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African Dilemma: The Situation in Sierra Leone

I have been struggling with this question since I started my paper. Usually a question will guide the direction of my paper. Unfortunately, I have been left with more questions than answers. After many readings, I have had a chance to look into the crisis of Sierra Leone and the diamond trade more specifically. The more I investigated the roots of the conflict and crisis, the more I have come to understand the reasons for the outcomes. It still leaves me with the aching question, why. Why has there been so much death? Why has it not stopped? Why did it begin? How did it begin? Who is to blame? Will it ever end? These are very important questions, some of which I myself cannot answer.

This is a very emotional subject for me and I will do my best to put aside all personal biases. I will first start with a background on the political situation of Sierra Leone. The civil war in Sierra Leone and its surrounding countries did not just miraculously happen. The struggles in Sierra Leone reflect the struggles of many other countries facing the same economic and political strife. My main concentration in this section will be on the past. I will than explain the political situation in Sierra Leone, how it escalated to be as aggressive as it is and has been, how the situation is right now and where it might be going.

African Dilemma: The Situation in Sierra Leone

Secondly, I will discuss the situation in Sierra Leone concerning the diamond trade. There has been a power struggle over the conflict of “blood diamonds” in Sierra Leone and surrounding areas for many years. I will show that, while the struggle over the diamond trade has elongated the conflict and has been the predominant factor for civil war in Sierra Leone, the political situation has actually been the root cause of the struggle. Thirdly, I will give some insight into the impact the raging war has had on the economy and the people of Sierra Leone. The struggle for power, with a by-product being greed, has greatly affected the woman and children. Extreme violence has been the product of this greed. Fourthly, the situation in Sierra Leone has been a devastating one. The political and economic crisis has been almost too much to overcome. There is hope. There is always hope. The Revolutionary United Front and the Government of Sierra Leone have settled upon a peace agreement. I will discuss the agreement briefly and explain the certain pros and cons.

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