Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Sierra Leone: 10 years after Civil War.

After 10 years of civil war, Sierra Leone is at peace. Charles G. Taylor, the former president of Liberia and once a powerful warlord, was convicted April 26 by an international tribunal of 11 counts of planning, aiding and abetting war crimes committed in Sierra Leone during it's civil war in the 1990s. Taylor was guilty of involvement in crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, rape, slavery and the use of child soldiers. Prosecutors alleged that Taylor, from his base in neighboring Liberia, directed and armed the rebels and because of that, bears direct responsibility for the results of that war. The eleven-year conflict (from 1991-2002) left more than 50,000 dead and was marked by unprovoked and unjustified violence - especially the amputation of limbs. Sierra Leone is peaceful, a decade later, but is among the world's poorest countries, with a much longer recovery in store. Reuters' Photographer Finbarr O'Reilly gives us a glimpse of life in the West African nation today. -- Paula Nelson (28 photos total)

People walk through the town of Kailahun in eastern Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone's 11-year conflict from 1991-2002 left over 50,000 dead and became a byword for gratuitous violence, especially the amputation of limbs. A decade later, the West African nation is peaceful, but among the world's poorest. It is due to hold elections in November. April 23, 2012. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters).
Images from The Big Picture

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