Today the Wan Fambul Peace Clubs in 15 Schools in Kailahun, Pujehun, Moyamba and Koinadugu districts are engaging communities in their localities to flag issues of the history of the war and lessons learnt that could move the nation ahead and prevent a recurrence of the war! Executive Director John Caulker said the Never Again Campaign would last for a year to enable the pupils and citizenry to get a deeper understanding of the origin and effects of the war as we move towards elections.
John Caulker said, “The TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) report revealed that among the causes of the war were bad governance, corruption and greed, human rights violations, exclusion, marginalization of youth and women. To date these marginalized and deprived youths have become fertile recruitment ground for fomenting various forms of violence. We want the government and stakeholders to reverse this trend.”
He called on the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education to add the teaching of the history of the civil war in the schools curriculum.
The Wan Fambul Peace Programme aims to train school children and youths to become good role model and peace ambassadors in their communities.
The Sierra Leone Civil War (1991–2002) began on 23 March 1991 with the first gunshot in Bomaru when the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), with support from the special forces of Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), intervened in Sierra Leone in an attempt to overthrow the Joseph Momoh.
During the conflict over 50,000 people were killed, many amputated and two-thirds of the 4 million population was displaced. Today we still carry memories of widespread amputations and atrocities against defenseless children and women. It took the international community (ECOWAS, AU and UN) lives, time and huge resources to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate over 100, 000 combatants to bring peace to the forlorn state.
Buildings and properties worth millions of dollars were razed to the ground. The UN and donor partners had to rebuild the state afresh. The UN set up the TRC and Special court as mechanisms to ensure that such massive atrocities and violations of rights never happened again.