them
and we're trying to gain
their confidence
in order for them to make the
right decision to come out.

The Pilot closes the doors.
(Rotor whirring)
The kids sit in the copter wearing ear protectors.

Matthew continues Some of them lose
their childhood.
They'll never be
children again.
Some of them
can bounce back.
But it really depends
on the individual.
With the foreign fighters
it's easier,
because they
go back to peace.
But with these guys,
like those two we pulled out,
they're not going back
to peace,
so they don't got much
of a future for them.
They don't got much
of a future.
That's a little bit sad.

A cartoon shows a monster clawing a soldier's shoulder. Then the monster disappears and the stars spin in a night sky in the background.

A BOY says
The leader put one strong arm
around my shoulder and said,
“You've passed the test
and you are now a soldier.”
I didn't really know
what to say,
but I never wanted him
to take his arm away.

The whole idea of being trapped
as a child soldier
is bad enough.
But having been rejected
by your own
and in fact trying to get
out of that process,
may even be worse.
And we here in Canada
are proving that in spades
with the case of Omar Khadr.
Who by family
is brought into Afghanistan
at the age of 13,
indoctrinated for two years
and then finds himself
in a firefight,
shot a couple times in the back.
And he's then held prisoner
in Guantanamo Bay
and accused of having killed
an American soldier.

A clip of the interrogation in Guantanamo plays.

Interrogator - So you think it's fine, what you did?

Omar Khadr - I didn't do anything. I'm not lying.
If you were tortured like I was tortured, you'd probably say more than I said.

He's now been
ten years rotting away
trying to get
out of that situation,
but we're not even recognizing
that he had been a child soldier
under the conventions
that we created and signed for.

Khadr - Ya Ummi (Oh, Mother!)
(Crying softly)

Dallaire says I mean, there's no debate
in believing in
the concepts of this convention,
but all of the sudden,
because he killed a white guy,
killed one of our own
and we've had people over there
in that theatre,
all the rules change.
So it may be even harder
to get out of the past
of a child soldier
than actually getting out
from being a child soldier.

A clip shows the rescued kids at the Ex-Combatants' Transit Camp.

Operations Officer Christine Rwezaura walks with Dallaire and says
So when ex-combatants
come in, their first point
is at the tent,
where they are debriefed.
And we take information
about where they came from,
from which group,
or if they're dependants.
So ex-combatants are divided
here, in different tents.
So you have men, women
and married persons.

DALLAIRE says Yeah.

Christine continues For our officers we give them
special treatment.
We accommodate him separately
from the rest until he leaves.

Dallaire says Mm-hmm.

The ex-combatants
at these transit camps
aren't out of the woods yet.
It's not an easy thing
to go home.
General Dallaire knows about it,
I know about it.

Dallaire stands with a kid and asks a camp administrator
How long was he
in fact part of the force?
(Speaking French)

Lancaster says I was a soldier
for 30 years.
I adapted to civilian life
very quickly.
Some people don't.
And that's one of the poorly
understood problems
of re-integration.
And it's very difficult
for someone who hasn't
experienced that
to get it and to understand
the frustration,
the feeling of complete
the feeling of, you know,
losing any notion of control
over your own future,
your own existence,
because of the kinds
of threats.
That's something that the
General understands very well.

Dallaire asks the kid “Are you worried about your return? And your family is obviously expecting your return?”
(Speaking French)
(Speaking Congolese)

A kid says “When we escaped and went home, our neighbours called us bandits. Any time something went missing, they'd blame us. And so our families advised us to come here to the U.N.”

The translator asks “How many years were you away from your village?

The kid says “Three years.”

In off, DALLAIRE says
Well, there's a lot
of stuff going on
in the U.N. missions and how they
handle child soldiers
and they're doing good work
and they're pulling them out,
but they haven't solved it.
It's still going on.
It's managed.
And maybe that's what
we're seeing.
Not people trying
to solve child soldiers
and the use of them,
maybe we've got a lot of people
just trying to manage it.
And see hopefully what
positively might stick
and what might not stick.
(Speaking local language)

The aim of my campaign is not
how many can you get out
before people kill them.
It's why in the hell are they
recruiting them
in the first place
and how do we stop that?
(Speaking French)

Dallaire sits with an officer. A caption reads “Mass Walimba, U.N. Demobilization Agent and Ex-Militia Commander.”

