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Sierra Leone: From Cease-Fire to Lasting Peace?

Publisher WRITENET
Author Richard Carver
Publication Date 1 January 1997
Cite as WRITENET, Sierra Leone: From Cease-Fire to Lasting Peace?, 1 January 1997, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a6b624.html [accessed 22 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1. BACKGROUND AND CHRONOLOGY[1]

The war in Sierra Leone began as a spilling over of the conflict in neighbouring Liberia. In March 1991 two rebel contingents crossed the border, one in Kailahun District, in the east of the country, and the other in Pujehun District, in the south. At this stage the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), as it styled itself, consisted of few more than 100 fighters, of whom probably a majority were Liberians and Burkinabé. The invasion was preceded by threats from Charles Taylor, leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), against the Sierra Leone Government, which had provided troops for the Economic Community Cease-fire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), the regional peacekeeping force which had denied the NPFL victory in Monrovia the previous year. In April 1991, however, the RUF leader, Foday Sankoh, was interviewed on BBC radio and stated his objective: an end to the one-party system presided over by President Joseph Momoh and his All Peoples Congress (APC). As is customary, Foday Sankoh disclaimed any presidential ambitions of his own. The insurrection rapidly acquired an indigenous Sierra Leonean character.

For its first two years, the rebellion was largely confined to the south and east of the country where it originated. The RUF expanded the areas under its control by terror attacks on the civilian population, while summary executions of alleged RUF supporters by the military created a measure of support for the rebels. The RUF rapidly seized control of up to one fifth of the country, only to be driven back by an alliance of the Republic of Sierra Leone Military Force (RSLMF, the Sierra Leonean army) and a newly-created Liberia militia called the United Liberation Movement for Democracy (ULIMO). The latter was recruited, by the Sierra Leone Government in the first instance, from among Liberian refugees who had fled the areas under NPFL control.

The first notable rebel success was the military coup which overthrew President Momoh and the APC in April 1992. It later emerged that the RUF considered dropping its struggle at that point, but various Government offers of amnesty and cease-fire came to nothing. The coup had been engineered by young officers with experience at the war front, disillusioned by the corruption and inefficiency with which the counter-insurgency effort was conducted. The new head of state was Captain Valentine Strasser.

For the next year or so the effect of the military takeover was a more vigorous continuation of the war and the virtual annihilation of the RUF, albeit at the cost of widespread human rights abuses against the civilian population. However, there followed a series of important tactical changes by the RUF. First, it pushed from the border areas into Kono, the central diamond-producing district. Secondly, it retreated into remote forest camps where its youthful recruits were trained and indoctrinated. Thirdly, it began a series of damaging ambushes on the main roads, especially the Freetown-Bo highway. Fourthly, it began kidnapping foreign aid workers, missionaries and mining engineers - which, despite the growing scale of the local carnage, was the only thing which periodically focused international attention on Sierra Leone.

By late 1994 the RUF was operating throughout the country and was even pushing into the Freetown peninsula. In January 1995 the Government's collapse seemed only days away. However, the RUF was probably overextended and certainly lacked the capacity to make the final push against the capital. Also, in a repetition of the events of 1990 in Monrovia, international allies in the shape of troops from Nigeria and Guinea, gave backbone to the much-expanded RSLMF.[2] A British security company provided Gurkha military veterans, who fared badly, sustaining heavy casualties.[3] They were replaced in mid-1995 by the South African company Executive Outcomes, whose military personnel mainly comprised mercenaries who had seen action in counter-insurgency wars in Namibia and Angola.[4] With back-up from Ukrainian pilots flying ex-Soviet planes, they proved an altogether more effective proposition. Although the role of Executive Outcomes was supposedly confined to training (in return for mineral concessions), in fact it is clear that the mercenaries were involved in much active fighting.[5] The course of the war turned against the RUF once again.

