Joseph Okwesili Nkwede1 and Cornelia Orieoma Usonka2.
1, 2 Department of Political Science,
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ebonyi State, Abakaliki.
Africa has witnessed several civil wars and conflicts, some of which are still going on. Reasons include struggle for resources such as diamonds and oil, with various factions fighting for these prizes, supported by multinational corporations and other governments. The civil war in Sierra Leone began on the 23rd of March, 1991 when the RUF entered Kailahun District and Pujehun District in Sierra Leone from Liberia. Thousands of innocent civilians were killed. The war ended in January 2002 when the British government military intervened to suppress rebel insurgents. Diamonds, blood diamonds, conflict diamonds, war diamonds were seen as the main driving force of the conflict but were they really the cause? Despite the gravity of these war crimes, one should be careful to avoid judging the causes of the war simply based on the processes and outcomes of the war. Thus, this paper has really questioned the conventional belief that diamonds were actually the main driver of the war, and then explored the broader socio-political context of Sierra Leone and the emergence of RUF even before the escalation of the war. The study adopted relative deprivation theory and cross-sectional research design. The data was inevitably from secondary sources. The findings revealed that the central cause of the war was endemic greed, corruption and nepotism that deprived the nation of its dignity and reduced most people to a state of poverty. The study recommends that African leaders should take the challenge and work towards the development of the continent for the benefit of Africans; they should develop new ways of conflict management to avoid conflicts.