From 1991 to 2002, Sierra Leone was embroiled in a deadly civil war between the Revolutionary United Front and special forces of Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia attempted to overthrow the Joseph Momoh government. The 11 year war claimed over 50,000 lives.
During the fighting, children who sought protection within the ranks of the various fighting groups often found themselves forcibly recruited as child soldiers. These children were subject to and participated in countless atrocities, often experienced sexual exploitation, and were given drugs to ensure their compliance.
All sides were guilty of using child soldiers during the war.
In his book A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Child Soldier, Ishmael Beah describes his life during the conflict. Watch this video to hear Ishmael describe his experiences in his own words.
Want to do something to make the use of child soldiers a thing of the past? Check out our petition showing support for the United Nation’s Children, Not Soldier’s campaign which seeks to end the recruitment and use of children by national security forces by 2016.Whizzco