Sierra Leone


Conflict Summary

The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) was a rare organisation without specific demands or a significant support base. During Sierra Leone’s civil war, it was responsible for the generation of an intense conflict, with devastating implications for the civilian population. Human-rights abuses were common, and up to half of the population was internally displaced. The insurgents maintained their cause by exploiting the diamond fields of Sierra Leone. In addition, they enjoyed the support of the Liberian government, which opted for illegal diamond trade with the RUF rather than peace in its neighbourhood. The civil war ended in 2002 and the demobilisation and disarmament of the RUF and Civil Defence Forces (CDF) combatants supervised by United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), was completed in March 2004. The government elected in 2002 is slowly re-gaining its authority, but the peace remains fragile.