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Rescuing a Fragile State

Sierra Leone 2002-2008

Lansana Gberie, editor

Paper 134 pp.

ISBN13: 978-0-97834-417-7

Release Date: April 2009

Online discount: 25%

$19.99  $14.99


In Sierra Leone in 2000, British commandos intervened to prevent a bloody coup as UN forces faced collapse at the hands of the Revolutionary United Front. Sanctions were imposed on the rebel group and its key backer, the government of Charles Taylor of Liberia. Disarmament of over 70,000 militia fighters followed, and in 2002 Sierra Leone conducted successful democratic elections. The country was officially declared at peace, but it remains decidedly fragile.

Contributors examine Sierra Leone’s transition from war to peaceful democratic rule, arguing that while progress in the country has been remarkable, its development partners must remain fully engaged for many more years in order for the progress to be sustained.

Published by the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies and distributed by Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Lansana Gberie is a senior associate of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and head of its Liberia Program. He was a key researcher for Partnership Africa Canada’s Human Security and International Diamond Trade project. Gberie has written extensively on conflict and conflict management in Africa, including A Dirty War in West Africa: The RUF and the Destruction of Sierra Leone (2005).


“As Sierra Leone moves towards its 2012 elections, the role pratimony politics plays may determine whether a ‘fragile’ Sierra Leone can be ‘rescued’. For this purpose, Rescuing a Fragile State identifies both continuing and emerging peacebuilding concerns. It is an important read for those seeking to understand where post-conflict Sierra Leone has come from, and where it might go in the future.”

— Chris Mahony, University of Oxford, Journal of Modern African Studies