On 27 April 1995, the thirty-fourth anniversary of Sierra Leone's independence, President Strasser lifted the ban on political parties and offered the RUF a truce and unconditional peace talks in preparation for elections later in the year.[6] The RUF response was a threat to disrupt the elections. In a radio call to the chairman of the electoral commission, Foday Sankoh said: "We say democracy and elections will have to wait until after we have freed this country."[7] In fact there had already been contacts between the Government and the RUF beginning in December 1994. In January 1995, Foday Sankoh had approached the International Committee of the Red Cross to negotiate a cease-fire, although any lasting agreement was apparently conditional upon the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.[8]

In August 1995, a national consultative conference met in Freetown to discuss a return to civilian rule. Represented at the conference were political parties, traditional leaders, trade unions, religious groups, women's and student groups and displaced people and refugees. The conference recommended that elections, scheduled for December 1995, should be postponed until no later than February 1996. The RUF refused an invitation to attend the conference, nor would it agree to participate in the elections or recognize their legitimacy.[9]

The whole fragile process seemed on the brink of disaster in January 1996, when President Strasser was overthrown in a palace coup which installed his deputy, Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, as head of state.[10] Brigadier Maada Bio, who happened to be the brother of a senior RUF official, was widely regarded as a hard-liner who favoured the army retaining power until the war was ended. However, under intense internal and external pressure, he agreed that the elections should go ahead on schedule, claiming that it had been his predecessor who wanted to delay them.

Voting took place on 26 February in a rapidly declining security climate. At least 27 people died in election-related violence, mainly in the south. Although this was officially attributed to the RUF, it seems that soldiers opposed to the elections may have been responsible. Nevertheless, the turnout for the election was remarkable, with the result that polling had to be extended to a second day.[11] None of the presidential candidates won the required 55 per cent, leading to a second round on 15 March between the two leading candidates: Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) and John Karefa-Smart of the United National People's Party. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah was elected in the first multi-party poll for 29 years.[12]

Two days after the election the RUF announced a two month cease-fire which was later extended while peace negotiations proceeded.[13] There had been extensive contacts between Brigadier Maada Bio and Foday Sankoh since the January coup.[14] By the end of May 1996, agreement had been reached on 26 out of 28 provisions of a peace accord. Disagreement continued on the timing of disarmament and the withdrawal of foreign troops, in particular Executive Outcomes.[15] The remainder of 1996 was marked by continuing violations of the cease-fire, some of them serious such as an attack on villages around Bumbuna on 17 October, in which dozens of civilians died.[16] Nevertheless, on 30 November a final peace agreement was signed. However, only days later, armed men killed 150 civilians in an attack on the villages of Kubehuna and Magbenka in Tonkolili, Northern Province, throwing the future of the peace agreement once more into question.[17]

2. ROOTS OF CONFLICT

Sierra Leone is one of the oldest states in Africa, dating from its settlement in the late eighteenth century by African former British servicemen. It became a British colony in 1807, as both a base for a Royal Navy anti-slaving squadron and a haven for released former slaves. Its strategic position and good harbour has made Freetown a valued staging post for British naval adventures as late as the 1980s. This long history of nationhood and the vibrancy and near ubiquity of Krio, the creole language evolved by the released slaves, has given Sierra Leone a coherence not enjoyed by its southern neighbour, Liberia, with which it shares certain superficial similarities.[18]

Since the 1930s the Sierra Leonean economy has been based upon exploitation of minerals: bauxite, iron ore, rutile and, above all, diamonds. Diamonds were originally mined by industrial methods by a subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate Selection Trust. After independence, diamond production largely reverted to individual alluvial mining.[19] Because of their size, diamonds are notoriously easy to smuggle, while individual pre-industrial production methods are virtually impossible to regulate. The unregulated, parallel trade in diamonds became not only the most important sector of the economy, but also the essential lubricant in a system of patronage based politics. Diamonds were a source of wealth for political leaders and hence subsidized a patronage system - what one historian of Sierra Leone calls the "shadow state".[20]

In 1967, the Sierra Leone People's Party, which had led the country to independence, narrowly lost disputed elections to the All Peoples Congress of former trade union leader Siaka Stevens. The APC established a formal one-party state in 1978, with Stevens seamlessly succeeded by General Joseph Momoh in 1985.[21]

From the 1970s Sierra Leone's mineral income began to decline as deposits were exhausted and the APC government became increasingly dependent on aid. To an extent the "shadow state", the patronage system, continued to substitute for the functions of the visible modern state. But as the economy went into steeper decline in the 1980s these patronage resources were also threatened.[22] The Sierra Leone Government entered a familiar pattern of overspending and indebtedness followed by the intervention of the international financial institutions and the imposition of stringent budgetary controls. One politically significant casualty was the educational system, which had historically been one of the best in the region. Explicitly or implicitly, both the RUF rebels and the youthful urban supporters of the 1992 military coup were protesting at the APC's poor custodianship of this important national resource.[23]

