This is an excerpt of a 30 minute educational film where fighters of irregular forces from the Congo, Sudan, the Philippines and El-Salvador talk about their perception of the Geneva Conventions. The film is used by delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross to promote basic knowledge of International Humanitarian Law. They try to reach child soldiers, jihadis, militias and drug barons etc.
It was a major challenge to find fighters who were willing to talk about their personal war experiences. I was very surprised that none of our interviewees had any doubts about the necessity of the Laws of War. I expected that some of them would simply believe in brute force and terror as the most effective means to win a war. But none of them see any benefit in excessive violence because it haunts the perpetrators for ever and inevitably it turns the civilian population against them.
A former Cobra commander in Congo Brazzaville admitted how he is still having nightmares about decapitating one of his Ninja opponents.
A girl soldier in South Sudan who witnessed the massacre of her family is glad that her SPLA commander stopped her committing a revenge attack.
The vast majority of warriors all around the world clearly appreciate the existence of International Humanitarian Law. But far too often they don't hear about these rules. Hopefully this film will help spreading the message.
I filmed, directed and produced this film in collaboration with ICRC staff and my Kurdish colleague Karzan Sherabayani.
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