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Rex Murphy on the Somalia Affair: ‘Bloody and contemptuous images’

The Story


It's coming in waves now, embarrassing revelation after revelation. Just after the release of disturbing home videos shot by Canadian soldiers in Somalia, comes this -- brutal home movies shot during military hazing rituals. Soldiers are shown eating feces and engaging in imitated acts of sodomy. One black soldier has "KKK" smeared onto his back with feces. In this commentary, the CBC's Rex Murphy describes the sorry state of the Airborne division. "We promised them peacekeepers," he says angrily, "and in some cases, we sent them thugs."

Medium: Television
Program: Prime Time News
Broadcast Date: Jan. 19, 1995
Host: Rex Murphy
Duration: 4:05

Did You know?


• On Jan. 23, 1995 it was publicly announced that the Airborne Regiment would be shut down. Feeling that the unit's image was too sullied to recover, the government gave final orders to disband and disperse the soldiers into other regiments across the country. The regiment shut down on March 5, 1995. It was the first time a Canadian military unit had been broken in disgrace.

• Christopher Robin, the black soldier in the hazing videos, testified at the Somalia Inquiry that the proceedings during the hazing ritual were all in good fun and not truly racist.


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