Fighting for the rain forest

war, youth & resources in Sierra Leone

Author: Paul Richards

Publisher: James Currey

ISBN: 9780852553978

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 182

View: 7110

Examines the war in Sierra Leone as a crisis of modernity.

Fighting for the rain forest

war, youth & resources in Sierra Leone

Author: Paul Richards

Publisher: Heinemann


Category: Business & Economics

Page: 182

View: 3502

Paul Richards argues that the war in Sierra Leone and other small wars in Africa do not manifest a "new barbarism". What appears as random, anarchic violence is no such thing. The terrifying military methods of Sierra Leone's soldiers may not fit Western models of warfare, but they are rational and effective. The war must be understood partly as "performance", in which techniques of terror compensate for lack of equipment. Richards points out that Sierra Leone's war is a crisis of modernity. Sierra Leone's youth belongs to a modern, trans-Atlantic culture. In remote diamond-digging camps, young people watch Rambo videos and listen to BBC news. These are part of the cultural resources with which the war is fought. The frustrations of these young people underlie the crisis. Not only the soldiers but most of the commanders are teenagers. Their aspirations are for schools and jobs. Financial stringency and the decay of the patrimonial state led directly to the government's surrender of much of the countryside. The rain forest is also central to the war. The war is fought in the rain forest and can only be understood in the context of old traditions of social and technical management of the forest. There is no evidence that a crisis of deforestation or overpopulation has contributed to the war. Rebuilding the state -- and giving young Sierra Leoneans confidence in it -- is essential for peace. But in the meantime, many people are learning to live with war and

Fighting for the Rain Forest

War, Youth, and Resources in Sierra Leone

Author: Paul Richards

Publisher: Heinemann Educational Publishers

ISBN: 9780435074067

Category: History

Page: 182

View: 7775

"What appears as random, anarchic violence is no such thing. The terrifying military methods of Sierra Leone's soldiers may not fit conventional western models of warfare, but they are rational and effective nonetheless. The war must be understood partly as a 'performance', in which techniques of terror compensate for lack of equipment." "Sierra Leone's youth belong to a modern, trans-Atlantic culture. In remote diamond-digging camps, young people watch Rambo videos and have a sophisticated understanding of world affairs from the BBC. These are part of the cultural resources with which the war is fought." "The war is fought in the rain forest, and can only be understood in the context of old traditions of social and technical management of the forest. There is no evidence that a crisis of deforestation or overpopulation has contributed to the war." "Rebuilding the state - and giving young Sierra Leoneans confidence in it - is essential for peace. But in the meantime, many people are learning to live with war, and building limited peace locally. Aid agencies must learn from these initiatives if relief is to contribute to peace and not become part of the economy of conflict."--BOOK JACKET.

Fear in Bongoland

Burundi Refugees in Urban Tanzania

Author: Marc Sommers

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 1782384707

Category: Social Science

Page: 238

View: 4557

Spurred by wars and a drive to urbanize, Africans are crossing borders and overwhelming cities in unprecedented numbers. At the center of this development are young refugee men who migrate to urban areas. This volume, the first full-length study of urban refugees in hiding, tells the story of Burundi refugee youth who escaped from remote camps in central Tanzania to work in one of Africa's fastest-growing cities, Dar es Salaam. This steamy, rundown capital would seem uninviting to many, particularly for second generation survivors of genocide whose lives are ridden with fear. But these young men nonetheless join migrants in "Bongoland" (meaning "Brainland") where, as the nickname suggests, only the shrewdest and most cunning can survive. Mixing lyrics from church hymns and street vernacular, descriptions of city living in cartoons and popular novels and original photographs, this book creates an ethnographic portrait of urban refugee life, where survival strategies spring from street smarts and pastors' warnings of urban sin, and mastery of popular youth culture is highly valued. Pentecostalism and a secret rift within the seemingly impenetrable Hutu ethnic group are part of the rich texture of this contemporary African story. Written in accessible prose, this book offers an intimate picture of how Africa is changing and how refugee youth are helping to drive that change.

Misreading the African Landscape

Society and Ecology in a Forest-Savanna Mosaic

Author: James Fairhead,Melissa Leach

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521564991

Category: Social Science

Page: 354

View: 8498

West African landscapes are generally considered as degraded, especially on the forest edge. This unique study shows how wrong that view can be, by revealing how inhabitants have enriched their land when scientists believe they have degraded it. Historical and anthropological methods demonstrate how intelligent African farmers' own land management can be, while scientists and policy makers have misunderstood the African environment. The book provides a new framework for ecological anthropology, and a challenge to old assumptions about the African landscape.

