“This was one of the consequences of the civil war. People stopped trusting each other, and every stranger became an enemy.” Sierra Leone, in 1991-2002, has been devastated by a civil war caused by the Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). As rebels united to overthrow the already corrupted Joseph Momoh government, civilians were treated with violence and mutilitation. Children were recruited on both sides as they had no place to go, no food to live off of, and they were usually threatened with their lives to do so. 10 000 children were used in the war, and the survivors’ lives were significantly affected. There is many long-term psychological effects and consequences stemming from the traumatic experiences of the former child soldiers. Human rights have been violated in the civil war of Sierra Leone, and restorative measures are needed to be taken for the victims of this terrible situation, especially the children directly involved. During the civil war of Sierra Leone in 1991-2002, the government and the rebels recruited war stricken children to fight, yet the children’s rights were violated, they were treated with cruelty, and with several traumatic experiences, the surviving child soldiers are now on the path of rehabilitation and social reintegration.The Sierra Leone Civil war was a result of a power abusing government, and the war took 11 years. April 27, 1961, Sierra Leone has its first prime minister, Sir Milton Margai,  and becomes independent. In 1967, Siaka Stevens, leader of the APC (all people’s party), is declared prime minister by the governor general, and in 1978, Sierra Leone becomes a one party state, solely run by the APC. 1985, Siaka retires and Major General Joseph Saidu Momoh is appointed as the next president, who frequently abuses his power. A small band of men called the RUF (Revolutionary United Front), led by a former corporal, Foday Sankoh, attacks villages in eastern Sierra Leone, on the Liberian border in March 1991. It was initially made of Charles Taylor’s rebels and mercenaries from Burkina Faso, and they strove to get rid of the corrupt APC government. The RUF gained control of the diamond mines in the Kono district and pushed the Sierra Leone army back to Freetown, the nation’s capital. Captain Valentine Strasser April 1992, leads a military coup which overthrows Joseph Momoh and send him to exile, and the establish the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) as the new ruling authority. The NPCR is ineffective in stopping the RUF and the RUF slowly takes more land from Sierra Leone. During 1995, the RUF are right outside of Freetown and the NPCR retaliates by hiring hundreds of mercenaries from private firms, and within a month, they have driven back the RUF back to the borders. Valentine Strasser is ousted in 1996, and replaced by Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio, his defense minister. Maada agrees to hand the power over to a civilian government under international pressure, and they hold presidential and parliamentary elections. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, a diplomat worker for the UN for over twenty years, wins the presidential election under the SLPP banner. May 1997, Kabbah is overthrown by the Arms Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), a military junta led by Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Paul Koroma, and they invite the RUF to participate in the government. In March, 1998, The AFRC is ousted by the ECOWAS monitoring group (ECOMOG) forces, and President Kabbah is reinstated. January 1999, The RUF tries to overthrow the government again, leaving thousands dead, and the ECOMOG drives them back a few weeks later. July 1999 the Lomé Peace Accord is signed between President Kabbah and Foday Sankoh of the RUF, which allows the rebels power in the government and a general amnesty from prosecution, but around half the country is still in the RUF’s control. In October, the UN Security Council establishes the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) to help implement the peace agreement.

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