Moses P Kamara

My name is Moses P. Kamara. I am a Sierra Leonean by nationality living in the western urban district. I am 22 years old and single. I attended the Albert Academy Secondary School in which I sat the West African Senior School Examination (WASSE). I entered university in 2008-09 to pursue a diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies. Presently peace and conflict studies is my career and educational goal. I would like to specialize in it in order to disseminate the messages about tolerance and peace not only in my country but also in the world at large.

My experience during the war in Sierra Leone is as an eyewitness of survival. On January 6th 1999 the rebels came to my house in Freetown and asked all of us to come outside, so we all came out and sat on the ground with guns pointed at us. They asked if we were all the men in this house. My uncle responded to them that we were all there. Then they took my uncle, my younger sister and me a far distance to a place where we met other people who they had also captured. It was in this place I saw one the rebels take a girl and undress her. The girl was crying and asking for mercy but the rebel did not listen. So he laid on her while the others were watching pointing their guns at us until the rebel finished. Then the girl fainted and one of them took her, put her in their vehicle and drove off. All this happened in front of me. So while we were there they divided us into groups. My family and I were fortunate to be in the same group and they gave us one rebel to accompany us to their base. It was during this time one man in our group hit the rebel, beat him up and tied him to a tree. After that he told us to go back to our homes. This is how my family and I survived.

Moreover, I also experienced a rape of one lady who left her house to purchase some food to sustain her family. Unfortunately for her she was captured in front of my house and she was asked to remove her clothes and they pointed their guns towards the lady and they called seven men to lie on her and when they finished with her, the lady could not bear it and became unconscious. They took her and put her in their truck and went away with her. I saw this through the window.

Also I experience hunger during this period, while we were hidden in our homes. There was no food and no water to drink or even to see it around us. We were able to get water and food during the night when one neighbor rushed to the supermarket to buy bags of rice and drinking water. When he came back he gave us three bags of rice and a packet of water to drink.

Finally we experienced peace after eleven years of war when the UN sent the ceasefire team to Sierra Leone and they were able to help calm things down. In 2001 the second Abuja Peace Agreement was signed and total peace was restored. After that the country started to be rebuilt, including roads, buildings, schools, and other institutions.