A Dirty War in West Africa

A Dirty War in West Africa

The RUF and the Destruction of Sierra Leone
Lansana Gberie
Distribution: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvado
Publication date: 12/01/2005
Format: Paperback 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21855-1
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Provides important insider information concerning Sierra Leone’s recent war... and builds on [the author’s] established reputation as an insightful and courageous journalist." —William Reno, Northwestern University

A Dirty War in West Africa recounts Lansana Gberie’s harrowing experiences as a journalist during the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone. Since 1991, this West African nation has been brought to its knees by a series of coups, violent conflicts, and finally, outright war. The war has ended today, but it is clear that things are hardly settled. Focusing on the group spearheading the violence, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), Gberie exposes the corruption and appalling use of rape and mutilation as tactics to overthrow the former government. Gberie looks closely at the rise of the RUF and its ruthless leader, Foday Sankoh, as he seeks to understand the personalities and parties involved in the war. This sobering and powerful account reveals the domestic and international consequences of the Sierra Leone conflict.

Author Bio

Lansana Gberie is a research associate at the Wilfried Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic, and Disarmament Studies. He covered the Sierra Leone civil war as a journalist for Inter Press Service.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The RUF Phenomenon
2. Sierra Leone: From Independence to State Recession
3. The Making of the Revolutionary United Front
4. War and State Collapse
5. Not Just a Coup: The AFRC Takeover of 1997
6. "Operation No Living Thing" and Terror as Warfare
7. From "U-Nasty" to "Model Peacekeeping"
8. Diamonds and the RUF's War
9. Epilogue: The Reckoning