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'New Wars': the Sierra Leone Case
Unformatted Document Text:  previously unknown group led by Alfred Foday Saybana Sankoh. “The group proclaimed a vague populist agenda of overthrowing the corrupt ANC [African National Congress] regime in Freetown, ending the plunder of Sierra Leone’s natural resources, and redistributing the country’s wealth and land more equitably.” 8 Within a few weeks, 30,000 Sierra Leoneans had fled into Guinea and another 15,000 were internally displaced. The invasion caught the Sierra Leone Army (SLA) off- guard (it had only 3,694 soldiers in all with little equipment). The rebels had a steady flow of arms believed to be from Libya and Burkina Faso. By June 1991, the rebels had captured 1/5 the territory of Sierra Leone and the refugee population in Guinea swelled to 100,000. Despite the ineptitude of the RUF, Sierra Leone was unable to defeat the rebels. By early 1992, 10,000 civilians had already been killed, 400,000 were behind rebel lines, 300,000 were displaced, and 200,000 were in refugee camps in Guinea. 9 8 Ibid, p. 84. 9 Ibid. 8

Authors: Parker, Sara.
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previously unknown group led by Alfred Foday Saybana Sankoh. “The group
proclaimed a vague populist agenda of overthrowing the corrupt ANC [African National
Congress] regime in Freetown, ending the plunder of Sierra Leone’s natural resources,
and redistributing the country’s wealth and land more equitably.”
Within a few weeks, 30,000 Sierra Leoneans had fled into Guinea and another
15,000 were internally displaced. The invasion caught the Sierra Leone Army (SLA) off-
guard (it had only 3,694 soldiers in all with little equipment). The rebels had a steady
flow of arms believed to be from Libya and Burkina Faso. By June 1991, the rebels had
captured 1/5 the territory of Sierra Leone and the refugee population in Guinea swelled to
100,000. Despite the ineptitude of the RUF, Sierra Leone was unable to defeat the rebels.
By early 1992, 10,000 civilians had already been killed, 400,000 were behind rebel lines,
300,000 were displaced, and 200,000 were in refugee camps in Guinea.
8
Ibid, p. 84.
9
Ibid.
8


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