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By Krijn Peters

The armed clash in Sierra Leone and the extraordinary violence of the most insurgent faction - the progressive United entrance (RUF) - have challenged students and participants of the overseas group to return up with reasons. as much as this aspect, although, conclusions in regards to the nature of the conflict and the RUF are in general drawn from bills of civilian sufferers or according to interpretations and rationalizations provided through commentators who had entry to simply one aspect of the conflict. the current examine addresses this at the moment incomplete knowing of the clash by means of targeting the direct reports and interpretations of protagonists, paying specified cognizance to the hitherto missed, and sometimes underage, cadres of the RUF. the knowledge offered demanding situations the generally canvassed thought of the Sierra Leone clash as a warfare stimulated by way of "greed, now not grievance." particularly, it issues to a rural hindrance expressed by way of unresolved tensions among landowners and marginalized rural early life - an unaddressed situation of juvenile that at the moment manifests itself in lots of African nations - extra bolstered and caused via a collapsing patrimonial kingdom.

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Additional resources for War and the Crisis of Youth in Sierra Leone (The International African Library)

Example text

That is why most of these guys decided to join the rebels, because they were not having jobs. Some were educated, but they decided to join the rebels instead of sitting down [to] waste their time. That is why most of the youths joined the rebels. That is the major reason. Because of lack of jobs. . Most of them [who joined the RUF] were not forced. Some were forced but most of them were not forced. Some were just saying, let us find these people and join them. Because their major theme was to change the government, and the system.

This material will make clear why the predominantly marginalised rural young people abducted by the RUF actually found certain elements in its programmes attractive, once inside the movement. This attractiveness was not necessarily objectively rational, and in some respects the movement can be understood as a kind of Cargo Cult, bent on reversing societal disdain. Although I will concede room for disagreement on how to interpret some of the material presented in the previous chapters, what seems beyond doubt is that the isolated bush camps of the RUF offered an alternative society to the conscripts, centred on meritocratic rather than gerontocratic or patrimonial principles, and that the loss of these camps to mercenary-assisted operations by government forces in the run-up to the peace accord plunged the movement into a fatally unstable paranoia.

They [my parents] were farmers. They had a rice farm. But as soon as the war started it became very difficult to make a farm. But we were still trying to make a farm during the war. During 1991 when the war started there was no farming and schooling going on in our part, the Kailahun district. There was no education going on there. That led to our degradation. During 1991 and 1992 we were doing nothing. There was no education but there was fighting everywhere. We were just close to the barracks.

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