Conflict Resolution and Peace Education in Africa

Author: Ernest E. Uwazie

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 9780739106693

Category: Political Science

Page: 188

View: 6106

Africa today suffers from too much political unrest and violent conflict. The contributors to this edited collection recognize a missing link in efforts to foster democracy, and with it political stability and peace, in Africa's developing countries: Democracy can be sustained only where effective means for resolving citizens' disputes exist both within and outside the formal legal system. The writers whose articles appear here scholars, practitioners, and peace advocates present their varied knowledge of conflict and war in Africa and strategies for introducing and implementing mediation, from Sierra Leone to South Africa. This volume is a model exchange of insights and ideas in the important field of conflict resolution as applied to Africa."

War and the Crisis of Youth in Sierra Leone

Author: Krijn Peters

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139497391

Category: Social Science

Page: N.A

View: 9406

The armed conflict in Sierra Leone and the extreme violence of the main rebel faction - the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) - have challenged scholars and members of the international community to come up with explanations. Up to this point, though, conclusions about the nature of the war are mainly drawn from accounts of civilian victims and commentators who had access to only one side of the war. The present study addresses this currently incomplete understanding of the conflict by focusing on the direct experiences and interpretations of protagonists, paying special attention to the hitherto neglected, and often underage, cadres of the RUF. The data presented challenges the widely canvassed notion of the Sierra Leone conflict as a war motivated by 'greed, not grievance'. Rather, it points to a rural crisis expressed in terms of unresolved tensions between landowners and marginalized rural youth, further reinforced and triggered by a collapsing patrimonial state.

Magic and Warfare

Appearance and Reality in Contemporary African Conflict and Beyond

Author: N. Wlodarczyk

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 0230103340

Category: Social Science

Page: 188

View: 2890

This study explores the roles played by magic in contemporary African warfare, specifically through the case of Sierra Leone, to assess its impact on behaviour in conflict. A conceptual framework is suggested for analysing culturally alien practices more broadly and to inform approaches to civilian and military intervention.

Epistemologies of African Conflicts

Violence, Evolutionism, and the War in Sierra Leone

Author: Zubairu Wai

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN: 1137280794

Category: Philosophy

Page: 263

View: 2405

Epistemologies of African Conflicts is a bold and ground-breaking epistemological critique of the dominant discourses on contemporary African conflicts. Using the Sierra Leone civil war as its empirical case, and through a detailed and painstaking examination of the dominant ways in which that conflict has been interpreted, theorised and understood, this provocative study considers how Africa is constructed as a reality for knowledge and the power political implications that this construction has for the continent and its people. This study goes beyond the immediate concerns about how the empirical aspect of Africanist discourses attest to their theoretical formulations, to focus on questions about the formal character of Africanist knowledge, their conditions of possibility, the ways in which they produce African subjectivities, define African realities and shape Western attitudes towards the continent as a result of these conflicts. This study situates the current discourses on contemporary African conflicts within the centuries-long Eurocentric conceptions of Africa conveyed through the 'colonial library' and investigates the historical linkages between 'Africanism' as the body of knowledge on and about Africa and a Western will to power which since the fifteenth century has also perfectly espoused and necessitated an Africanist will to truth. Identifying evolutionism as a major condition of Africanist knowledge linked to these power knowledge systems, it argues that the scripts of these conflicts are always already written long before the first shots are fired. Thus, the predicament of Africanist discourses emanates not only from their conceptual and epistemological dependence on the conceptualities of the colonial library, as well as their fidelity to an evolutionist epistemology, but also their devotion to the power/knowledge regimes of the Western will to power which makes them possible.

A Dirty War in West Africa

The RUF and the Destruction of Sierra Leone

Author: Lansana Gberie

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 9780253218551

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 5922

"Provides important insider information concerning Sierra Leone's recent war... and builds on [the author's] established reputation as an insightful and courageous journalist." --William Reno, Northwestern University A Dirty War in West Africa recounts Lansana Gberie's harrowing experiences as a journalist during the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone. Since 1991, this West African nation has been brought to its knees by a series of coups, violent conflicts, and finally, outright war. The war has ended today, but it is clear that things are hardly settled. Focusing on the group spearheading the violence, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), Gberie exposes the corruption and appalling use of rape and mutilation as tactics to overthrow the former government. Gberie looks closely at the rise of the RUF and its ruthless leader, Foday Sankoh, as he seeks to understand the personalities and parties involved in the war. This sobering and powerful account reveals the domestic and international consequences of the Sierra Leone conflict.