Parallel with this economic decline was an increase in the pro-democratic movement - from the independent press and human rights groups, as well as the illegal political opposition and the main aid donors. By the early 1990s President Momoh had been pressured to organize multi-party elections, although the democratization was scarcely under way when the RUF insurgency was launched - with democracy its stated programmatic aim.[24]

Some explanations of the Sierra Leone conflict, generally focusing on the appeal of the rebels to the youth, interpret it in terms of despair and mindless criminality.[25] It may well be that many participants in the rebellion supported it because of a certain hopelessness about their own prospects. Nevertheless, it is possible to discern the historical roots of the conflict, a number of which are quite specific to Sierra Leone.

First, a patronage based system is by nature exclusionary. Patronage owes its effectiveness to the fact that it is made available to some but not all. Patronage based systems tend to be accompanied by strong repressive apparatuses and often violations of human rights. In Sierra Leone the insurgency appears to have been led by individuals who felt that they had been excluded from the patronage hierarchy. In some instances the RUF played explicitly upon latent sympathies for the SLPP.[26]

Secondly, the main currency of patronage in Sierra Leone - diamonds - is unusually liquid and readily available. It is not a coincidence that much of the war has centred on the diamond fields. The immediate and obvious explanation is that seizing diamonds by force is a quick and easy source of wealth. Control of the diamond trade has been of immense strategic significance to rebels, Government and army alike.

Thirdly, the rebellion has succeeded in winning an unusual degree of support among young people (who were also important supporters of the 1992 coup by young officers). This reflects the specific impact on young people of the economic crisis, particularly a decline in education and the job market, but also the popularity of left-wing political ideas, some of them a peculiarly Sierra Leonean hybrid.[27] Left-wing governments in the region have used this element of the insurgency to justify their own support for it.

3. THE NATURE OF THE WAR

3.1 The Character of the RUF

The extremely violent nature of the conflict, some of the bizarre and theatrical aspects, such as the use of strange costumes by the fighters, and the dearth of programmatic statements from the rebels have led some commentators to assume that the RUF is anarchic and incoherent, or even to query whether it exists as an organization. In fact, the cease-fire showed the extent to which the RUF remained a coherent military organization. The truce was largely, though not exclusively, obeyed, which would have been improbable if the rebellion had been merely criminal in intent. The RUF has also tended to be conflated with the Liberian factions - inevitably, given their common roots - without regard to the different manner in which the armed groups have evolved in the neighbouring countries.

The RUF has a political programme. This was finally articulated in 1995, but was apparent in a limited way when the rebellion was launched, with its call for democratization. The RUF made a clear appeal to supporters of the SLPP, the country's first post-independence governing party, which was widely believed to have been cheated of victory in the 1967 elections. The RUF's initial operational base in the South and East was the SLPP heartland. The RUF leadership, however, was not drawn from the political elite. Rather it is made up of low-level oppositional intellectuals, a number of whom were in exile in Liberia. Foday Sankoh is a former soldier who has worked as a photographer. There are other cashiered soldiers in the RUF ranks, along with teachers and civil servants dismissed or marginalized because of a history of dissent. Like the Liberian NPFL, the RUF received early backing from Libya and Burkina Faso - indeed Foday Sankoh seems to have been regarded as a more reliable follower of the Libyan political line than Charles Taylor.[28]

The existence of a political programme, however faintly articulated, distinguishes the RUF from its Liberian counterparts. Another important distinction is the negligible part played by ethnic considerations in the Sierra Leonean war. When Charles Taylor launched the NPFL insurgency in Liberia's Nimba County in 1989, he consciously utilized Gio and Mano resentment against the Krahn-dominated government, encouraging ethnic killings. The ethnic dimension of the Liberian war has been manipulated from the top downwards, which has allowed alliances to be changed at will.[29] The RUF insurgency sought at first to replicate the Nimba County pattern, utilizing Mende resentment at their political exclusion. In southern Sierra Leone, however, the ethnic factor did not take hold. Possibly this was because the creolization of Sierra Leonean culture had been more complete than in Liberia, where there remained a strong distinction between the old Americo-Liberian elite and the indigenous population. Possibly a more educated and politically sophisticated population perceived their exclusion from power more in terms of the failure of the Sierra Leonean state and economy than in terms of ethnicity. Whatever the explanation, the absence of any significant ethnic factor in the conflict may make the process of reconciliation easier.

