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The Kabba administration became increasingly dependent on the Kamajors for security 5. The growing confidence in dealing with rebels impelled the Kamajors to confront other civic associations, particularly in the North, but also in Matotoka, Bo, Kenema and Zimmi. Inevitably, one of the first acts of the junta was to outlaw the Kamajors, who in turn indicated their desire to mobilise 35, of their number for a march on Freetown to oust the renegade soldiers. It is important to note that in the last instance the army would intervene in politics largely for military reasons First, Charges of corruption against ousted regimes whilst this may be true; yet, it is a rationalisation central to all dawn broadcasts following a military take-over.

In the end the military tends to intervene to remove a civilian government when perceived corporate interests are threatened. In the case of Sierra Leone, because of the clientelistic mode of accumulation, junior officers of the armed forces often develop a sense of political and economic marginalisation, a perception that often leads them to exaggerate their support among the public. In the case of the Kabba regime there were quite a few poorly conceived policies, some of which we have already discussed. The first relate to security. Similarly, Kabba's failure to bring officers accused of plotting to overthrow his government to justice helped to foster an image of a weak and indecisive leader.

This perception of a weak leader was not helped by the abruptly ending of the trial of an ex-Foreign Minister who had been accused of selling the country's passport to British-Hong Kong nationals. Furthermore, the generous terms and conditions that were offered to the disgraced former president Momoh astonished many Sierra Leoneans.

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These included: a very generous pension of Le , a house with servants, a car with a driver and bodyguards. Momoh's triumphalist manner and speeches helped to whip up anti-government sentiments. He claimed that he was not allowed to face the people in general elections before the army ousted him, and he used the opportunity to declare his return to active politics.

It was felt that he would have brought young, dynamic people who had not been contaminated by the politics of kleptocracy. Opposition parties blamed Kabba in particular for not doing enough to prevent his suspension. Finally, there was growing indiscipline within the ruling party. Many of these were abducted by both sides and in the case of the RUF after a period of socialisation into violence, including violence against their community and relations; they were employed into various areas of military life.

Girls and young women were turned into sex slaves of military commanders Zack-Williams, b. The active role played by children posed a major problem not just for peacekeepers, but also for the government's demobilisation and reintegration programmes and a major the Special court, which has been set up to deal with abuse of human rights. It has now been established that minors will not be brought in front of the Court. Under this agreement, the RUF leader became effectively Vice President of the country and he was made Chair of the Commission for the Management of Strategic Resources, Reconstruction and Development CMRRD , which him in charge of all the country's mineral resources, in addition, a number of his field commanders were awarded cabinet positions.

Furthermore, rebel leaders were granted blanket immunity from prosecution for human right violations. Jesse Jackson. Western leaders who had become concerned about the blood-letting in that country, but who had no intention of sending in troops into Africa's futile wars following the US debacle in Somalia, thought that any deal that would bring peace to that troubled land was good enough for them.

Furthermore, Kabba had failed to seize the initiative to impose a settlement on the rebel leadership at a time when their morale was low and the government could have negotiated from a position of strength, following the destruction of the rebel's Headquarters at Zogoda in by the Kamajors. There were demands for justice for the tens of thousands of those killed, raped and the thousands of the amputees in the country.

Also documents found in his house at the time of his arrest in May , showed that Sankoh was still prepared to sell the country's diamonds through informal networks. Finally, in May , as the last Nigerian ECOMOG troops left the country, Sankoh decided to make a final push to seize power as his followers unleashed a military take over. The population of the capital took to the street marching on Sankoh's house where his guards opened fire, killing scores of unarmed demonstrators.

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In the ensuing mayhem Sankoh was able to escape only to be captured a few days later, in Babadori some seven miles from the capital, trying to seek help from the Nigerian embassy to flee the country. Meanwhile, the crisis had attracted British paratroopers who had been despatched to the capital under the guise of evacuating British and Commonwealth citizens from the troubled country. The paratroopers were able to rescue Sankoh from a lynching mob, but they also brought reassurance to the anxious population, but not before a group of British troops were ambushed by remnants of the AFRC, who had been engaged in widespread banditry outside the city limits.

