By Peter Penfold
In early 1997 Peter Penfold, arrived in Sierra Leone because the British excessive Commissioner. This attention-grabbing publication describes not only his eventful three-year travel however the heritage and next occasions that positioned this small state on the heart of the area stage.During his journey, he discovered himself as correct hand guy to the country's beleaguered President Kabbah. as a result of insurgent activities, together with surprising atrocities, the writer needed to not just evacuate the overseas neighborhood (twice) yet used to be pressured out himself. every now and then, he flew in day-by-day from British warships, because the scenario was once dangerously unstable.We find out how shortly after being praised through leading Minister Tony Blair for his pivotal function in getting this as soon as wealthy kingdom again on its toes, he came upon himself below Customs and Excise research and Parliamentary Committee scrutiny for his intended position within the 'Arms for Africa' Enquiry. whereas reprimanded via the FCO, he was once feted and made a Paramount leader by means of the Sierra Leone people.He describes how, after his journey was once reduce brief regardless of his and the host Government's appeals, the location back deteriorated. He offers a hugely educated account of the following occasions together with the SAS Operation BARRAS - the rescue of the British army hostages. it is a extremely important account in response to the main privileged wisdom.
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Additional info for Atrocities, Diamonds and Diplomacy: The Inside Story of the Conflict in Sierra Leone
Dr Mukesh Kapila, the pinnacle of DFID’s division chargeable for clash and humanitarian suggestions, paid his 10th stopover at. I had recognized Mukesh given that my days within the British Virgin Islands while he used to be one of many ODA’s scientific advisers. Mukesh made issues take place and masses of what we had completed with Sierra Leone don't have occurred with out his involvement. for instance, it used to be a talk with him after we have been in Conakry that had ended in the institution of Radio Democracy and the Sierra Leone executive workplace. Now his division used to be overseeing our inputs to the DDR programme. Mukesh used to be always jetting round the hassle spots of the area, from Bosnia to East Timor. His visits to Sierra Leone, frequently observed through Brian Thompson and Garth Glentworth, the governance associations adviser, have been continually invigorating. Mukesh was once later seconded to the UN to paintings within the Sudan. tough at the heels of Mukesh Kapila was once the everlasting Secretary of DFID, Sir John Vereker. This wily, skilled most sensible civil servant took a extra measured view of DFID’s actions, aware of the truth that as everlasting Secretary he used to be accountable for its coffers and its mandate to Parliament. He used to be a terrific foil to Clare brief and the 2 of them labored good heading up the DFID group. In his quieter approach, he was once both outstanding to the Sierra Leone individuals with whom he met. The dedication to Sierra Leone through DFID remained powerful because of such visits. It intended that there has been a wealth of expertise and first-hand wisdom on Sierra Leone within the DFID headquarters in London, not like, unfortunately, the overseas place of work. Robin prepare dinner by no means visited Sierra Leone for all time i used to be there; Tony Lloyd’s four-hour stopover at in 1998 was once the single FCO ministerial stopover at till Peter Hain got here for a number of days in January 2000, simply almost immediately prior to I left. The overseas place of work officers weren't far better. as much as the top of 1999 the whole time spent by means of traveling officers from the African division was once lower than seven days, and this supposedly to a rustic that used to be taking on fifty consistent with cent of the department’s time. In a distinct state of affairs this is able to were welcome however the officers facing Sierra Leone again domestic looked as if it would have written their very own time table and didn't wish to listen to perspectives that contradicted their model of occasions. i used to be willing for this reason to determine them in Sierra Leone to reveal them to the realities at the floor, in order that they may shape a extra proficient view with which to suggest coverage to ministers. It was once obvious that even if they got here out, they simply desired to see yes humans and in simple terms sought solutions to questions that might aid the perspectives they'd formulated in London. for instance, while the top of the dept paid his one and basically brief stopover at over a weekend, i couldn't convince him to accompany me to a church the place he may have won an excellent think for what was once occurring. another member of the dept used to be basically apprehensive approximately assembly Sierra Leoneans. He introduced with him a offer of hand wipes, which he methodically took out and used whenever he shook arms with a Sierra Leonean.