Two decades ago Sierra Leone’s civil war officially reached the country’s capital Freetown. The war originally started in the rural part of Sierra Leone in 1991. The Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) was able to overthrow the rebels and were driven out of the capital.
Rape, murder, amputation of arms and limbs, burning of properties and looting were some of the outcomes of the war that took Sierra Leone by storm 20 years ago.
That war led to about 70,000 casualties recorded and 2.6 million which was over half of the countries population at the time, displaced people. Children were robbed of their innocence as an estimated number of 10,000 child soldiers were used to fight a war that they didn’t bargain for. These child Soldiers fought for both the Revolutionary United Front and the Sierra Leone army.
Because of the destruction and death toll as many as 500,000 Sierra Leoneans fled the country to seek refuge in neighboring countries like Gambia, Guinea, and Liberia. This is how they got the name refugees.
One of the victims of this war 20 years ago shared his story in the form of a poem with his followers on Facebook today it was emotional but at least it’s good to know that some of the victims of a war that took so much from them are healing and putting the past behind them.