3.2 The RUF and the Youth

In Sierra Leone, as in Liberia, many of the combatants are exceptionally young. Also as in Liberia, images of the young fighters have been captured by the international news media displaying them in bizarre ad hoc costumes: ballet dresses, toilet seat covers and so on. This is sometimes interpreted as a reversion to African "barbarism", but in any event as something peculiarly anarchic and frightening.[30] The extensive involvement of children in armed activity is indeed a cause for concern, since it raises profound questions about the long-term reintegration of youth into society after this violent socialization.[31] However, the symbols adopted by the rebellion are perhaps most accurately described as a "post-modern" challenge to the orderly ideology of the state.

In his highly influential study of the Sierra Leonean war, Kaplan described the youth base of the rebellion as a series of "loose molecules".[32] Kaplan's "loose molecules" are said to be found among the urban unemployed. In fact, the young unemployed of Freetown have not provided much support for the rebels, although they appear to have been enthusiastic about the 1992 coup. Perhaps contrary to expectations, a large proportion of those classified as unemployed in the capital are highly educated young people resitting examinations in the hope of improving their qualifications. In contrast the main support for the RUF among the youth appears to have been drawn from the diamond-producing areas and the border country adjoining Liberia. In part, this reflects the origins of the RUF in the Liberian civil war. Also important, however, was the weak hold of the Sierra Leonean state in the border areas. The recession in the diamond industry has left few economic prospects for young people. Mostly of peasant origin, they are reluctant to return to subsistence agriculture after tasting the relative excitement of life in the diamond camps. Economic decline and the failure of the state to offer adequate educational opportunities appear to have been crucial.[33]

Richards, by contrast, stresses the strong ideological underpinnings of the rebellion. This ideology may seem eclectic and unconvincing but it challenges the notion that the rebels are mindless criminals. The RUF draws from a mixture of Pan-African radicalism, the Green Book ideology of Colonel Muammar Gadaffy and the "Third Wave" theory of Alvin Toffler (which posits an electronic revolution to follow the earlier modernizations of agriculture and industry).[34] The interesting aspect of these ideological reference points is their international nature. Richards has also shown the important influence of U.S. video films on the Sierra Leonean youth, notably the "survivalist" film First Blood, in which a Vietnam veteran (Rambo) outwits his persecutors in the deep forest of the American North-West. Thus, far from being a "reversion", the Sierra Leonean rebellion has drawn upon global political influences.[35]

3.3 The "Sobel" Phenomenon

The popular conception in Sierra Leone has been that much rebel violence and looting has in fact been perpetrated by rogue elements within the army - the "sobels". The name describes those who are soldiers by day, but rebels by night. This explanation perhaps underestimates the coherence of the rebels' organization and political agenda. It may also have been promoted by the army high command to distract attention from human rights abuses committed by the RSLMF in its own right. But there is no doubt that there exists somewhere between the two declared belligerents a shadowy armed presence preying on the civilian population.[36]

The "sobel" phenomenon originated in the battles for the diamond fields, when some soldiers made the discovery that freelance armed activities were more lucrative than counter-insurgency operations. Even the best-disciplined force can succumb to the temptation of looting. The RSLMF was not the best-disciplined army - although it has never degenerated into a mere armed faction in the manner of its Liberian counterpart - and it was woefully under-resourced. The quality and discipline of the army declined after 1991, when the force was dramatically expanded, from 3,000 to 16,000, in order to intensify the war against the RUF.[37] In 1994 and 1995, perpetrators of attacks on civilians were almost invariably described as wearing army uniforms and army issue boots, often new. While some army uniforms may have been captured by the RUF, it was clear that in many cases the attackers were current or former Government soldiers.[38] The difficulty of identifying those responsible was compounded by the frequent indifference of the civilian population as to the identity of their many tormentors, as well as the difficulty of distinguishing one faction from another. This was well expressed by a refugee in Guinea interviewed by Amnesty International in April 1995: "It is very difficult to distinguish between a rebel and a soldier because they use the same arms and ammunition, they wear the same uniforms, and they have almost everything the same."[39]

