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A Dirty War in West Africa: The R.U.F. and the Destruction of Sierra Leone
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A Dirty War in West Africa: The R.U.F. and the Destruction of Sierra Leone (Paperback)

£30.00
Usually despatched within 2 weeks.

Synopsis

"A Dirty War in West Africa" charts in gripping detail - based on first-band experience - the decade long civil war that brought Sierra Leone to its knees from 1991-2001. The group spearheading the violence, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), claimed to be freeing the country from corruption and the brutalities of its political class and their foreign allies, but their insurgency killed more than 75,000 people, displaced half the population and destroyed one third of the country's already feeble infrastructure. The RUF also became notorious for appalling acts of brutality, including rape and the widespread use of mutilation: those deemed supporters of the government or any of its agencies had their limbs hacked off. The RUF is today a spent force, politically, although some claim it has retained its arms in the hope of one day relaunching a military campaign. But where did it spring from? Was it a movement driven by criminal acquisitiveness that adopted the rhetoric of politics? Was it another example of Sierra Leone's tradition of subaltern uprisings by disaffected youths, often manipulated by wily political operators? Or was the RUF an inchoate uprising of the people.

Lansana Gberie is a research associate of the Wilfried Laurier Centre for Miltary, Strategic and Disarmament Studies, and a consultant for Partnership Africa Canada, an Ottawa-based lobby group. He covered the Sierra Leonean civil war as a journalist for the Inter Press Service and newspapers from 1991-6, and was among the first to meet and interview Foday Sankoh, former leader of the RUF, Gberie is one of the authors of The Heart of the Matter: Sierra Leone, Diamonds and Human Security (Ottawa, 2000).

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