Wusu Conteh

  • My Educational Goal:

After I've gone through the diploma program I also intend to go for a degree program in peace and conflict studies. In three years time, I will also aspire for a law program, which I believe, will empower me to become a human rights lawyer.

  • My Career Goal:

The rational for being a Human Rights lawyer is to purposely advocate for children who are the most vulnerable in society. I will work to enforce my country to observe the conventions that make provisions for the protection of children and work tirelessly to ensure that the rights of children are not violated and abused.

  • Personal Experience of War:

During the brutal long decade civil conflict in Sierra Leone, I witnessed several atrocities committed by all the war factions including RUF rebels, Kamajors and AFRC. On the 6th Sep 1997 I witnessed the massive burning and looting of houses in the main street of Fenton Road, Bo, Southern Province. I saw a man alleged to be a collaborator of the rebels set ablaze by civilians who acted on mob justice.

In 1998 when I happened to travel to Kono, Eastern Province, I was caught up with another brutal killing on the road leading to Jamaswafeh via Punduru Road, Kono District. People accused of being rebels, because of wearing shirts and a polo thought to be worn by rebels, were amputated. Some were butchered like meat by the Kamajors Militias.

When we were eventually driven from a village along Punduru Road more than one thousand people, including young babies and the aged, walked on foot on a very narrow road. Due to the congestion, children died on their mother's backs and also old people died on their way to seek refuge.

  • My Experience in Peace:

In 2001, immediately after the war, the National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) embarked on a massive disarmament program from all the war factions. Most of the fighters were disarmed and compensated to resettle in society. In 2002 the most affected people were assisted by international non-governmental organization. They were provided with some basic skills for them to be self-reliant.

Eventually, we saw the influx of human rights organizations both local and international. These organizations are working to ensure that the ugly human atrocities that occurred during the decade long civil conflict are not repeated. They embarked on a nationwide campaign for every person to know his/her rights and responsibilities as a citizen. By and large I am experiencing relative peace in Sierra Leone despite the few cases of political intolerance.