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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: May 2011

6 - Cultivating Peace: RUF Ex-Combatants' Involvement in Post-War Agricultural Projects



In the previous chapters I have tried to make the case that to better understand the outbreak of the war in Sierra Leone in general, and the emergence of the RUF in particular, it is important not to overlook the rural factor. It was argued that the socio-economic and political situation prevalent in pre-war rural Sierra Leone bred a large group of disaffected young people who provided the RUF with ready recruits. It has been suggested by more than a few ex-RUF fighters and commanders that part of the aim of the movement was to restructure the rural economy, so that its fruits would be enjoyed in a more equal way. That this aim went terribly wrong in many cases, resulting in forced labour practices and high levels of abuse, is probably clear to even the most loyal RUF supporter. But this does not necessarily make the cadres' belief in the need for these reforms less genuine. To really test the durability of their belief in rural transformation – or ‘Green Revolution’, as one interviewee described it (see Chapter 4) – we should look at the post-war activities of these former fighters. Do they carry their struggle forwards, now that the armed phase of the revolution is over? This question will be examined in this chapter, which looks into several post-war disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) projects, executed by former RUF fighters.

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War and the Crisis of Youth in Sierra Leone
  • Online ISBN: 9780511976896
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