Between Democracy and Terror

The Sierra Leone Civil War

Author: Ibrahim Abdullah

Publisher: Unisa Press

ISBN: 9782869781238

Category: History

Page: 263

View: 2506

Between Democracy and Terror is the first serious study to engage with the Sierra Leone civil war. It explores the genesis of the crisis; the contradictory roles of different internal actors; civil society and the fourth estate; the regional intervention force; the demise of the second republic; and the numerous peace initiatives to end the war. This study articulates how internal actors tread the multiple but conflicting pathways to power, why the war lasted for as long as it did, and how non-conventional actors were able to inaugurate and sustain an insurgency that called forth the largest concentration of United Nations peacekeepers the world has ever seen.

Child Soldiers, Adult Interests

The Global Dimensions of the Sierra Leonean Tragedy

Author: John-Peter Pham

Publisher: Nova Publishers

ISBN: 9781594546716

Category: Political Science

Page: 308

View: 4493

This book weaves a narrative of the history of Sierra Leone, from its foundation as a settlement for black slaves who fought for the British Crown during the American Revolution through the events of the civil war, with a discussion of more general geopolitical lessons to be learned from the recent conflict, its origins, and settlement. In addition, the book contains six appendices that render the present work -- the first comprehensive history of Sierra Leone since the classic studies published more than a generation ago by Christopher Fyfe and John Peterson -- an invaluable reference on conflict resolution in general as well as the West African country in particular, including a chronology of select events in the history of Sierra Leone and the texts of the peace agreements and other post-conflict documents.

Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa

The Tragedy of Endowment

Author: Abiodun Alao

Publisher: University Rochester Press

ISBN: 9781580462679

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 353

View: 479

The first comprehensive account of the linkage between natural resources and political and social conflict in Africa.

Children and Transitional Justice

Truth-telling, Accountability and Reconciliation

Author: Sharanjeet Parmar,Mindy Jane Roseman,Saudamini Siegrist,Theo Sowa

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780979639548

Category: Law

Page: 417

View: 9784

Children are increasingly a focus of international and national courts and truth commissions. Their participation, including through testimony that bears witness to their experiences, demonstrates their critical role in truth, justice, and reconciliation processes. If children are to engage, however, their rights must be respected. This book includes analysis of the recent involvement of children in transitional justice processes in Liberia, Peru, Sierra Leone, and South Africa. It also explores key areas of current debates among legal scholars and child rights advocates, such as international criminal responsibility, traditional and restorative justice, reparations, psychosocial support for child witnesses, and links between education and reconciliation. The book emphasizes how children must be engaged during post-conflict transition. If children are excluded, they may become vulnerable to a continuing cycle of violence, affecting future generations. In contrast, through active involvement in transitions, children and adolescents can be the catalysts for justice, reconciliation, and peace-building within their own families and communities.

Military Interventions in Sierra Leone

Lessons from a Failed State

Author: Larry J. Woods

Publisher: DIANE Publishing

ISBN: 1437923100


Page: 115

View: 1020

Analyzes the massive turmoil afflicting the nation of Sierra Leone, 1995-2002, and the efforts of outside forces to bring stability to that small country. The taxonomy of intervention ranged from private mercenary armies, through the Economic Community of West African States, to the U.N. and the U.K. In every case, those who intervened encountered a common set of difficulties that had to be overcome. Unsurprisingly, they also discovered challenges unique to their own org. and political circumstances. Serving soldiers can often profit vicariously from the mistakes of others as recounted in detailed case studies of historical events. ¿A cautionary tale that political leaders and military planners contemplating intervention in Africa ignore at their peril.¿

African Conflicts and Informal Power

Big Men and Networks

Author: Mats Utas

Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.