By the end of January , when both government and RUF leaders declared an end to the war some 46, ex-combatants had been demobilised and have entered the reintegration and resettlement process. Ex-fighters were able to swap weapons for cash, before being discharged to various agencies, which would then embark on a process of de-traumatisation, particularly in the case of the children, family tracing and the process of uniting them with their family.

Many ex-combatants had indicated their desire to be trained in various skills and in the case children, the desire to resume a disrupted education. This includes a set of tools, uniform to go with the trade and financial allowances. The trade's person receives financial inducement for participating in the scheme, whilst the new apprentice receives regular subvention for the duration of the training.

The down turn in the country's economy meant that many who completed their training could not find jobs, heightening the sense of deja vue among ex-fighters.

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First, as noted above the programme has had to be abandoned in a kind of stop-go process, due to the resumption of fighting by the various war factions. Second, the failed state, which constitutes the Sierra Leone government, became over-dependent on donors for financing the demobilisation process, and funding was not always forthcoming.

Third, serial demobilisation has been a serious problem with ex-fighters bringing out one or two weapons only to return with some more, in order to obtain more funds. It is widely known that not all the weapons have been handed in at the demobilisation centres. Similarly, many young fighters who had spent a considerable amount of time with the armed factions, now considered them parents-surrogates and do not want to be united with their parents. Girls and young women who returned with their babies found further rejections, not just by parents, but also head teachers and principals refused to register them in their schools.

Many returned with major gynaecological problems. Ex-combatants, especially children face widespread stigmatisation, in spite of the government's attempt to promote a policy of peace and forgiveness. They usually referred to as rebel children, and seen by an already impoverished population as a privilege group who are being rewarded for the destruction they caused to their country.

This can be a major source of potential conflicts between ex-combatants and the poor members of society, many of whom lost their property and source of livelihood as a result of rebel activities. The process of reintegration and reconciliation involves traditional leaders, significant others in society as well as traditional ideas, including libation. In looking at the causal factors, we note that they were a reflection of the nature of state and politics in Sierra Leone. The institutional fragility of the state was alluded to and attention drawn to the inability of the governing class to secure compliance from subordinated groups to their rule.

The result was that violence was an important tool for legitimisation. We also pointed to the role patron-client relationship played in political legitimisation in Sierra Leone. The latter group constitutes the vanguard of the RUF. The series of structural adjustment programme deployed by successive governments in the s and s had a destructive effect upon vulnerable groups and reduced the employment prospects of many secondary school-leavers and university graduates impelling them into opposition of the ruling party.

In an attempt to strengthen his grip on society Stevens instituted the one party-state, which tended to alienate a major sector of society, mainly those from the south-eastern corner of the country. It is within this social sector of society that the rebel movement initially gained support.

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It was this that brought the war to the attention of the international community. We noted despite the three peace accords signed by both side, yet peace never came to Sierra Leone, because the government failed to utilise a position of strength after the Kamajors over-ran RUF headquarters to impose its terms on the rebels.

The departure of Executive Outcomes at the behest of the IMF meant that the government forces soon lost the initiative as the RUF regrouped, aided by Charles Taylor in Liberia and soon occupied the mining and agricultural districts. As a result, a solution was imposed from outside, which in turn emboldened the RUF. EMBED for wordpress.

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Want more? Advanced embedding details, examples, and help! This study by Larry J. Woods and Colonel Timothy R. Reese analyzes the massive turmoil afflicting the nation of Sierra Leone, , and the efforts by a variety of outside forces to bring lasting stability to that small country.

In every case, those who intervened encountered a common set of difficulties that had to be overcome. Drawing upon a conceptual framework found in the work of Joseph S.

Military Interventions in Sierra Leone: Lessons From a Failed State

Nye, Jr. Established in to promote economic cooperation and integration, ECOWAS found itself so embroiled in security and military matters that it had to reinvent itself as a peace enforcer. An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page.