Many civilian accounts relate that those who were identified as members of military patrols would return later in "rebel" gangs to loot and commit atrocities. What has been perhaps even more sinister is the apparent commitment of some soldiers to committing atrocities which advance their own particular political agenda. In 1994 it appeared that some attacks were being carried out by military supporters of the APC of former President Momoh. In late 1995 and early 1996, up until the time of the presidential and parliamentary elections, many brutal attacks on civilians were officially attributed to "the rebels". It seems, however, that many were carried out by soldiers opposed to the democratization process.[40] They were echoing, probably unconsciously, the "pseudo-gang" tactics of orthodox counter-insurgency doctrine, whereby troops pose as insurgents in order to turn the civilian population against the enemy or to achieve some other political objective.[41] In this instance the tactic seems not to have worked, since popular support for the democratic transition was widespread and undeterred by the violence.

3.4 External Involvement

The Sierra Leone conflict began as an offshoot of the Liberian civil war, an origin which has continued to influence external attitudes. The RUF became identified with the same range of external backers as Charles Taylor's NPFL in Liberia: Libya, Burkina Faso and, perhaps only indirectly, Côte d'Ivoire. Similarly, the NPFL had targeted Sierra Leone in part because of the Government's alignment with its main regional enemies: Nigeria, Guinea and the government in Monrovia. These alignments have remained intact throughout five years of war. Although material support for the RUF has fallen away now, the presence of Nigerian and Guinean troops was an important factor in ensuring the survival of the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) government in late 1994 and early 1995.[42]

Another important international element in the Sierra Leone war has been the relationship with the politics of the Middle East, largely mediated through the large Lebanese trading community. Sierra Leonean Lebanese are of both Muslim and Christian origin and have relations with their respective factions in their country of origin. Israel has also had a particular interest in Sierra Leonean diamonds and a close relationship with successive governments, providing arms and security advice.[43]

The most important new international alignment has been the involvement of the South African company Executive Outcomes. Hired by the Government in mid-1995, the mercenary veterans of the Angolan war quickly turned the military situation around. While they ostensibly only played a training role, no one seriously tried to deny the crucial part played by Executive Outcomes in active combat. Frequently, mercenary involvement in conflicts is of less military significance than predicted, with supposed military superiority resting ultimately on unsustainable racial stereotypes. The Angolan civil war of 1974-1976 was a clear case in point.[44] The strength of Executive Outcomes, by contrast, is its strong corporate identity, derived from economic interests wider than mere military involvement. One consequence is that Executive Outcomes employees are recruited with some care and behave with a discipline not normally associated with mercenary forces.[45] Whether the company's long-term involvement in Sierra Leone is in the interests of the local population is a separate question which will be considered below.

4. THE HUMAN COST

Bare statistics do give some sense of the devastation the war has caused to Sierra Leonean society. Out of a total population of some 4.5 million, an estimated 1.2 million have been internally displaced and a further 800,000 are regarded by agencies as being in need of emergency assistance. A further 320,000 have been displaced outside the country's borders, 200,000 to Guinea and 120,000 to Liberia. Nearly 15,000 are estimated to have been killed.[46]

Food production has dropped every year for the past four years and dependence on food imports has increased correspondingly. The conflict has displaced farmers, cut off access to arable land and disrupted food storage, processing and distribution. There is a continuing shortage of seeds, tools and other agricultural inputs.[47] Relief agencies report that civilians from areas under RUF control were particularly severely emaciated - not only having been underfed, but also forced to carry out farm work for the rebels.[48]

However, attempts to provide food aid have often only succeeded in feeding the combatants. The RUF, in particular, not only ambush food convoys, but also stop trucks at road blocks and demand a payment of food before they will let them through.[49] Throughout the war RUF attacks have been concentrated on targets from which they can loot: arms dumps, food stores and pharmacies. Some observers suggest that large-volume food aid only perpetuates conflict by feeding the belligerent parties.

