Kadiatu Turay

  • My Educational Goal:

My educational goal is to acquire better knowledge that I may share with others. I would like to further my studies in the UK by pursuing both my Masters and Doctorate as the UK has one of the largest and best peace schools in the world.

  • My Career Goal:

After getting my first degree at FBC I would like to start work with the UN as a peace envoy. The reason being that the entire world one way or another can be engulfed in conflict and political upheaval, which is a cause for concern that needs to be addressed urgently.

  • Personal Experience of War:

My own personal experiences during the ten years of civil war in Sierra Leone happened when I was in Bo in the southern part of the country. In Bo, at first the youth of the city started minding check points at night when news started coming from nearby villages that the rebels wanted to launch an attack on the city. These vigilante groups (Kamajors) were so zealous that they never allowed the rebels to enter the town and wreck havoc on the civilians. We, the civilians, were giving vital information of people that were strange and not known in the town. These strangers were those sent ahead as spies to spy on the town. The vigilante groups who were determined to prevent the rebels from attacking Bo apprehended them.

After the AFRC junta overthrew the government of President Kabbah in 1997, the military junta regime invited the rebels to come out of the bush and join the government. This is the time that I saw thousands of rebels in Bo, both young people, including women, men and children. I also saw Sam Bockarie, alias Mosquita, for the very first time talking to the youth of Bo. He admonished us and after he finished he gave out bundles of money and left for Freetown. Things began to go the other way as in Bo businessmen and women no longer could travel from Bo to Freetown to buy basic commodities such as salt, sugar, fuel, cooking oil, rice, medicine, etc. There was a shortage of those items.

The military junta was forcing people to support their regime. Later some of the youth joined the regime in order to loot private and government properties. They also broke into our house and looted our personal belongings. They were also raping girls and taking them to be their wives. The rebels and the junta were all over the town holding guns and grenades, scaring civilians.

After receiving news about the coming of the ECOMOG troops the rebels declared operation "no living thing" in Bo. At this juncture our parents sent my brothers and sisters into hiding in one of the surrounding villages. In local dialect it was known as Sorkweihun. In this village the Kamajors started threatening civilians who were not from that region, especially the Temmes. Myself, my brothers and sisters {even though we are Temme}were not harmed. It was so stressful that when we got news that the rebels had declared operation "no living thing" in Bo, I started praying to God Almighty for my entire family and other relatives who had stayed behind in the house in Bo. I was in trauma and debasement of mind until that very day when ECOMOG finally entered the township of Bo. People were set free from those barbaric rebels who fled from Bo in fear of the ECOMOG troops.

After receiving news from BBC that ECOMOG had finally entered Bo the next day myself and other relatives left the village where we were seeking refuge for Bo town to live together with our parents.

  • My Experience in Peace:

At first the signing of the Lome peace accord brought some amount of calmness to the country. Foday Sankoh later violated the peace accord and people were terrorized by those rebels again. With the help of the British and ECOMOG troops we finally attained peace in 2001.

After British soldiers dislodged the Westside Boys from Okra Hill, other factions of the rebels began surrendering to UN Peacekeepers. Then the disarmament process started coming into being. The rebels were integrated into camps to revive them so that they could be useful in society again.

The government of President Kabbah and the British government went all out to see that SL achieved peace. The help of the UN, EU and British government is supporting the government to attain peace in SL brought about the peace we are enjoying today.

In conclusion with the help of God Almighty finally Sierra Leonean are enjoying relative peace.