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  The Civil Conflict
 

The Sierra Leone civil conflict began in 1991 continuing until July 1999 when the international community brokered a peace treaty, the ‘Lome Peace Accord’, between the Sierra Leone government and the Revolutionary United Front. The agreement collapsed in May 2000 but peace was restored when up to 13,000 UN peacekeepers were brought in to maintain order. A small UK force is helping to reinforce security and train the Sierra Leone army. 

Despite the declaration of peace, the repercussions of the long conflict will be felt by successive generations. Children, who make up more than 30 percent of Sierra Leone's population, have been particularly affected. A whole generation has been denied its basic rights, with the result that few of the country's children have access to a decent education, health care, adequate nutrition or water and sanitation.

Facts about the war:

  • 50,000 people died in the conflict
  • Over 2 million Sierra Leoneans were displaced by the conflict (over one third of the population) many of whom are now refugees in neighbouring countries.
  • 100,000 civilians were deliberately mutilated (including children)
  • An estimated 3,000 towns and villages were destroyed by the war. 
  • 10 -15,000 children were used as soldiers
  • Rape and sexual abuse became weapons of war
  • 3% of the population in Sierra Leone have HIV/AIDS.
  • There is an immense shortage of food, clothes, shelters, medicines and other essential supplies. 

Medical care

Charges are generally made for all medical care in Sierra Leone. There is a severe shortage of basic medical drugs and equipment, and drugs available are often out of date and stored in appalling conditions. Limited anaesthetics are available in Sierra Leone.
 
         
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