Studies in Reconstruction and Capacity Building in Post-conflict Countries in Africa: Some Lessons of Experience from Sierra-Leone

"Sierra Leone like Uganda, Rwanda and Mozambique offers an interesting case study on post-war reconstruction and capacity building in Africa. This small West African country became embroiled in a violent armed conflict in March 1991 when a small group of fighters of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) aided by Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) attacked Bomaru, a small village in eastern Sierra Leone. The war and the subsequent state collapse that followed could be attributed to a number of interrelated factors. A successful disarmament process in Sierra Leone set the smooth scene for the post-war reconstruction and capacity-building program. Many lessons were learnt from the Sierra Leone case study. First among these lessons is that successful post-war peace building, reconstruction and capacity building hinges greatly on the funds, support and commitment to the realization of complete disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-fighters. Secondly, the post-war trauma caused by the brutalities of wartime experiences would not heal if all sectors in post-war civil society are not taken into account and carried along in the reconstruction and reconciliation program. Thirdly, that the nature of the post-war regime will play a pivotal role in galvanizing international support for post-war reconstruction and capacity-building."