The Sierra Leonean Civil War

Africa has been subjected to a whole lot of devastation for many of years under slavery, colonialism, decolonialism and imperialist regimes. This continent has more than 9 million displaced people and refugees with this physique growing at a reliable rate. This desolation however had a far more crippling effect on sub-Saharan Africa as civil conflict has become rife in your community because the end of the Chilly War. The concentration of this newspaper is on the Western world African country of Sierra Leone. This is a country that experienced ten years long Civil Warfare in an attempt of bringing financial steadiness and a democratic political system for the Sierra Leonean people. There are many deep-seated aspects that are evident when looking into the 10 years long battle in this small African country, from the reasons why the war began, the numerous individuals in the battle and the dissolution as well as the effects there after. For the purposes of this paper, the main focus would be the direct engagement of the Economic Community of Western world African State governments Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) in the civil battle and exactly how it is questionable whether they were participants in the conflict rather than peacekeepers.

The Background of Sierra Leone is in itself quite unique as liberated and freed slaves were dispatched to their freedom land in a city that was known as accordingly, Freetown, the administrative centre city of Sierra Leone. By 1951, there is framework in place for decolonization to take place and despite various discontents between the Sierra Leonean people about the English rule; independence was achieved peacefully in April 1961 by Sir Milton Margai and the Sierra Leone's People Party (SLPP). This is the pivotal point in the country's background as although freedom had been achieved, it was out of this point on that the instability of the Sierra Leonean federal government be rife. After a short lived parliamentary system and the succession of Margai by his 50 % brother Sir Albert Margai, the All Individuals Congress (APC) triumphed in the much contested elections in 1967 and Mayor of Freetown and APC leader Siaka Stevens assumed position of leading minister. It had been from here on that the conditions in Sierra Leone extended on a downwards spiral in a fairly domino effect as in 1978, Stevens amended the constitution turning the country into a one party rule and all other political functions were therefore restricted. The APC administration ruled over the nation of Sierra Leone for over two. 5 decades with Stevens in power for 20 years. Skipping the party hierarchy and choosing his own successor, Stevens handed power to Joseph Saidu Momoh who was the brigadier of the army in August 1985. In doing this he skipped the natural order of proposal that ought to have exceeded to the vice president.

These are crucial factors in why it was inevitable that the country finished up in a civil conflict as politics decent had not been allowed, which resulted in opposition mentors either being imprisoned or executed by the end of staged management trials for treason. The individuals were deprived of the democratic protection under the law as they were secluded from the political and cost-effective activities. The fact that the individuals were being oppressed under a totalitarian routine was not the only contributing factor in to the destabilisation. The reality of the situation is usually that the economy was at 'tartars', partly because of the problem and mismanagement, but also because of the undesirable IMF conditions. Relating to Yusuf Hassan, "Once these elections were over, it was business as standard for Sierra Leone's lite and its own Western backers. No procedures were made for the eradication of poverty or for the reconstruction of the shattered infrastructure. Instead the new federal government called on earth Standard bank and the International Monetary Finance, which were quick to impose their discredited structural adjustment programme. The indegent continue to wallow in their misery"

This therefore led to there being mass unemployment throughout the state and a decline of educational standards and a lack of basic health facilities. The road conditions fell way below that of roadworthy and the electro-mechanical supply to the united states was nonexistent dubbing Sierra Leone as the darkest country in Africa. Tribalism played a great part in dividing the people of Sierra Leone as well as distabalising the interpersonal structures. One of the reasons for this is that whenever the countries in Africa were being colonised, the imperial market leaders did not take in to the account the prevailing governing set ups and the distinctions between tribes. This meant that when they made a decision to draw edges distinguishing the countries, tribes that had not recently coexisted in the same boundaries, were now compelled to take action. This ultimately led to the problems of who governed the united states as the Mende's and Krio's for case were irritate at the idea of a Temne led party ruling over them. That is why the excluded individuals thought the only path they would have any change was through make of biceps and triceps.

The conflict in Sierra Leone was started by the overdue Foday Sankoh and the Revolutionary United Leading (RUF) when they invaded Sierra Leone from the eastern boundary with Liberia in 1991. Sankoh was a armed forces corporal in the military before he was imprisoned by the APC government for his alleged engagement within an abortive armed service coup. Sankoh and handful of his lieutenants received trained in Libya in guerrilla warfare where he achieved Charles Taylor and his products. It's been said that Charles Taylor sponsored the RUF as a way to destabilise Sierra Leone. ". . We suggest we have an important health supplement to Azar's model as well as perhaps a qualification in those circumstances like Sierra Leone after 1991 where it might be external formation that is seen as a leading cause of warfare. " Both categories returned to salary warfare in Liberia and then Sierra Leone successively. As of this same time a tiny group of soldiers called the Country wide Provisional Ruling Party (NPRC) led by Captain Valentine Strasser overthrew the government in a military coup sending Momoh into exile in Guinea and became the ruling specialist in Sierra Leone. At this point it was evident that there would be a continuous routine of change in government whether willingly or by push. Not surprisingly, the British federal government and their imperialist interest persuaded Strasser to stand down and hand over power to a civilian government and Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, a United Nations worker for over 20 years, became the new chief executive of Sierra Leone. Dejection didn't end there as the people were still not satisfied with the government's lack of ability to avoid the improvements of the RUF towards the capital from the eastern cities. This resulted in Major Johnny Paul Koroma and the Armed Forces Groundbreaking Council (AFRC) waging a military services coup up against the democratically elected federal government.