Both sides in the conflict employed extremes of violence, not only (or even primarily) against their opponents, but against the civilian population and prisoners in their custody. The army consistently carried out summary and arbitrary executions of suspected rebel supporters. Human skulls, including at least one of a child, were seen hanging from the radiators of army vehicles.[50] The RUF were also responsible for widespread - and often large-scale - massacres of civilians. The rebels were frequently responsible for mutilation of their victims, ranging from genital mutilation and evisceration to amputation of hands to discourage participation in the elections.[51]

5. PROSPECTS FOR PEACE

The most widely accepted explanation for the Sierra Leone conflict, which has become common currency from the U.S. State Department in Washington to the upper echelons of the Organization of African Unity, is that of Kaplan. He argues a variant of neo-Malthusian theory, explaining the violence as crime driven by underlying population pressures. His picture is seductive but ultimately unproven.[52] The analysis of scholars such as Richards, Reno and Keen points in a different direction. Keen emphasises the political economy of violence, where Kaplan sees it as irrational.[53] Reno anatomizes the patronage based character of the Sierra Leonean state.[54] And Richards explains how the RUF leadership is a group excluded from the politics of patronage which has successfully mobilized alienated youth from the border and diamond-producing areas in support of a particular political project.[55] The implication of Kaplan's thesis is that the violence is essentially unstoppable until it fulfils its historic task of arresting the rise in population. If, as seems more likely, Richards is correct, then the process of rebuilding a more inclusive state, tackling corruption and encouraging civic involvement holds out some prospect of success.

Those who see the conflict as having environmental roots regard the Sierra Leonean people as poor custodians of the indigenous rain forest. Yet there is ample evidence that the peasant farmers are careful and sophisticated long-term managers of forest resources.[56] The threat to the rain forest in Sierra Leone comes primarily from commercial mineral exploitation.[57] The irony is that in order to reestablish services which the state has been unable to organize, the Government has invited in commercial interests which will commit potentially greater damage against the environment. Foremost among these is Executive Outcomes, which is distinguished from most mercenary outfits by its interest in long-term mining concessions, especially in diamonds. This was the basis of its involvement in Angola.[58] In Sierra Leone (as in other "collapsed states" such as Mozambique), essential functions are being reestablished by an effective return to company colonialism - the era which was ended by the establishment of formal colonial rule. The danger is that the Sierra Leonean state will be unable or unwilling to exert the necessary controls over foreign companies to protect the rain forest. The country may yet succumb to environmentally driven conflict.

One reason for optimism, however, is the increasingly active involvement of civilian groups in the political process and in pursuit of peace. This was most clearly seen in the February-March 1996 elections, when the population endured threats and, in some cases, serious physical attacks, in order to exercise their democratic rights.[59] However, this increased insistence on civilian involvement can be seen in a variety of ways. In December 1994, for example, RUF fighters attacking Bo, in Southern Sierra Leone, were confronted by an unarmed crowd of civilians who simply refused to be cowed by the rebels in the usual manner, first disconcerting the attackers and then chasing them off. Seven rebels were captured and beaten to death.[60]

The increased involvement of kamajors, or traditional hunters, has been another important dimension of civilian control over the peace process. Kamajors have been deployed to enforce the compliance of both RUF and Government troops with the cease-fire provisions. On occasions this has led to conflict with Government troops, notably in Bo in October 1996. The kamajors, although described as "traditional", come from a similar social background to that of the RUF fighters and other irregular forces. The difference, aside from their use of skills derived from hunting in the forest, is that they are answerable to civilian authorities. Nevertheless, there are fears that the kamajors could become a destabilizing factor if they are not included in the disarmament process.[61]



[1] Except where indicated, this section is drawn from the following sources: Paul Richards, Fighting for the Rain Forest: War, Youth and Resources in Sierra Leone (Oxford: James Currey, 1996); Amnesty International, Sierra Leone: Human Rights Abuses in a War Against Civilians (London, September 1995); Amnesty International, Sierra Leone: Towards a Future Founded on Human Rights (London, September 1996); United States Committee for Refugees. "The Usual People": Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons from Sierra Leone (Washington, February 1995)

[2] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Troop Reinforcements from Sierra Leone Arrive", 11 May 1995, quoting Radio France Internationale, 9 May 1995; Inter Press Service, "Sierra Leone-Politics: Foreign Troops Keep Rebels at Bay", 10 May 1995 (GreenNet)

[3] Inter Press Service, "Sierra Leone: Mercenaries Being Recruited in Bid to Save Regime", 27 April 1995 (GreenNet)

[4] Observer [London], "SA Help for Sierra Leone Army", 7 May 1995; Guardian [London], "Apartheid's Hitmen Go Back to War", 29 May 1995

