Analyzing the causes
The Sierra Leone civil war (1991-2002) was one of the most grotesque wars in post-independence Africa. The Sierra Leone civil war was a perfect stage for Man to show hatred for a fellow man, in the form of rape, murder, displacement and other crimes against humanity, which has left, a permanent scar to the people of Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone was meant to be the shining light of Africa; it had all that was needed to engineer economic and political prosperity. It was also the first country to have the first University in West Africa: the Fourah bay college. These Factors ought to have made Sierra Leone a living paradise; instead, it became a living hell. As history as shown before, war can diminish even the most mighty to nothing.
Sierra Leone as a country is slowly rising from the ashes of war. To understand the Sierra Leone Civil war, it is imperative to understand some of its causes.
Sierra Leone political history.
The Sierra Leonean political history has been identified as one of the precursors of the Sierra Leone civil war. Since independence, the politics of Sierra Leone has been marked by corruption, political assassination, mismanagement, and electoral malpractices. The culmination of these factors led to the Sierra Leone civil war.
The “Resource- curse”
Sierra Leone is a country blessed with many resources: rain forest, clean water, arable lands, and gemstones. The presence of Diamonds coupled with a corrupt and unstable government was a perfect opportunity for creating anarchy so as to seize the mining fields for personal benefits and to fund the civil war from the sale of these diamonds. These diamonds would later be known as the “blood diamonds”.
The external factor.
There is no denying the fact that external forces played a role in the Sierra Leone civil war. Charles Taylor, currently facing trial in the International criminal court for his role in the civil war. Muammar Gaddafi is known to have trained and supported Charles Taylor to cause anarchy in Sierra Leone. The Liberian civil war has also been linked to the Sierra Leone civil war. The RUF (Revolutionary United Front) insurgents promised hopeless men and young boy’s money and shelter if they join their campaigns in Sierra Leone. Having no future, and often drugged the external rebels executed untold suffering one of the most infamous being the chopping of arms. This inhuman act has become synonymous of the brutality of the Sierra Leone Civil war.