The Sierra Leone Civil War is dubbed as one of Africa’s most arcane civil wars to date. The Sierra Leone Civil War has left thousands upon thousands mutilated, dead or missing.

And the cause: money and power. If a war has to be summed up to one major cause, the Sierra Leone War can be summed up to the coveted control over diamonds. Diamonds had been the cause of numerous deaths, accounts of violence, destruction of properties and severe misery for the people in Sierra Leone.

The Sierra Leone Civil War began on 23 March 1991 when the Revolutionary United Front, with support from the special forces of Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), intervened in Sierra Leone in an attempt to overthrow the Momoh government and sparked a gruesome 11 year civil war that enveloped the entire country and left over 50,000 dead. More than 2 million people (well over one-third of the population) were displaced internally and externally. With help from both a UN peacekeeping operation and British military intervention, the civil war was finally declared over on January 11 2002.

The Sierra Leone Civil War was prominently headlined by the conflict between the blood diamonds in Sierra Leone. While the discovery of these blood diamonds had long been known to all, it was only in the 1990s when the Civil War ensued under through the workings of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) headed by Foday Sankoh.

The pivotal cause of the Sierra Leone Civil War was the installation of the military leader Joseph Momoh as president of Sierra Leone in 1985. Many major opposition groups rejected this installation. Some of these student groups were driven out of the country, thus causing them to flee to other countries such as Ghana and Liberia. Some individuals from the RUF pursued the revolution through the education of some miners by educating them with some revolutionary ideology.