Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is also known internationally as Africa's "Iron Lady". Ellen grew up in the capital of Monrovia and got marries and birthed four sons. Ellen has spent more than a year in jail because of military dictator General Samuel Doe and former president Charles Taylor all because she was worried about the welfare and well being of her people and their community.
Long before ever putting her bid in for the presidental candidacy, Ellen moved to the United States and attended Maddison College of Business where she obtained an accounting degree and a masters degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. In October 2007 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her courage and selflessness acts for her people. I think everything Ellen set out to do was very couragous and unegotistic. You could say Ellen definately doesn't agree witht the theory of descriptive egoism.
Ellen Johnson Citation
When he was elected president of Liberia in 1997, he used his political power and status to fund RUF soldiers across Sierra Leone. He quietly provided weapons, ammunition, shelter and medical supplies that helped drive a viscous campaign of rape, torture, murder and mutilation that resulted in the death of over 50,000 people, and the mutilation of thousands more. His doings also supported the use of child soldiers in Sierra Leone. He encouraged the recruitment and brainwashing of innocent children to turn them into cold blooded killers that will fight for the RUF.
He helped plan with the RUF commander Sam Bockaire, attacks on the towns of Kono, Makeni and Freetown that took place in late 1998 and early 1999.
He stepped down from the presidency amid accusations of war crimes, and disappeared. He was later found, arrested and tried in the first ever war crimes trial since the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis. He was found guilty on 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and violations of international humanitarian law.
Acts of Terrorism
Violence to life, health, physical or mental well beings of person, murder in particular
Outrages upon personal dignity
Other inhumane acts
Use of child soldiers
At the already late age of 63, he was sentenced to 50 years in prison in May of 2012. He is currently serving his sentence in a UK prison.
Most useful source: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/briefing-papers/trial-charles-taylor-special-court-sierra-leone-appeal-judgment
The Countries surrounding it are Guinea which is to the north and Liberia which is to the south east. Sierra Leone is 29,995 square miles. Including the population of 4.5 million people. The country is right on the water, on the Atlantic ocean giving it an easy way to receive weapons and supplies from outside sources by boat/ship.The coast line is 300 miles long. The Freetown commercial area is 24 miles long and 10 miles in width.
The country has four distinct levels of elevation. In the lower picture you can see this from left to right. It starts with the Freetown peninsula, Coastal Plain, Interior/ lowlands then last but not least Interior plateau. The elevation goes anywhere between 0 to 1000 m (0 ft - 3000 ft). Very little is above 1800 ft above sea level. They have nine major rivers. There are a few mountains that are above 3000 ft. The tallest mountains are 1945 m (6381 ft.)
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
There were two major outbreaks at the University. The first out break was in 1820 which caused the school to close and reopen every other year until 1827. This outbreak was a lack of support from the surrounding area's which caused an out break to occur. The second out break occurred in 1939-1945 and this war was in Europe. The war started because the British threatened to finally shut down the college and turn the campus into a naval base for the British navy.
Currently the college is very successful. It has a student enrollment range of 3,000- 3,999 students. The campus is an urban campus setting, and is a public college. Learning about this college was very interesting to me because I didn't understand all the things just one college had to go through in order for it to be around today. Its amazing how education means so much over in the US, but in Africa people have to fight for their right to get an education.
|Here is a photo of people from Sierra Leone Mining for the "blood diamonds"|
|Members of Executive Outcomes in Sierra Leone 1995|
Africa has a long history about the use of mercenaries.In the 13th century Pharaoh Ramesses II used 11,000 in his battles. In the 19th and 20th century the use of mercenaries was involved in conflicts and ending civil wars. Even today the use of pmcs is quite common. Large corporations such as Chevron will hire security companies to protect natural resources and energy assets.
