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Luckily, the New York Times manages to convey a rather differentiated picture in comparatively little space. This is laudable. But perhaps the Congolese army embodies this variability par excellence, for a couple of reasons:. In addition, the Congolese military is paid extremely little in terms of official salaries from around 70 USD lowest grade to slightly over USD highest grade. Mostly these are survival-related activities to help feed children or pay their school fees. Obviously though, it comes along with secondary effects, for instance mere absence from duty.

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These are usually handpicked and subsequently given a proper salary and equipment. Seeing someone wearing a uniform, in particular outside the urban centres, does not always mean it is an actual army member.

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  • Given past alliances and joint operations, as well as defections, many militias incl. As much as the Congolese army contains elements that are illiterate both in terms of alphabetisation as well as military training, it also features outstanding officers — many of whom I have met personally and who left me with a feeling of strong impression. Mamadou Ndala only partly relate to its image as a disorganised army. However, it specific cases it is sometimes hard to estimate to which extent an individual commander is rightly red-listed or not.

    Many high-ranking FARDC officers told me over the past weeks that they endorse this vetting procedure but they have a hard time understanding why Mandevu figures — a person amongst their peers they had estimated to be a good pick for this operation.

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    Of course, all that is not to deny that FARDC elements have committed horrific crimes in the past, the mass rapes of Minova in late are just one of the most recent despicable examples. But does the whole army rape? No, certainly not.

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    Do they rape more than others? Hard to say…. The Chameleon changes colour in different parts and in different moments. One of them indicates that Sudan attempted to assassinate the AU Chairwoman in Sudan is also accusing a UN peacekeeper of rape, likely to cover up its recent mass rape in Darfur.

    Chameleon-like clothing: World's first full-color, flexible, skin-like display -- ScienceDaily

    In the DRC, hopes were high for UN peacekeepers following the introduction of the Force Intervention Bridgade, but following a number of high-profile departures and setbacks, optimism is fading. To regulate its color, the cuttlefish relies on a vertically arranged assembly of three optical components: the leucophore, a near-perfect light scatterer that reflects light uniformly over the entire visible spectrum; the iridophore, a reflector comprising a stack of thin films; and the chromatophore.

    This layering enables the skin of the animal to selectively absorb or reflect light of different colors, said coauthor Leila F.

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    When the cuttlefish actuates its coloration system, each chromatophore expands; the surface area can change as much as percent. The Harvard-MBL team showed that within the chromatophore, tethered pigment granules regulate light through absorbance, reflection, and fluorescence, in effect functioning as nanoscale photonic elements, even as the chromatophore changes in size. Images courtesy of George Bell.

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    For example, we cannot yet engineer materials that have the elasticity to expand [percent] in surface area. And were we able to do so, the richness of color of the expanded and unexpanded material would be dramatically different—think of stretching and shrinking a balloon.

    The cuttlefish may have found a way to compensate for this change in richness of color by being an 'active' light emitter fluorescent , not simply modulating light through passive reflection. This collaborative project expanded our breadth of inquiry and uncovered several useful surprises, such as the tether system that connects the individual pigment granules. For Parker, an Army reservist who completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan, using the cuttlefish to find a biologically inspired design for new types of military camouflage is more than an academic pursuit.

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    He understands first-hand that poor camouflage patterns can cost lives on the battlefield. Bell, Lydia M.

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    Senft, Trevor J. Wardill, and Alan M.