'Freedom Soldiers' - new UNHCR music video urges young people to fight for peace
GENEVA - The United Nations refugee agency on Wednesday released a 4-minute music video, "Freedom Soldiers, Making Music not War," performed by refugee artists brought together by Senegalese star Youssou N'Dour.
Each of the performers comes from a country that has experienced armed conflict. The African musicians sing from their personal experiences of exile and call for an end to war in the song's chorus:
We are freedom soldiers. We wanna free you with our music / We are freedom soldiers. We wanna tell you fight no wars / We are freedom soldiers, we want to free you from their brutalities / That's why they call us freedom soldiers.
The song is a mixture of pop, rap and African sounds. Its strong lyrics highlight the problems of child soldiers, the misery refugees face, and reminds us that across the African continent "the bridges of tomorrow are being burnt down." It conveys powerful images of the ravages of war, and the victimization of innocent people, but also a message of hope.
These 'freedom soldiers' say violence never solves problems and they urge that all people join forces across boundaries, with music as the only weapon, to secure a free and peaceful world.
The track comes from the UNHCR album, "BUILDING BRIDGES", which features the contributions of 12 musicians from nine African countries. The compilation pays tribute to the talents and resilience of the world's refugees. The proceeds from the sales of the CD will allow young refugees to go to school.
Shot: September & October 2001
Location: Belgium, Canada, Senegal, and UNHCR archive footage
Duration: 4 minutes 04 seconds
Source: UNHCR - Pictures are available free of charge
Lyrics and Music: Peter Cole
CD: Refugee Voices, Building Bridges (RV 002-2). Distributed by Stern's Music UK.
Singers on 'Freedom Soldiers'
Guest appearance: Youssou N'Dour
Refugee artists: Gato Bedseyele (Angola), Peter Cole (Liberia), Djakhobo (Rwanda), Tony Kabeya (Congo DRC), Bai Kamara Jnr (Sierra Leone), Keinaan (Somalia), Saintrick (Congo Republic), Blanche Songo (Congo Republic), Hervé Twahirgwa (Rwanda).