ISBN: 1848138857

Category: Political Science

Page: 264

View: 8317

In the aftermath of an armed conflict in Africa, the international community both produces and demands from local partners a variety of blueprints for reconstructing state and society. The aim is to re-formalize the state after what is viewed as a period of fragmentation. In reality, African economies and polities are very much informal in character, with informal actors, including so-called Big Men, often using their positions in the formal structure as a means to reach their own goals. Through a variety of in-depth case studies, including the DRC, Sierra Leone and Liberia, this comprehensive volume shows how important informal political and economic networks are in many of the continent’s conflict areas. Moreover, it demonstrates that without a proper understanding of the impact of these networks, attempts to formalize African states, particularly those emerging from wars, will be in vain.

Post-War Regimes and State Reconstruction in Liberia and Sierra Leone

Author: Amadu Sesay,Charles Ukeje

Publisher: African Books Collective

ISBN: 286978256X

Category: Political Science

Page: 109

View: 1611

The shocks of the unexpected outbreak of violent internal armed conflicts in post Cold War West Africa continue to linger in policy and academic circles. While considerable attention is devoted to explaining the civil wars, there is little understanding of the delicate and unpredictable processes of reconstruction. Post-war reconstruction programmes in Africa have become, by and large, externally driven processes; and while externalisation may not be negative per se, it is important to interrogate how such intervention recognises and interacts with local dynamics, and how it manipulates and conditions the outcomes of post-conflict reconstruction agenda. Investigating the interface between power elite, the nature of post-war regimes and the pattern which post-war reconstruction takes is important both for theory and practice. This original study, by some of West Africa's leading scholars, interrogates post-war reconstruction processes in the twin West African countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, focusing on the effects of regime types on the nature, scope, success or failure of their post-war reconstruction efforts. Political scientists, diplomats, the international community, donor and humanitarian agencies, advocacy groups, the United Nations and its agencies, would find it an important resource in dealing with countries emerging from protracted violence and civil war.

The Underneath of Things

Violence, History, and the Everyday in Sierra Leone

Author: Mariane C. Ferme

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520225430

Category: History

Page: 287

View: 5003

"Researched with unusual sensitivity, original in approach, illuminating beyond its immediate geographical and theoretical referents, and written in a style that is both carefully crafted and eminently accessible...this is the work of a remarkably talented observer and scholar."—Jane Guyer, editor of Money Matters: Instability, Values and Social Payments in the Modern History of West African Communities, former president of the African Studies Association "The world is currently quite aware of Sierra Leone and its predicament, and it needs this well-informed and beautifully written account of what makes the country so wonderful despite its woes. Ferme's work is truly transcendent, capturing magnificently well some of the most important aspects of an otherwise "difficult" ethnographic case. It is a truthful and honest piece of work, based on a deep grasp of the ethnographer's craft. "—Paul Richards, author of Fighting for the Rain Forest: War, Youth and Resources in Sierra Leone Ferme is a true master in the magic of "things." She gives the study of secrecy new impetus by examining its history, relating that history not only to discourse but also to material conditions. She brilliantly shows how, for Sierra Leone societies, the celebration of ambiguity has been a way to live with permanent danger-from the long history of slavery through the present civil war. —Peter Geschiere, author of The Modernity of Witchcraft, Politics and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa The Underneath of Things is a model of patience, detailed observation, and elegant writing: a theoretically creative study that is keen to track and to disentangle the webs and flows of everyday life.—Achille Mbembe, author of On the Postcolony

Conflict as integration

youth aspiration to personhood in the teleology of Sierra Leone's 'Senseless War'

Author: Nathaniel King

Publisher: Nordic Africa Institute


Category: Social Science

Page: 32

View: 5411

The rebel war in Sierra Leone has been given various characterisations. One of the most commonplace of them brands it a "senseless war". In this study the author examines the views of the Sierra Leoneans themselves on this notion, and through a sociological lens he explores the 'youthscape' of the war. The study also revisits some of the central works on the Sierra Leonean war by authors such as Paul Richards, Ibrahim Adbdullah and Yusuf Bangura.

Structural Adjustment

Theory, Practice and Impacts

Author: Ed Brown,Bob Milward,Giles Mohan,Alfred B. Zack-Williams

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135099529

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 1616

Structural Adjustment: Theory, Practice and Impacts examines the problems associated with Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) and reveals the damaging impacts they can have. The book looks at how the debt crisis of the 1970's forced developing countries to seek external help and then reviews what constitutes as a standard adjustment programme, detailing the political, economic, social and environmental impacts of SAPs. The final section draws together theories and political responses and presents a case for alternatives to the programmes.