Saving Sierra Leone
May 3, 2012 2 Comments
I can’t help but notice that the United Nations and its defenders have been desperately trying to improve the organisation’s awful reputation by portraying themselves as the saviors of Sierra Leone. This is in the wake of the recent conviction of Charles Taylor.
Few heroes emerge from a war such as the one waged by Foday Sankoh’s Revolutionary United Front and their friend Charles Taylor against innocent men, women and children in this corner of West Africa. But there are some, and they are most certainly not Kofi Annan and the men in the blue berets.
In March of 1995, when Sankoh’s rebellion was at its height, 200 South Africans with the fortitude typical of Boer warriors secured the diamond fields of Sierra Leone, that bought Charles Taylor’s support for RUF. The RUF scattered with remarkable speed in the face of real soldiers. Relative peace came upon Freetown for the first time in years; peace which enabled a civilian government to be elected in 1996. The South Africans were from the private military company Executive Outcomes.
The UN, no fan of white South Africans or free enterprise, didn’t like this one bit. The organisation put pressure on Sierra Leone to expel Executive Outcomes and threatened her with the loss of international aid. UN forces were eventually dispatched to replace the South African PMC.
The episode makes the UN’s silence in the face of the Rwandan Genocide shortly before all the more astonishing. It seems that if the genocide was to stop in this part of Africa, the credit had to go to some enlightened racially diverse UN bureaucrats, certainly not Boer mercenaries.
The UN forces, placed in Sierra Leone as part of a United Nations PR exercise, completely lost control of the situation. Tens of thousands died in the resumed RUF/Taylor rebellion.
And it was all the UN’s fault.