Dallaire says “Your experience in combat is an important lesson for others.
What do you take away from your experience that gives you the desire to demobilize young people?”

Walimba says “It wasn't an opportunity - It was a worry. Recruitment of children will never stop as long as there are militia groups, as long as there are wars. they use children because they're trigger-happy. A child doesn't think twice about killing.”

Dallaire says “I have a problem, because you said as long as there is war, as long as there are militia groups there will always be child soldiers. But why recruit kids? And how can we accept that a kid is going to go to war for us adults? It seems to me that my sense of manhood would make me refuse to use a kid - it would diminish me as a soldier.”

Walimba says “That, my General, is very well said, but adults today understand that militias only enrich their founders and commanders. Those who started the militias, as long as they're operational, they'll hang on to those who don't question - and those are the kids.”

Dallaire says “I can see that if you're a group of bandits who enrich themselves on the backs of others. But if you have a cause, that we can call noble or not, why do they recruit kids? why can't they convince adults to participate with them?”

Walimba says “Today there are no noble causes. There's no reason to be in these armed groups. There's no reason to recruit those kids in these armed groups of bandits.
(Soft music plays)

Dallaire says Merci.

Dallaire looks out on the wildand beautiful mountain scenery.

In off, DALLAIRE says
What gets lost in conflict
is the fact that we're not
talking about trucks,
we're not talking about
rebuilding a company,
we are actually in the midst
of trying to resolve
what is happening to hundreds
of thousands of kids.
These are children,
they're not weapons,
but they're being used
as weapons.
And unless you neutralize
that weapon,
all you're doing
is picking up the pieces
and you'll keep doing that
for the next hundred years.
That's not eradicating
the use of children
as instruments of war.

Dallaire boards a helicopter and sits looking down on the little dwellings below.

Well Dallaire is obviously
really, really respected
for what he went through.
And I think he can add something
that no one else can add.
But if he wants to stop
the use of children
in armed groups,
he will end up trying
to find a solution
to the armed groups
Well, I think Romeo Dallaire
will probably end up
having to take a position
with regard to
the lack of governance,
with regard to
the corruption here.
With regard to the fact
that the elite
doesn't care too much
about the little people.
I don't think you can solve
the child soldier issue
if you don't address all these
issues at once.
(Helicopter rotor whirring)

The airport building has U.N. logos on it. A caption reads “Dungu, Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Dallaire says Thank you.

A man shakes his hand as he leaves the copter and says Welcome to Dungu!
Good morning,
how are you?

A black man approaches and shakes his hand saying My name is Jacob.
Very nice to meet you.

Dallaire says How do you do
And you are--
your responsibilities?

Jacob says Head of Office for Dungu.

Dallaire says Oh, well done.
Thank you.
So, how long have you been
on the ground now?

Jacob says Two years now.
Two years.

Dallaire says Two years here?

Jacob says Yes, unfortunately, sir.

Dallaire says Wow!
So are you paying for your sins
for somewhere else, or?

Jacob says I'm shaking hands
with the devils.
(Both laughing)

Dallaire says You better
watch it then.

Lancaster says In this area, what we're
looking at in these days
is the LRA,
who now of course are infamous
across the world,
thanks to
the Kony 2012 video.

The Kony video plays. A caption reads “Kony 2012 Excerpt - Invisible Children.”

Who is the LRA?
The Lord's Resistance Army,
or LRA,
is a fanatical rebel group
that is responsible
for Africa's longest running
armed conflict.
(A photo shows Kony)
For 26 years,
Kony has been kidnapping
children into his rebel group,
the LRA, turning the girls
into sex slaves
and the boys into
child soldiers.
And this is not just
a few children.
It's been over 30,000
of them. (A composite image shows a mass of children)

Lancaster says This man has been in operation
for nearly 25 years,
has perfected the art,
if you wanna call it that,
of picking up recruits
where he can find them.
When the Ugandan army went into
operations in northern Uganda
to try to push them out,
it took them some time,
but they eventually succeeded
in pushing them away
and pushing them into Congo
and we've seen what's
happened since.

