Social navigation among Rwandan army deserters in South Africa
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In this thesis, I explore the post military lives of Rwandan army deserters who served in, deserted from the post-conflict Rwandan Defence Force (RDF), and went into self-imposed exile. I sought to understand the transition from military to post military life in a context of exile. I argue that being a Rwandan army deserter in self-imposed exile conjures a complex form of post military life and being ‘on the run’ is the best way to navigate Rwandan state surveillance in South Africa. An ethnography conducted in Cape Town and Johannesburg over a period of eighteen months revealed that the military to post military transition of Rwandan army deserters is complicated because these former soldiers believe that they are being ‘hunted’ by their government.