Civil War in Sierra Leone and Human Assistance

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Sierra Leone Civil War And Human Assistance INTRODUCTION Sierra Leone civil war is one of the most brutal civil wars of African history. It killed over 50,000 people and left thousands mutilated (Corinne Dufka, 1999). No one was safe from the rebels and no one was safe from the horrors the rebels brought with themselves. Even innocent children were dragged from their homes and forced to join the rebel group or face death, this is the tragedy of their story. Let’s begin with a brief introduction of the country itself; Sierra Leone is Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia (About.com Geography, 2005) .It inherited poverty, corrupt leaders and a diamond rich countryside which created an environment of unrest which exploded into a decade long civil war in 1991. CAUSES AND ROOTS OF CIVIL WAR To trace the major causes of the revolt the most significant was obviously the absence of strong leaders who could establish order in the country. As the focus here is the Civil war which begins in 1991 the early politics of the country is irrelevant but it must be established that since independence the economics and politics of SL was extremely disorganized. After series of military coups since the independence a man named Joseph Momoh becomes the president of SL and soon after stepping in position 1987 Momoh declares state of economic emergency giving himself greater control over SL’s economy but he was not regarded as a dictator instead, his people viewed him as far too weak and inattentive to the affairs of state and because he was surrounded by corrupt ministers (Shah, 2001) he drew a lot of bad attention from the military and the public so it was not long before other parties would begin to agitate the situation for their own gains. THE CIVIL WAR 1991 On the fateful day of 23 March 1991 a rebellion which began as a

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