There are over 300,000 children used as child soldiers, or guerrilla fighters (small group of combatants that use military tactics to fight a larger traditional military). All of these children have been abducted and forced to be soldiers between the ages of 9-12. These children experience traumatic events such as witness murder or are forced to murder someone. Sierra Leone alone has suffered more than 10 years of war that involved children as being victims to it or one of the main causes of violence. Once the war was over many of these civilians didnt want these kids to return to their homes, they often would threaten to kill them if they ever were to see them again. Many kids were able to receive some type of help and return home but, often moved away to avoid the hostility and discrimination from their home communities.
The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) invaded Sierra Leone from Liberia. It created a civil war that was brutal and sadistic. They claimed they wanted to end corruption and bring peace to the country, but often raided villages and abducted the children turning them into forced soldiers. They made them do/witness horrible things done to their families or other occupants of villages, tortured or raped them. The RUF, the local civil defence forces ( CDF), and the government all created child soldiers and took advantage of it.
During various stages of the war the child soldiers were slowly demobilized. Groups were created to help these kids.The psychological damage was wide spread. Many had conditions of somatization, depression, PTSD/ malignant PTSD. Since they are younger they are in an impressionable formative period, which has caused a lot of these kids scarring of their developing personalities. The PTSD rate of children in the war was measured at 48%. In most cases the PTSD was chronic because it was years later they were able to get help after coming back from captivity.
Journal 6 by Jami RiegelAgony for Ivory
The Ivory trade is the commercial, often illegal trade in ivory tusks from mainly elephants but can also be from hippopotamus, walrus, narwhal, and mammoths.
Between the years of 2008 and 2013 there were estimated to be around 30,000 to 50,000 elephants killed each of those years alone. The slaughter of them is horrifying; ivory dealers employ and arm the poachers with machine guns, who in turn target entire herds, shooting them and then hacking off their tusks with an ax or with a chainsaw.
Then the tusks are fed into the illegal international trade, that is controlled by highly organized criminal syndicates. Demand for the tusks are located in Asia, Europe, and the United States to be sold as jewelry, piano keys, and priceless religious art objects.
Right now we have a bloody history in ivory trading but we need to do our part to change the history for our future loved ones by not buying anything that is made with tusks and also with the help of National Geographic and with an organization called Born Free, which this is where I received most of my information. www.bornfree.org.uk/animals/african..../ivorytrade
|Groundnut stew served with a fish head as the meat in the stew.|
The Truth and Reconciliation commission or TRC had put its mandate into effect by three committees. The first committee was the Amnesty Committee which was primarily put into effect by considering applications for amnesty were done with provisions of the Act. People could apply for amnesty for any act, omission, or offense associated with a political objective between 1 March, 1960 to 6 December 1993. Another committee that was involved was Reparation and Rehabilitation (R&R) Committee which provided victim support restore victims dignity and to formulate policy proposals and recommendations on rehabilitiation along with healing of survivors and families. This ensured a healthy coexistence in life. The last committee involved was Human Rights Violations who investigated the abuses that took place during the years of 1960 to 1994 from statements made from TRC. This committee resurfaced victims existence and the sufferance they had to go through in battle. Once the victims would be identified they would be referred to R&R.
There is a Register of Reconciliation that gave the public a chance to express their revet at failing to prevent human rights violations and demonstrate their a commitment to reconciliation.
People who qualify for victims would be people who are registered under Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and their dependents and relatives.
The Lome Accord was a peace agreement against RUF that ended Sierra Leone's civil war on paper in 7 July of 1999. The negotiations had emerged from diverse personalities wanting to rebuild a country as the fight was still pushing on. In 18 May of 1999 the peace movement received a big push when Kabbah and Sankoh agreed to a cease fire in Lome. The peace talks had been structured around three main topics which where military, humanitarian, and political. These topics would be dealt with by a person from the committee with equal representation from RUF and government.