As a consequence of this, ECOMOG troops were dispatched into Sierra Leone in an attempt to bring serenity and stableness to the united states and also to remove Koroma from his home appointed position as chief executive. This peacekeeping make which was created in 1990 by the Economic Community of Western world African Says (ECOWAS) was mandated to reinstate Kabbah by military means. "The principal goal of the ECOMOG peacekeeping operation was to halt armed conflict and prevent its recurrence. And this goal was to be achieved by behaving as the physical barrier between hostile get-togethers and monitoring their military advancement. Their extra goal was to create a stable environment for discussions, which could lead to a peaceful image resolution among parties engaged". The intervention were only available in a timely manner and may have ended the warfare much before, but lacked the logistics and financial means and statistics to be able to effectively control the problem in Sierra Leone. Regardless of all the criticisms about the participation of ECOMOG, the fact remains that Nigeria was the main one country eager to send its soldiers to combat and sacrifice lives in the name of democracy in Sierra Leone when nobody else was ready to do that. ECOMOG succeeded in eliminating the commanders who had staged a armed service coup nevertheless they were unable to support the RUF rebels who took control of Freetown.

There was a discourse about how much support ECOMOG should get, considering the position of Nigeria at that time as Sani Abacha was leader. Nigeria was slightly shunned by the international community and also experienced sanctions which were imposed after it which resulted in the lack of dialogue happening between military and military services with the uk. This was a hard time which meant that helping ECOMOG that was predominantly being led my Nigeria felt highly impossible. "Different politics agendas among member states hampered ECOMOG's effectiveness. Over Liberia, tensions surfaced between areas which reinforced warlord Charles Taylor and the ones, such as Nigeria, which compared him. Nigeria's prominent position within ECOMOG led other state governments to think it of using the drive to further its own agenda". However the British officers were persuaded that despite what was currently the situation in Nigeria, what ECOMOG was attempting to achieve in Sierra Leone was a make for good. It is also recognised that if the other Western world African countries got sent troops to support the ECOMOG in bringing peace they would have been more lucrative quicker. "But other Ecowas countries lacked the resources to attempt significant action without Nigeria. ECOMOG contingents were often poorly-equipped. This reflected the shortcoming of member countries to provide adequate funding for their own militaries".

The work that ECOMOG military put into destabilising the united states when these were there, with an increase of support and even more coordination, ECOMOG might have been able to solve a lot more of the issues that the country faced at the time. Although these were there simply to work with the federal government to protect the government as well as the people especially those within the federal government controlled areas, but the United Nations Objective in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) helped to help make the people recognize that indeed the ECOMOG military have there been as a peacekeeping power that cannot fight with either area on the conflict, however, this did not settle well with the people of Sierra Leone. "Our first group of critics, exemplified by David Shearer's analysis of 'conflict image resolution in Sierra Leone' (1997), question whether a issue image resolution consensus-promoting strategy, predicated on impartial mediation and negotiation by the international community, is appropriate where conflict is fuelled by greed rather than grievance (Berdal and Malone, eds, 2000)". This was regarded as a problem as these were there with all the current forearms and ammunitions nevertheless they could not battle, even when the rebels attacked civilians with all atrocities.

It can be argued that the mandate was not strong enough to attempt the duty as only 6000 troops were allowed by the UN. "The UN quest in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) was deployed to help use the 1999 Lome Tranquility contract between Sierra Leonean waring parties". The RUF were aware when the UN first came in so when it became clear that they realised that the UN were not going to have them on, they bettered their techniques greatly and became more aggressive. The UN are said to have come to the conflict simply as observers and this is ludicrous as you are unable to observe in times of war and the general feeling amongst the individuals were that the UN and ECOMOG military should have sided with the government as these were being attacked and the people killed. Therefore it was not understood why any well signifying force would sit back and try to be neutral and only negotiating agreements for peace. "The peacekeeping operation was to defuse pressure between concerned celebrations giving each party time and energy to relax without of imminent strike by their competitors. Nevertheless, the ECOMOG methodology was not always the best because no method of peace is ideally suitable for every situation".

Sierra Leone introduced the international community solidly into the world of the 'privatised peacekeeper' where mercenaries part of to keep or, as Sierra Leone exhibited, to enforce the calmness. The participation of mercenaries, or private armed forces companies, as they prefer to be called, is not really a new sensation in Africa.

The use of private military companies is part of a growing trend in international peacekeeping where states, due to cost and risk involved with sending nationwide armies, use bodies that are able and happy to do battle in volatile regions of the world. The usage of international peacekeepers continues to be apparent, but boasts about the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of privatised soldiers have increased their participation in handling several conflicts.

"In Feb 1998, ECOMOG, giving an answer to an harm by rebel/army junta pushes, launched a armed forces attack that led to the collapse of the junta and its expulsion from Freetown. On 10 March, Leader Kabbah was came back to office".

The effects of the civil warfare

Opening of opportunities of drugs and forearms smuggling.

Erosion of nationwide and regional security and facilitates criminal offenses between Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Use of turmoil diamonds to gas the war.

Over 50, 000 individuals were wiped out in a country where the population was slightly below 6 million.

Thousands more were abducted, raped and possessed their bodies mutilated.

Children were recruited, trained and drugged to be brutal child troops.

2009 People Development Index ranks Sierra Leone at quantity 180, just third from the bottom.

A continuous circuit governments being overthrown used: In 1992 Momoh was overthrown by Captain Valentine Strasser of the Country wide Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC). Strasser was overthrown in 1996 by his deputy, Brigadier Julius Maada Bio.

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