Laying the Ghosts

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And see to it he did, A jury of seven parsons was convoked, and each sat for half-an-hour with a candle in his hand, and it burned out its time with each, showing plainly that none of them could lay the ghost. Nor was this any wonder, for were they not all old acquaintances of his, so that he knew all their tricks? The spirit could afford to defy them; it was not worth his while to blow their candles out. But the seventh parson was a stranger, and a scholar fresh from Oxford. In his hand the light went out at once.

He was clearly the man to lay the ghost, and he did not shrink from his task; he laid it at once, and in a beer barrel. But now a fresh difficulty arose. What was to be done with the beer-barrel and its mysterious tenant?


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Where could it be placed secure from the touch of any curious hand, which might be tempted to broach the barrel, and set free the ghost? Nothing occurred to the assembled company but to roll the thing into one corner, and send for the mason to inclose it with stones and mortar. This done, the room looked very odd with one corner cut off. Access thebmj. I was at Brighton Medical School recently, talking ethics to third years, and a lively and engaging bunch they were too.


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  • Among the many things we talked about were electives, particularly in resource poor countries. It is no surprise that students look forward to their electives. The travel appeals of course; the ability also to escape the tourist rat-runs, tourists having a terrible tendency to denature the places they tour. I certainly know from experience that there is nothing like a visit to a psychiatric hospital in sub-Saharan Africa to remind you that there is more to the world than you will find between the covers of a Lonely Planet guide.

    There will almost certainly be interesting clinical opportunities: the chance to see creative responses to extreme resource shortages.

    Hunter's Dawn - Laying the Ghosts by Meg Leigh

    Depending on the location there will be conditions that you are unlikely to see at home. There may also be opportunities to learn from non-traditional carers. I have also heard it said they can be a good opportunity to take on more clinical responsibility than students are ordinarily given in the UK. And this is where things can get troubling.

    It was students who first alerted me to the problem. They are also sometimes known as the Home Guard. Other ethnic groups in the Equatorias also formed Arrow Boys, but the Azande were the most numerous. Hide Footnote With the war ending, the Azande — some of whom had fled to Congo or Uganda — mobilised to kick the Dinka and especially their cattle off land they regarded theirs.

    By the end of , however, the Azande faced a more lethal enemy, the LRA. Following collapsed peace talks, the Ugandan army, with U. Hide Footnote The LRA resorted to extreme violence, kidnapped civilians and forced them to fight members of their own community. Those who escaped often had to go through painful reconciliation processes to be welcomed back into their communities.

    Juba was preoccupied with asserting territorial control across the south and believed that another war with Khartoum was imminent. If the Zande Arrow Boys lacked significant national government support, they received help from church leaders, businessmen and Western Equatoria state officials. Hide Footnote This support heightened tensions with national authorities. Most were only lightly armed — with hunting rifles, machetes, and sometimes bows and arrows — and thus presented no threat to central authority.

    But they had the advantage of mobility and surprise over their guerrilla opponents. Norris was executive director of Enough, the anti-genocide project at the Center for American Progress. Mistrust still hampered relations with government forces, however. International advisers to the U. Being an Arrow Boy was not full-time work, so most continued to farm and support their families. But they could mobilise quickly when necessary, communicating via mobile phones and, in the most remote areas, with drums.

    Hide Footnote Much of the local population actively helped the Arrow Boys, either by donating supplies or by becoming active members: a survey in Ezo and Tambura counties found that four out of five respondents had provided them with food and half said either they or another household member had served with them. Nonetheless, the Azande repeatedly demanded that the government formally recognise these local forces by arming, equipping and paying them. The Arrow Boys insisted on operating without national level control, however, and refused to join the army to avoid deployment outside their home region.

    Hide Footnote Although Juba rejected their demands, some Arrow Boys remained active, implementing in several areas a parallel justice system for small disputes.

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    Hide Footnote The above-mentioned survey found that nearly 85 per cent of respondents trusted Arrow Boys for dispute resolution, more than those who trusted local chiefs, elders, the church or the SPLA. In , the Arrow Boys once more got involved in an ethnic conflict, joining a state government-led campaign to forcibly expel nomadic Mbororo cattle herders, a violent effort that reportedly involved violations of both international and national human rights law.

    The Azande initially did not get involved in the dispute, but the conflict revived old resentments. Violence in predominantly Dinka areas once more displaced cattle herders into Western Equatoria. As tensions grew and tit-for-tat violence escalated, the Azande perceived the government as supporting the Dinka.

    Laying Ghosts in Mugabe's Zimbabwe

    The situation came to a head in September when Kiir removed Bakosoro from office and the Arrow Boys entered into open rebellion. Despite being motivated by essentially local grievances, the Arrow Boys inexorably were drawn into the civil war: like the Kamajors in Sierra Leone, they went on the offensive, only in this case against government troops. A series of battlefield losses led many Arrow Boys to disperse; their large-scale rebellion effectively collapsed.

    In mid, some Arrow Boys still were at war and ambushed government vehicles or blocked roads in forested areas. One large Arrow Boy group signed a peace agreement with Juba but it remained unimplemented. Many Arrow Boys are returning to their communities where they encounter a lukewarm welcome. Such is the extent of their loss of status that churches in some communities are organising reconciliation processes for returned Arrow Boys akin to those used for LRA escapees.

    The radical Islamist movement known as Boko Haram launched its insurgency in from the city of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state in north-eastern Nigeria. From there it spread to the border areas of Chad, Niger and Cameroon. Unemployed urban youths made up most of the original movement, led by a charismatic young preacher named Mohammed Yusuf, who rejected secular authority and sought to establish a caliphate. While these groups have helped the police and military launch more targeted, effective operations, they also at times abused their authority. After , Boko Haram attacked security forces as well as a wide range of civilian targets, including clerics, local politicians, neighbourhood chiefs and students attending secular, state-run schools.

    Hide Footnote In early , according to local accounts, several residents decided that citizens of Maiduguri should organise to defend themselves. Hide Footnote They started by seeking out, attacking and killing Boko Haram members.

    Astonishment

    By June of that year, roughly vigilantes were manning checkpoints, armed only with sticks and machetes, to spot and eliminate Boko Haram members moving about in, or trying to escape from, Maiduguri. The vigilantes were protecting themselves from a dual threat: both from Boko Haram and from government security forces, which were inflicting collective punishment on communities suspected of harbouring militants, sometimes setting fire to houses and shops or randomly arresting — and in some instances, executing — passers-by. Hide Footnote Citizens of Maiduguri also may have hoped to ease the state of emergency imposed in May , which included suspension of phone services, a measure that largely crippled commerce and communication across the region.

    Joint Task Force officers helped select vigilante leaders and Borno state officials became involved in management roles. Those selected for military training went through a vetting process, including background checks and medical screening. Hide Footnote Usually only sector commanders carried modern weapons, although the army provided members with assault rifles for specific operations. In mid, CJTF members from Maiduguri began accompanying the army outside the city, working with them to form units in locations that had been under attack or recovered from Boko Haram.

    Most rural units had only traditional weapons, such as spears, bows and arrows or locally manufactured shotguns. The force also spread to other north-eastern states. Hide Footnote When in late Boko Haram threatened Yola, hunter brotherhoods from various communities and ethnicities mobilised in response and were strongly supported by state authorities and local elites. Like other civilian defence groups, these units carried out intelligence and surveillance missions, patrolled roads and manned checkpoints.

    Their local knowledge allowed them to identify and vet newcomers spotted in public spaces vulnerable to attack, such as mosques and markets.