RUF refused to agree until the Kabbah government freed Sankoh. The government team refused and made RUF-AFRC signing a precondition of a presidential pardon. The four presidents Obasanjo, Taylor, Compaore, and Eyadema met together to exert pressures on both parties to compromise and met with Sankoh along with Kabbah to persuade them to accept the deal.
On 7 July 1999 Sankoh and Kabbah had signed the Lome Accord Peace Agreement along with the witnesses and grantors. The amnesty and pardon didn't however apply to national crimes. The ground of peace was still elusive but the feud was done on paper.
Truth & Reconciliation Commission or TRC Link: http://www.justice.gov.za/trc/
Lome Accord Link: http://www.c-r.org/accord-article/lomé-peace-negotiations
Monday, September 28, 2015
In 1995 the government had called upon the Executive Outcomes which was a security that had successfully repelled rebels in other countries. After lots of attacks form the EO the rebels ceased-fire and sought for peace talks with the government. But then attacked a jail where their leader was held and it all started again. They attacked more towns and even attacked Freetown in 1999.
In 2001 reports of their abuse had decreased and things were changing. Only 49 of the rebels were charged with 16 counts of murder and 54 counts of shooting with intent to commit murder. There were only a few who went to trial in front od a judge in 2002. Their trials were postponed and looked at again in 2003 of the five people who were charged two died before the trial. One of them was Foday Sankoh. Although they are not around and more they did a lot of damage while they were in the group. These men were heartless and only cared for themselves. They destroyed families, houses, towns, and the kids the people of Sierrs Leone.
|This is Leymah Gbowee holding her Nobel Peace Prize Diploma.|
When you sit and analyze this film you almost want to stand up and try to jump into the screen to help the villagers against the rebels. The main character named, Danny Archer who is played by the actor Leonardo DiCaprio made himself a huge target in the conflict of digging for diamonds. The story takes place in a town named, Sierra Leone where a man named Solomon played by actor Djimon Hounsou lives with his family. Solomon and Danny don't hit it off in the beginning but soon instill each other's trust within each other knowing that they can use one another to get what they want from the pink diamond Solomon found while being held captive by the rebels. Solomon wanted his wife and three children back while Danny wanted to have his way paid permanently out of Africa.
Danny while being tan and having slick back hair with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth met a women by the name of Maddy Bowen played by Jennifer Connelly who was in Sierra Leone to cover the treacherous activities of the diamond digging and the rebel attacks. Maddy was a journalist that didn't give up until she received what she was looking for and she knew she saw what she was looking for when her path met with Danny at a bar. He was the diamond smuggler in Sierra Leone not interested in anyone's story but his own. He was on the evil side in the beginning during the year of 1999 while trying to accomplishing crossing into Sierra Leone. He had diamonds tucked into a few goats which he was busted for by the patrol landing himself in jail.
Solomon eventually reunited with his family again while Danny was wounded unexpectedly leaving him to die in Africa. Maddy and Danny fell in love with one another but that love didn't mature due to the mission Danny was on to find the pink diamond. The film is full of terror but love that is found within hard time in a country. Love that can be so inspiring to want to be apart of that it makes you realize the petty things i n life when you and your loved one are in a battle of life or death due to valuable material possessions like diamonds.
The film does an excellent job of showing the violence, chaos and disorder that ravages the country and the effects that it has on the children that are brainwashed into becoming cold blooded killers through propaganda, and the rest of the worlds ignorance of the situation.
It also does great in describing the reason why this country is plagued with violence is the two billion dollar a year industry, diamonds. The average consumer doesn't think twice about where their diamonds come from, but they also don't realize that they are funding the destruction of a country and it's people and the film really gets that awareness across.
Overall, I thought the movie was fantastic. How it brings light to hidden horrors in our world is something everyone should experience so we cease follow in violent footsteps. I would highly recommend this movie.
|People are forced to mine for diamonds under threat of death.|
Sunday, September 27, 2015
|here is a photo of his son. it shows just how brain washed the boy soldiers were|