Chiefdom Shading Key:
|No violations reported (in statements to the TRC)|
|Less than 25 violations reported|
|25 or more violations reported|
Note: Chiefdoms are shaded according to the number of violations recorded in the TRC's statements. Unreported violations may have occurred in chiefdoms where none are shown. Also the reporting of violations within a chiefdom does not imply that the abuse occurred at a particular location within that chiefdom. Outliers are excluded where evidence supports this decision. See the methodology for further explanation.
This web site tells the story of the war year by year with maps showing key events as the conflict progresses. The events also provide a window into the final report of the TRC; Each page includes links to the parts of the report that offer a deeper understanding of the story. Please note the site is currently a prototype - see the About section for an explanation.
The TRC collected over 7,000 statements from Sierra Leoneans. These wartime experiences are also included on the maps, showing the chiefdoms where statement givers reported abuses by the different warring factions.
The map on the left hand side is for 1990, the year before the war began. Attacks by Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) are shown in Luawa chiefdom in Kailahun and Kpaka chiefdom in Pujehun. These were cross-border raids by NPFL gangs who would harass and steal from the local population.
Apart from these occasional attacks by the NPFL the country was at peace. However President Joseph Saidu Momoh was reckoned to be a weak leader and many people were suffering economic hardships after decades of bad government. To hear more about this click the marker by the capital and follow the link to "Paralysis in Freetown".
Meanwhile a small group of Sierra Leoneans were committed to overthrowing the government by force. Starting in October 1990, Foday Sankoh established a camp in Liberia, recruiting the people who would become the Revolutionary United Front. For more on this click the marker in Liberia and follow the link to "The RUF Assembles".
Alternatively you can proceed to the start of the war: "1991 - The War Begins" or choose a year in the selection box in the blue bar towards the top of the screen. As well as examining the history of the war the TRC also produced recommendations to help to ensure that such a terrible war could not happen again. Many have still not been implemented. Move straight to the Recommendations section for information on these neglected recommendations and why they are still important today.