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Table 1 Mechanisms of control

From: Abducted children and youth in Lord’s Resistance Army in Northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): mechanisms of indoctrination and control

Isolation from others who share a common language and culture “If they see you talk with one person frequently, they think you want to run away and they will beat you up.”
“When they kidnap you, you just move without any rest and you can’t talk with each other, especially those who were abducted. And if you do, they will say you are planning to run away and they will beat you.”
Control of Language “If you are a boy, you stay with them 1 year, you learn the language and become a soldier.”
“When I was kidnapped since I didn’t know their language – they were forcing us and beating us to learn their language”
Public Violence and Forced Complicity “They found 2 boys from the Zande tribe who tried to escape and they pulled other Zande boys from the group and forced them to beat those who tried to escape with sticks until they died.”
“If one child tries to escape, they catch him, put him in the middle of a group of children and make the children kill the child with a piece of wood and say if you try to escape we will kill you like that.”
Assignment to family structure with gendered roles “…normally when they train other kids to be LRA they put them under someone’s responsibility.”
“My job was basically to carry kids, cooking and carrying things when we were moving… [The man they gave me to] had other wives.” (female abductee)
“Boys in the LRA are transporters, then they give the gris gris and they become LRA.” (male abductee)
Witchcraft “When children come back [from the LRA], they are troubled, mean. They don’t play with others. They have gris gris that torments them.”
“ The behavior [of the recipients] changes when they get witchcraft…”