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A Dirty War in West Africa: The RUF and the Destruction of Sierra Leone

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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 W "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.


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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 W "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.

30 review for A Dirty War in West Africa: The RUF and the Destruction of Sierra Leone

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nicko

    There is nothing subtle about this book. It is a very tough read. The violence is graphic, more so because it is not fiction. People are killed, mutilated, and beaten. Not for the squeamish. The documentation is well done, and makes the point that wars like this are not simple, good vs. evil. The role of Great Britain in manipulating the civil war to protect international companies is established through the statements of the British diplomats, as well as the combatants. Shows how U.N. and ECOMO There is nothing subtle about this book. It is a very tough read. The violence is graphic, more so because it is not fiction. People are killed, mutilated, and beaten. Not for the squeamish. The documentation is well done, and makes the point that wars like this are not simple, good vs. evil. The role of Great Britain in manipulating the civil war to protect international companies is established through the statements of the British diplomats, as well as the combatants. Shows how U.N. and ECOMOG involvement fueled the war, the the atrocities committed by the RUF and the blood diamonds, which the RUF used to finance the war, w/the help of Liberian President Charles Taylor. While the RUF’s initial motivation for challenging the government may have been valid, the rebels lost legitimacy by killing, raping and maiming thousands of civilians. As someone who has studied the situation in Sierra Leone, I found this account chilling.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Judy A

    The specific events of brutality that occurred in Sierra Leone, and the lengths that people went to in order to survive is a harsh read of the reality greed breeds. Amputations of limbs to control power over diamond mining, and children fighting with assault weapons that they couldn't really even carry destroyed the sense of humanity. Seems that people become immune or oblivious to the events happening in these cases. One RUF officer read Shakespeare daily and it must have been some type of psyc The specific events of brutality that occurred in Sierra Leone, and the lengths that people went to in order to survive is a harsh read of the reality greed breeds. Amputations of limbs to control power over diamond mining, and children fighting with assault weapons that they couldn't really even carry destroyed the sense of humanity. Seems that people become immune or oblivious to the events happening in these cases. One RUF officer read Shakespeare daily and it must have been some type of psychological adaptation to be able to do that. I'd recommend one clear their calender because once stepping into this world through via this book, it isn't easy to stop reading. I did a lot of follow up reading and particularly heartbreaking was the love for the country that residents never lost.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wes

    Maybe a bit too much "in the weeds" for a general reader, but has an incredibly thorough treatment of the period from 1990-2002, which is not available anywhere else to my knowledge. Maybe a bit too much "in the weeds" for a general reader, but has an incredibly thorough treatment of the period from 1990-2002, which is not available anywhere else to my knowledge.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Praj

    I read this book as a part of my research paper couple years back. It is a definite must read. The literature is direct and brutal; seething with muddles of corrupt governing coerce powers, making life a burden in itself.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Very comprehensive outline of the war in Sierra Leone.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I thought this was an excellent summation of the war when I first read it. But as I dug deeper into the processes of the conflict I found that Gberie's arguments were largely unfounded. I thought this was an excellent summation of the war when I first read it. But as I dug deeper into the processes of the conflict I found that Gberie's arguments were largely unfounded.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Murphy

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michael Garber

  9. 4 out of 5

    Simon

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Burch

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Nelson

  12. 5 out of 5

    Batulie

  13. 4 out of 5

    Luis Guimaraes

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lior

  17. 5 out of 5

    Philip

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ian Lanney

  19. 5 out of 5

    SpaceBear

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marlin Harrison

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ana

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chuck

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa van den Boogaard

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rosa Santorromán

  28. 4 out of 5

    Boris Tarasenko

  29. 4 out of 5

    Susan Shepler

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Beck

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