A map of central Africa shows the movements of the LRA.

Lancaster continues As they get weaker,
they seem to get more vicious.
And because they need
recruits to survive
and because children
are easy to recruit,
that's where they go.
Teaching them how to rob
and rape and steal
and butcher and mutilate
and then using them to terrorize
another community.
That's the case
we have here.
(Choir singing)

A sober-looking chapel bears the caption “Holy Martyrs of Uganda Cathedral, Dungu.”

(Speaking French)
C'est ça.
Mm, yeah.

Dallaire walks with a priest and says “In our briefings about the crisis in this region, we grasped that the Catholic Church plays a vital role here offeering some serenity to a ravaged population.

The priest says “We've lived through many wars here. But the LRA is a new level of insanity.

Dallaire asks “The LRA doesn't have any specific objectives?”

The Priest says “Really, it's terrible. they rurn on civilians and target them.”
They come into a village and massacre people without reason. Kidnapping kids, youths, taking them into the bush.”

Dallaire says “And teaching them how to use arms?”

The priest says “Yes, how to use weapons and how to kill with knives, clubs, hachets, machetes.”

There's only a few groups
who actually target children
for recruitment.
Like, the Lord's Resistance Army
does that.
They have a policy
of recruiting children,
breaking them down,
building them back up
and making them really
good soldiers
by having them practice killing
and killing in very brutal ways.
The LRA usually have them
kill their parents,
or kill their
sister or brother.
And once the kid does that,
he feels that he's done
something really, really bad,
which he has.
And he feels like he can't
go back to his community
and so once he feels
that way,
then the officer
who made him do that,
he'll start to become the father
for this child, and say,
“It's okay, what you did.
Don't worry, it's okay.
This guy was bad;
he was not good.”
And so that that kid develops
a strong link with him,
especially as
the combat continues
and he starts to rely on him
to save his life.
It's totally perverse,
but it's pretty effective.

Against cartoonlike illustrations, a BOY says
We were in a clearing
and I felt as if
I was spinning.
There were many other
young soldiers next to me,
jumping and dancing
and screaming
and shooting their guns.
Then our leader came to me.
He offered me
the gunpowder and cocaine
and as I sniffed it, it went
straight into my brain.
I remember feeling crazy,
it was wild,
I didn't know
what was going on.
Then I started hearing noises,
and there were sparks and
flashes going everywhere.
“I think I killed him,”
I started to shout.
And I began to cry as I looked
at the blood on my hands,
blood on my shirt.
And the tears just
couldn't stop coming down.
I thought,
“All I have now is this -
to kill, or be killed.
Teach the others
to become just like me,
so I won't be
the only one.”

Dallaire says The most difficult question
that I can remember
came from about a grade five
or six student
who asked me how many people
I killed.
And I said,
“Soldiers don't kill people -
soldiers use force
to protect others
to accomplish a mission.
And in so doing,
that deadly force does
ultimately bring death
and destruction
to other human beings.
And so they're not there
with an aim to kill,
as much as trying to protect
others or do a mission.”

Miriam Ghalmi, a Coordinator from South Sudan says
I think you are just coming back
from Congo right now
and of course you cannot compare
the situation of LRA in Congo
and in South Sudan,
more specifically,
in Western Equatoria.
We didn't have any LRA movement
over the past one year now.
However, communities here
in Yambio are--
and correct me
if I'm wrong--
are highly traumatized
by the idea of LRA.
And it has led to a significant
displacement of population.

Dallaire says Of IDPs?
Not just Congolese
refugees, but IDPs?

Miriam says Yeah, internally
displaced people.
All the communities
who are living
in the borders
with Congo and CAR
left the borders
to live much more inside the
territory of Western Equatoria.
The thing with LRA is that
it's not a regular army.
They are very mobile
because they move in pockets of
five, six, maximum ten persons.
And they work
in the jungle.
The jungle is very dense here,
the forest is very dense.
So for a regular army,
it's very difficult to trace
or to identify their movements.
So most of the time
they come by surprise here.
And this is why it creates
wave of panic.
And even the rumour of LRA
creates displacement
of population.

