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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 22 December 2017 > The New Amazons

The New Amazons

ARMED AND DANGEROUS An unidentified member of a group of women protecting their island, Mbongo Soa, from Séléka rebels. Marie-Yvette, right, holds a picture of herself in her Séléka uniform.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP/GETTY
Meet the women who chose to TAKE UP ARMS in one of Africa’s most BITTER conflicts
COURTESY OF CASSANDRA VINOGRAD

M

MELVIA WANTS TO MAKE SOMETHING VERY CLEAR: She joined the rebels to kill—not to boil manioc or perform other chores usually dumped on women. She wanted to fight back against the men who attacked her village in the Central African Republic, torched her home and killed her grandmother. “I didn’t join the group to cook”, she says. “I wanted to do the hard work.”

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