Sunday, January 30, 2005

Sunday In Sierra Leone

Not many tourists around these parts. Lots of UN workers, though.

Freetown looks lovely from a distance, with hills tumbling down to the sea. I liked being at a distance.

I found out about an Indian restaurant, generally non-existent in West Africa, a couple of miles away, and had some samosas and pampadums. I walked in the hot humidity for a mile over to an internet place, right across the street from the UN Amputee Camp. I'm about to continue walking a half mile to the warm, sunny beach.

There's not much to do in Sierra Leone if you're not working for the UN. The plan is to go back to Conakry tomorrow.


Your PC Dollars At Work:

About twelve years ago there was a problem with a ragtag 'rebel' group in eastern Sierra Leone, whose main goal was to take over the lucrative diamond mining area. The government responded by hiring a couple of hundred white South African mercenaries, who quickly brought stability to the region.

To the World Community this smacked of racism or something, so the World Community pressured the goverment to get rid of the mercenaries. It caved and they left. Soon the ragtag 'rebels' were terrorizing the whole country.

These are the guys who chopped the arms off of about 20,000 people, mostly children. Another 50,000 or so died. Finally the UN was brought in for their most expensive policing action ever. Now there is stability, and across the street prothesis are being placed on those still limbless, and they will be sent out to fare in this, the poorest country in the world.

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