Last year, there were 300,000
South Sudanese displaced
allegedly by a group
of 12 to 15 LRA.
It's because the people
are so vulnerable.
Think of a madman running loose
in New York City.
Think of a serial killer
and the effect it has on our own
communities in Canada.
Everybody gets paranoid,
and paranoid very quickly.
And in our case, we've got
police, fire departments,
hospitals, all the kinds of
things that we can rely on.
We can pick up the phone and
dial 911 and get a response.
Can't do that here.
No phone.
No response.
It's nothing!
So when a small group of even
two or three armed people
show up and undertake the
kind of ruthless killings
that the LRA were
perpetrating at the time,
it terrorizes whole areas.

Clips show a refugee camp full of children in South Sudan.
(Speaking French)

Dallaire says “We're talking about the day your kids were abducted. Did it happen at night or during the day?”

A man says “At night.”

An older man sits nearby. A caption reads Odeste Gungbale, Traditional Chief.

Dallaire says “How was it done?”

And to the interpreter, he says “And tell him I know it's very difficult for him, as I'm a father too.”

Dallaire says “Did they take only your child or did they also abduct others?”

Gungbale says “They abducted other children as well. They took our child and left - I haven't seen her since. Only God knows if she's alive. I'm suffering.”

Dallaire says “What's wrong with this camp?”

Gungbale says “There are a lot of issues here.”

Dallaire says “Within the community and how the camp's organized? And the kids have a bit of schooling here?”

Gungbale says “There's nothing good here for us. It's not good at all. I'd rather go home and die than die here.”

Dallaire speaks to the camera and says
Well, he's been
in there for what,
nearly three years
I think now.
And has seen all these white
vehicles go by,
and he's seen all these great
humanitarians providing him
with half rations at best
and not being able
to do the normal work
of living off the land.
And the old guy said,
“That's it.
I'm going back home
no matter what happens.
Because I might as well die
there, because I'm dying here.”

Dallaire shakes his hand and says Merci beaucoup.
Merci. Thank you, father.

Remembering we're in countries
where they've been
used to rebel forces,
and not necessarily
professional armies.
So they've come
through civil wars.
And a civil war means
that your whole infrastructure
has been often destroyed.
Which includes your
security infrastructure.
The question is
what's the time frame?
How long do you sort of feel
that they can continue
to live in this limbo
of “not sure whether we're being
protected from the LRA
and certainly not sure
whether this whatever force
that's there
is actually capable
of doing something,
let alone
turning against them.”
That's got to be an absolutely
horrible scenario.

Governor Joseph Bakosoro says
One of the issues is that
the LRA will never attack
any military institution,
or any military barracks,
or any military installation- nothing.
Most of the time they
attack civilian targets.
I said the only option
is to mobilize
the people affected.
I talked to the civilians
and told them, “Are you going
to continue dying like this?
Can you not defend yourself?”
So every person mobilized themself,
and then grouped themself.
So they began to fight
the LRA seriously.

Dallaire says How do you break the fear
of those who live near
the border and so on,
so that they would
want to return?

Bakosoro says Since Kony is not caught,
since Kony is still at large,
what is the guarantee that
he may not come back?
What we tell them--
Please be alert
and be careful.

People go about their lives in the camp.
A clip shows “Arrow Boys” handling a rifle.
Other clips show them training in the jungle.

A man says “We need to go and stand up to the LRA. When we're on patrol, we must go with one heart, and when we go with one heart, we need not be afraid. If we meet the enemy, don't shoot aimlessly. We must be disciplined, as some of them may be behind you. find their location, then start shooting. Stay focused and alert.”

