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Sierra Leone: the Perpetual Struggle for Security

Written by: Natasha Louis

Between 1991 and 2002, the Sierra Leone civil war left approximately 70,000 people dead, hundreds of thousands mutilated and displaced over half of the population of five million. The country’s history, culture and political and social environments combined with the complexities of natural resources and economic issues ignited and propagated the conflict. This paper analyzes Sierra Leone’s independence and the roots of the conflict, child soldiers and atrocities, intervention and peace settlement, post-conflict events, DDR and its failures and persistent issues. The aim of this research is to investigate the severity of events and violent acts along with how society functions today that can provide pertinent information on Sierra Leone’s stability and what threats to security may currently exist or are likely to occur.

Natasha Louis is a Master of Science in Global Affairs with a concentration in Transnational Security from New York University. Her specialization is in Africa, counter-terrorism and conflict. Natasha is originally from Detroit, completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Wayne State University in photography and journalism. In 2014 she moved to Tokyo and worked for Kamonohashi Project, a nonprofit that focused on ending child sex trafficking in India and Cambodia. She has had several works published nationally and internationally, including articles in the Perspectives on Global Issues journal. Her recent travels include North Korea, Peru and Ireland and she is currently working as a security analyst in New York City.