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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:War and Transition to Peace: A Study of State Conspiracy in Perpetuating Armed Conflict
Author:Abraham, Arthur
Periodical:Africa Development: A Quarterly Journal of CODESRIA (ISSN 0850-3907)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Sierra Leone
West Africa
Subjects:political change
civil wars
Politics and Government
political conflicts
war crimes
Revolutionary United Front
Abstract:When the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) came to power in Sierra Leone in 1992, it prosecuted the war against the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) vigorously, until diamonds entered the equation. From 1993 onwards, the NPRC's desire was to stay on in power and enrich itself. The only way to do this was to collaborate with the RUF. Both turned against the civilian population and continued to plunder the country. The RUF burnt undefended villages and avoided direct confrontation with government troops. 'Sobels' (government soldiers by day who became rebels by night) would attack the civilian population and loot their property, but commit atrocities similar to and sometimes worse than those of the rebels in order to shift the blame to the RUF. By skilfully contrived disinformation on both sides, the RUF and the NPRC succeeded in deceiving most observers. Above all, far from being the besieged victim of the RUF, the NPRC was far more in control of the conduct of the war than has hitherto been conceded. And there was a direct correlation between the intensification of the war and the pressure for democratization. Nonetheless, the National Consultative Conference held in August 1995 and February 1996 (called Bintumani I and II) decided unequivocally in favour of elections, and parliamentary and presidential elections went ahead as planned. Bibliogr., notes, ref.