You know, war's
a very nasty business.
And anyone who thinks that
it can be made nice
is deluding themselves.
I'm not shocked
by voluntary recruitment.
Where children have felt that
their communities
and they themselves
are under attack
and the only place
they can find security
is inside an armed group.
So rather than
be a victim,
they decide to become
a fighter,
stand up on their own
two feet and fight.
So I'm not shocked
by the existence
of child soldiers at all.
But I've been bouncing
around it long enough
to want to pick
my battles
and pick
the really bad ones.
The LRA to me is something
that can be taken on.
And if we're able to somehow
put them out of business,
then we're going to stop
some of the most horrific
child recruitment
that goes on today.
(Chatting, indistinct)
(Children laughing)

In the camp, a man points at a boy and girl and says “These are my two children. One child is 12, the other is 13.”

The boy says “We went into the bush to eat mangos and the LRA appeared behind us. They started chasing us. We fell. I got up and tried to run away. They caught me and my sister and brought us to the main road. They tied ropes around our necks. My sister screamed, and they hit her with a machete.”

The man says “We waited until dark and then ambushed the LRA at midnight. We shot at them. Some ran away, others died. Then I rescued my children. I was overjoyed, because I was sure that I would never see my children alive again.”

The boy says “I was thinking they will kill us or turn us into their soldiers. I surrendered myself to God.”
(Dramatic music plays)

A transit camp for LRA abductees appears.

The use of child soldiers
is nothing but an abuse
of human rights.
And to say that I'm being
naive and innocent
in attempting
to break that,
is to me being simplistically
and not wanting to engage.
And it is so hypocritical
when we go ape shit
about our own kids,
but that we can see kids
in another country
as cannon fodder,
oh what the hell, why not?
And to think that that child
is not as much a child
as our child?
And feeling ethical?
“Yeah, you know, we believe
in human rights.”
No, you don't.

Dallaire hakes hands with a girl and says How do you do.
Your name is?

The translator says Est-ce qu'elle peut parler
un peu le français?

Dallaire says Ah! Elle parle le français
un peu! Ah, très bien.
Avec le français,
elle est bien.

Sitting with an interpreter, Dallaire says “During your ordeal were there moments when you wondered if you'd ever be able to escape?

The young woman, playing nervously with a piece of cloth, says “My only hope to escape was when I'd be sent out to look for food. I knew this could be my way out.”

Dallaire says “Did the commanders take good care of the group? Or was it your will to survive that kept you alive?”

She says “The commanders didn't care about us. But the rest of us stuck together.”

Dallaire says “She never met Kony, did she?”

The interpreter says “He asks if you ever met Kony.”

She smiles sheepishly and says In the forest? We were together at his camp.

Dallaire says “You who prays and believes in God - Is he the demon in the flesh? A demon - the Devil incarnate?”

She says “Kony? Kony looks like a normal person, but everything he does is diabolical.”

Dallaire says “Are you so full of rage against these people, or can you see a future for yourself as a young lady?”

she says “I'm very angry, but what can I do?”

Dallaire says “Is the ultimate solution to eliminate the commanders?”

She says “If you arrest Kony, everything will end.

Dallaire says “I shook hands witn the Devil, and you met him too.

The sadness about it, it's not
as if it started last week.
I mean, this guy's been at it
for over 20 years.
And she's a victim
of our ineptness of trying
to solve this problem.
Having been a bush wife
on top of that
and what will that mean for her
in her community
and will she be able to marry,
and so on.
So the child soldier,
the one who's abducted is
of course a total victim.

A bare tree stands starkly in front of some buildings as a storm gathers.
(Thunder rumbling)

A BOY says
We got the signal to move
forward at first light,
the rain still pouring down.
I jumped up and ran forward
yelling and pulling
the trigger.
People began to spill
from the huts
screaming and running
in all directions.
I looked 20 feet
in front of me
and there was a tall grown up
soldier wearing a blue helmet.
I felt so excited,
but there was also fear.
In this moment we were
two warriors
and I pulled the trigger
really long and hard.
I saw the tiny flash
from his weapon.
Suddenly, I was on my back
in the mud,
with rain still
falling on me,
but my chest burned as if
there was something on fire.
I could make out
his pale face and big eyes
staring down at me
in surprise.
I've been shot by the blue
helmet and I'm going to die.
I am no more
and I am nowhere.
I was a warrior
and now I'm a child again.

