Question and Answer Series: Sierra Leone Political, Military, and Human Rights Chronology: 1991-1997   [open pdf - 165KB]

"This Question and Answer Series paper briefly examines the significant players and provides a chronological overview of the political, military, and human rights developments in Sierra Leone which span the period between 1991 and the end of 1997. Internal strife has been a constant in Sierra Leone since early 1991 when the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) began a guerrilla campaign to end the 23 year one-party rule by the All People's Congress (APC). In April 1992, the APC was ousted from power in a military coup led by Captain Valentine Strasser and junior army officers who protested poor pay and working conditions within the Republic of Sierra Leone Military Force (RSLMF). Captain Strasser's government, known as the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC), existed for nearly four years. The NPRC administration's unwillingness to enter into negotiations with the RUF led to an intensification of the rebels' campaign, and in 1994 the NPRC government declared a 'total war' on the RUF as the insurgency spread to the northern part of the country. During 1996 local hunters known as Kamajors began forming themselves into local civil defense forces to fight against the RUF. Democratic elections held in March 1996 brought Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) into the presidency in September 1996. A military coup was staged in May 1997, by junior army officers led by Major Johnny Paul Koroma, under the banner of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). The AFRC welcomed the RUF into an alliance with them."

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