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07 Oct 2002 description

Fighting broke out Sunday around the northern city of Bouaké as cease-fire talks faltered.

By Nicole Itano, Special to the Christian Science Monitor

ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST - Late Saturday afternoon, eight foreign and defense ministers from six West African countries sat slumped in the red canvas seats of a roaring French C-160 cargo plane, sweat dripping down their faces, frustration in their eyes.

18 Sep 2002 description

How one African country went from a bloody 10-year civil war to a stable democracy in just two years

By Danna Harman, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE - A few days after New Year's 1999, the rebel group Revolutionary United Front (RUF), together with gangs of former government soldiers, staged the most violent attack yet on the capital, Freetown. The mission was code-named "Spare No Living Thing." Thousands of civilians were killed, raped, and mutilated with machetes. The sky filled with circling vultures, drawn to the blood.

20 Aug 2002 description

By Greg Campbell

27 Jun 2002 description

By Ann Scott Tyson, Special correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

22 May 2002 description

Diamonds fueled a decade of civil war. Can the nation's new leaders rein in illegal mining and trading?

By Danna Harman | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

KOIDU, SIERRA LEONE - The murky river Meya runs straight through Koidu town. Six months ago, a visitor would have seen thousands of teenage boys doubled over in the river - shirts off, brows dripping with sweat - sifting for diamonds.

Today, most of those boys are gone.

07 Nov 2001 description

By Danna Harman | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

MAKENI, SIERRA LEONE - Gibril Massaquoi fiddles with his heavy gold rings, one on each finger, as he ponders an uncertain future.

"We are prepared to give in our weapons, but we want something to do afterward," says Mr. Massaquoi, spokesman for the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the rebel group that is disarming under a November cease-fire with the government. Nearby, a dozen ex-fighters sit around Massaquoi's porch looking bored, as a bevy of young girls paint their toenails. "We need schools.

30 Oct 2001 description

Child protection groups in Sierra Leone believe that thousands of children were branded by rebel armies.

By Danna Harman | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

BAFODIA VILLAGE, SIERRA LEONE - It's a hot evening in Bafodia village. A handful of children sit around the Mango trees, drenched in sweat, half-heartedly humming tunes as they slap away the mosquitoes.

All of them are shirtless in the heat, except two. Kaiadicu Kamara wears a turtleneck. Alfred Mansaray itches at his wool sweater.

25 Oct 2001 description

By Robert I. Rotberg

19 Jul 2001 description

By Greg Campbell Special to The Christian Science Monitor

A sick baby died in the African heat only hours before she was to be evacuated from the war zone in which she'd lived most of her short life.

She died amid a small knot of tired, desperate, and sick refugees who are among the estimated 2 million people who have been displaced during this country's two-decade civil war.

Early that Sunday morning they were registered for evacuation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and told to wait for a helicopter.

13 Jul 2001 description

Many have disarmed since a May 15 peace deal, but diamonds form stumbling block.

By Greg Campbell Special to The Christian Science Monitor

Only a few months ago, Bila Lahaji and Bukari Borbor would have shot the people they now call neighbors and friends.

11 Jul 2001 description

Today the continent's leaders are set to adopt a plan for joint peacekeeping forces. Can it work?

07 Mar 2001 description

By Edward Girardet

13 Nov 2000 description

By H.E. Sheikh Hasina

06 Sep 2000 description

Peacekeeping tops the agenda of the largest-ever gathering of world leaders.

30 Aug 2000 description

The weekend abduction of 11 peacekeepers sparks debate over 'mission creep' in Sierra Leone.

By Alexander MacLeod, Special to The Christian Science Monitor

In West Africa, Britain is facing a situation similar to what confronted the United States seven years ago in Somalia. The weekend abduction of 11 British peacekeeping troops by rebels in Sierra Leone has uncanny echoes of the American experience on Africa's east coast in 1993. Whether its response also echoes the US's remains to be seen.

10 Aug 2000 description

The UN today decides on an international court, and the US will send troops to train peacekeepers.

By Minh T. Vo, Special to The Christian Science Monitor

The rebel leader accused of seizing Sierra Leone's diamond mines to finance his rebel group's exceptionally brutal, decade-long civil war, may soon have to face an international court.

Today, the United Nations Security Council will consider a resolution, pushed by the United States, to establish a war-crimes court for the tiny West African nation.

28 Jul 2000 description
Angola + 3 others
Dirty diamonds

By Bruce Wilkinson

12 Jul 2000 description

By Larry Thompson

Peacekeeping on the cheap is a recipe for failure. Sierra Leone is the latest case in point, as its fragile peace accord unravels unhindered by international peacekeeping efforts.

The resumption of hostilities between government and rebel forces in May - in which rebels took hundreds of UN peacekeepers prisoner - was hardly a surprise. It was clear from the moment the peace agreement was signed last July that the fragile accord would need a strong peacekeeping presence to enforce it.

06 Jun 2000 description

By Ed Royce

Out of the chaos of the Sierra Leone peacekeeping operation, Washington has a chance to lead a winning international effort. This will require quick action, bold vision, and a significant American engagement in Sierra Leone.

Unless the US is willing to make such a commitment, it would be best to leave Sierra Leoneans to their own fate.

17 May 2000 description

By Dennis Jett

The chaos in Sierra Leone presents the UN with no attractive options. With its largest peacekeeping operation teetering on the brink of failure, the UN can withdraw and suffer a humiliating blow to its prestige and its efforts at peacekeeping. It can reinforce the 7,000 troops there and confront rebels threatening the peace and peacekeepers. Finally, it can try to reason with Foday Sankoh, the leader of the rebels.