Can you imagine
a guy coming back
and talking about
how many kids
he's killed?
Even in a society that
has a level of tolerance and
even built respect
for those in uniform who are
doing these difficult missions,
can you imagine the haroosh
of some of the NGOs
and other social groups?
And how does he face his family,
and his own kids?
Even though
he's there defending
and all the logical arguments
are there,
it's still a child.

To Dallaire, THE INTERVIEWER says
Somebody asked you if the
fictional part of the book,
the peacekeeper
in that book, was you
who engages
with the child.
Do you remember that question
and what you said?

Dallaire says The book is an amalgam
of experiences
that I've been able
to capture.
And I'll leave it at that.

Dallaire walks down the driveway from his home.

The rolling Congo landscape appears.
Dallaire sits in the church with Lancaster.
(Voices echoing)
(Priest speaking

In off, LANCASTER says
You know how it is
at the end of any trip.
It's time to go home.
But it's been a really good trip
in a lot of ways.
A lot of layers to it.
First cementing or renewing
a friendship,
a very valuable friendship
with General Dallaire.
Um, in the second,
getting another look
at what's going on
on the ground.
I still think
his core agenda
of somehow putting a stop to
the use of children is noble.
These are things that we
should be concerned about
if we want to make
this world liveable.
(Choir singing)
I don't think we're going to
turn it into paradise, no.
That's not the human
experience so far.
But if the human condition could
be made a bit better,
then it'll happen
because there are people who
sit up and pay attention.
(Choir singing)

In off, DALLAIRE says
I'm not going to see
the end state
of these complex humanitarian
massive scale problems
in my lifetime.
But how much of that
do I want to influence?
How much of that do I want to attrit
so that whoever's carrying on
with this might see it?
You know, or it might be
the next one over.
But we're actually
going at it
and we're not just
letting it happen.

Dallaire crosses the road with a man and says Oh, okay.
Wow, yeah.

Sitting in a barber's chair, he says He can do a bit
around the ears there
and that would be good.
And does he like his life
now as a barber
instead of before
when he was in the bush?

A caption reads “Claude Mugisha, Former Child Soldier.”

Claude says “Life's good as a barber. As a child soldier, there wasn't anything good about life in the forest. I hope people will want to hear about our lives as child soldiers. It would be really great if we could talk to people and engage with them.”

In off, DALLAIRE says
If you're going to go
into conflict resolution,
helping nascent
you're going in there
for decades.
Because anything
below decades
is a waste of rations.
And so it has in it
a sense of urgency.
But that sense of urgency
is instead of it maybe
taking 60 years,
maybe we might
drop it to 45.
So that what we are working
towards is, yeah,
saving kids from this
and it's going to come.
But it ain't there yet.
But it's very important
to put that qualifier,

Against street scenes, a smoking volcano and other landscapes in Congo, the End Credits roll.

Director-Producer Patrick Reed.

Editor, Michele Hozer.

Producer, Peter Raymont.

(Lyrical music plays)
“The time will come
When we are all condemned
for what we've done
The time will come
I say the times begun
to pay for our crimes
No time to run
It's sundown,
these days are the final ones
Looking dumbfounded staring
in the eye of a gun
And we all scared to die
we all fear the pallbearer
All scared to cry,
we all fear our salt tears
But why were we living
so miserable
Can't get along,
why is forgiving so difficult
Why we live alone
What we living for
is critical
Someone give some hope
That's breath
for our living souls
Even if your physical
can't breathe
Stand up and lead
Me and my band of brothers
advance under siege
Move towards the future
the commander and chief
Plant a flag
on this soul”

“Call it land of the free
Every day both rich and poor
Wonder what we living for
We're gonna live forever
What we gonna live for
We're gonna live forever
What we gonna live for
We're gonna live forever
What we gonna live for
We're gonna live forever
What we gonna live for
We're gonna live
We're gonna live
We're gonna live
We're gonna live
What we gonna live for
We're gonna live forever
We're gonna live forever
We're gonna live forever”

Produced with the participation of CMF-FMC, Canada
Produced with the participation of D Documentary
Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children
Produced by White Pine Pictures 2012.
White Pine logo.

(Loon calling)