Vigilante groups have been successful in providing local security. But subcontracting security functions to vigilante groups for counter-insurgency purposes is a dangerous option for fragile African states. African leaders should set clear objectives and mandates when enlisting vigilantes and invest in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programs.
Deadly protests over rising cost of living erupted across country, leaving two dozen dead; President Bio accused political opposition of insurrection. Protests over rising inflation and fuel crisis 10 Aug broke out in capital Freetown and elsewhere, with some protesters demanding Bio’s resignation; demonstrations turned violent as protesters clashed with security forces, reportedly leaving six police officers and at least 21 civilians dead in capital Freetown, Kamakwie town and Makeni city. In response, govt same day announced nationwide curfew and 10-11 August cut off internet access. Bio 12 Aug claimed deadly protests were orchestrated by political opposition attempting to overthrow his govt.
As part of Crisis Group’s research into civilian vigilante groups in counter-insurgencies in Africa, Senior Research Analyst Ned Dalby went to Sierra Leone to investigate the wartime Civil Defence Forces and their core fighters, the Kamajors. For an in-depth analysis of vigilantism in the Lake Chad basin, see Watchmen of Lake Chad: Vigilante Groups Fighting Boko Haram.
The landmark guilty verdict today against former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor is a warning to those most responsible for atrocity crimes that they can be held accountable.
Sierra Leone has made much progress since the civil war ended in 2002, but a number of social and economic time bombs must still be defused if an enduring peace is to be built. The 2007 elections, in which Ernest Bai Koroma won the presidency and his All People’s Congress (APC) wrested the parliament from the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), restored legitimacy to the electoral process.
Sierra Leone holds presidential and legislative elections in August 2007. President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, who won a landslide victory in 2002 at the end of the civil war, split the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) by anointing a successor, Vice-President Solomon Berewa.