View Full Version : Sierra Leone 2000- British vs RUF
January 29th, 2004, 06:05 AM
WI during the 2000 Sierra Leone crisis, the British intervention force (Op PALLISER) was given a mandate beyond simply evacuating Western civilians from Freetown and supporting the ineffective UN PKO (UNAMSIL), to actually hunt down and destroy the RUF who'd restarted the civil war and were committing atrocities against both civilians and captured UN peacekeepers ? Of course, preferably such robust military action should've been undertaken after the last of the 500 peacekeepers taken hostage had been released into Liberia. The Brits had an amphib taskforce including HMS INVINCIBLE and embarked No. 42 Commando IIRC + a bn of paras from 16 Air Assault Bde, the British Army training mission to the SL army, and SAS and SBS elements incountry, who could've supported the SL army, anti-RUF KAMAJOR militiamen and UN contingents defending themselves against RUF attacks (such as the Nigerians, Kenyans, Indians, Ghanaians and Jordanians), in systematically taking apart and destroying the RUF once and for all. It was the RUF who triggered this new crisis by taking up arms again in May 2000, and they could've overrun UNAMSIL and again taken Freetown to embark on a new reign of atrocities (esp systematic forced amputation of civilians, kidnapping children for use as child soldiers or prostitutes), had it not been for British military intervention. Could the British have easily squelched them and prevented them from ever again terrorising SL, in the same systematic efficient manner as the SAS and paras rescued the kidnapped British soldiers of the Royal Irish Regt from the 'West Side Boys' during Op BARRAS in Sept ? How would the Blair govt have looked in undertaking such direct military action in a former British colony ?
January 29th, 2004, 05:35 PM
dunno how that would have played internationally. some countries might have cried "imperialism". maybe people like mugabe in zimbabwe would have been put off their crimes. the french probably would support britain in this as they tend to take action in their old empire
Sir Isaac Brock
February 1st, 2004, 12:59 AM
What I hope would happen:
British are welcomed as heroes. They stay and supervise rebuilding and new elections. By 2003 crises in the Ivory Coast and Liberia have led France and the US to deploy troops in a similar fashion in Sierra Leon's neighbours.
Blair, Bush, and Chirac meet to develop a new "Marshall Plan" for West Africa. They will create a "protective bubble" of security over West Africa in which democracy and economic development can take place. Total domestic freedom of action is given to the new West African governments however, and their is no threats that the IMF will refuse to lend them money, or Western troops will disappear in a moment of crisis, just because the local government wants a state-owned oil company instead of letting Exxon-Mobile run things.
Soon the West African Treaty Alliance (WATA) is born. It soon adds Ghana and Senegal to it's ranks. Not long after that the West African Economic Community forms, and later adopts of the West African Dollar as it's common currency. etc. etc.
What I'm afraid would happen:
RUF forces disappear into the population and start launching guerrilla raids on British soldiers reminiscent of Somalia in '93 or present day Iraq. The British occupation bogs down and becomes increasingly unpopular internationally and in Britain. The Blair government falls and UK troops pull out, leaving Sierra Leon to fall back into Civil War.
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