[5] Reuter, 3 October 1995 (GreenNet); New African [London], "Dangerous Dogs of War" (November 1995)

[6] Guardian [London], "Political Ban Lifted", 28 April 1995

[7] West Africa [London], "In Search of Peace", 1 May 1995

[8] Independent [London], "Sierra Leone Rebel Chief 'Seeks Truce'", 1 February 1995

[9] Amnesty International, Sierra Leone: Towards a Future Founded on Human Rights (London, September 1996)

[10] Inter Press Service, "Sierra Leone-Politics: Palace Coup Shocks West African Nation", 17 January 1996 (GreenNet)

[11] Amnesty International, September 1996

[12] Voice of America, 18 March 1996 (GreenNet)

[13] Reuter, 24 March 1996 (GreenNet)

[14] Voice of America, 25 March 1996 (GreenNet)

[15] Reuter, "S. Leone Talks Stall over S. African Mercenaries", 29 May 1996 (Greennet)

[16] United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs, Bi-Monthly Information Report Sierra Leone, 8-21 October 1996

[17] Inter Press Service, "Sierra Leone-Politics: Massacre Puts Country Back on the Alert", 11 December 1996 (GreenNet)

[18] Richards, pp. 37-38

[19] Africa South of the Sahara (London: Europa Publications, 1989), p. 885

[20] William Reno, Corruption and State Politics in Sierra Leone (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)

[21] Africa South of the Sahara, p. 882

[22] Richards, p. 36

[23] Ibid., pp. 51-2

[24] Ibid., p. 7

[25] Robert Kaplan, "The Coming Anarchy", The Atlantic Monthly (February 1994)

[26] Richards, pp. 22, 25-6

[27] Ibid., pp. 52-5

[28] Ibid., pp. 25-7

[29] Richard Carver, Liberia: What Hope for Peace? (WRITENET for UNHCR/CDR, October 1994) (UNHCR/CDR REFWORLD Databases)

[30] Stephen Ellis, "Liberia 1989-1994: A Study of Ethnic and Spiritual Violence", African Affairs, Vol. 94 (1995), pp. 165-97

[31] Inter Press Service, "Sierra Leone-Children: Recruited as Buffalo Soldiers", 4 February 1994 (GreenNet)

[32] Kaplan

[33] Ibid., pp. 48-52

[34] Richards, pp. 52-5

[35] Ibid., pp. 55-9

[36] United States Committee for Refugees

[37] United States Agency for International Development, Sierra Leone - Complex Emergency, 6 August 1996

[38] Amnesty International, September 1996

[39] Ibid.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Richard Carver, "Zimbabwe: Drawing a Line Through the Past", Journal of African Law (Spring 1993)

[42] United States Committee for Refugees

[43] Richards, p. 20

[44] Wilfred Burchett and Derek Roebuck, The Whores of War: Mercenaries Today (London: Penguin, 1977)

[45] Electronic Mail and Guardian [Johannesburg], "Africa's New-Look Dogs of War", 27 January 1997

[46] United States Agency for International Development and Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. USAID/OFDA Situation Report, No 1, 6 August 1996

[47] Ibid.

[48] Inter Press Service, "Sierra Leone-Politics: Hunger and Torture Behind Rebel Lines", 28 October 1996 (GreenNet)

[49] World Food Programme, Rebel Ambushes Disrupt Food Aid in Sierra Leone (Rome, 22 September 1996)

[50] Africa Confidential [London], "The Military Prepares to Go, Again", 13 August 1993

[51] Amnesty International, September 1995; Amnesty International, September 1996; United States Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights 1995: Sierra Leone (Washington, 1995)

[52] Kaplan

[53] David Keen, "Organised Chaos: Not the New World We Ordered", The World Today (January 1996)

[54] Reno

[55] Richards

[56] Melissa Leach, "Environmental Impact of Refugees from Liberia in Sierra Leone", Refugee Participation Network, No 11 (1991)

[57] Richards, p. 155

[58] Electronic Mail and Guardian [Johannesburg]

[59] Voice of America, 14 March 1996 (GreenNet)

[60] Richards, pp. 152-4

[61] United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs, Bi-Monthly Information Report Sierra Leone, 8-21 October 1996 and 22 October-5 November 1996; International Committee of the Red Cross, "Emergency Medical Activities in Bo", 7 November 1996 (press release)

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