The Sierra Leone Civil War: Blood Diamonds

Decent Essays
The Sierra Leone Civil War began in 1991 when the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) began an uprising against the Sierra Leone government, citing long-term corruption and crimes as their major reason for overthrowing the government. There was also conflicting in neighboring Liberia that started in 1989 and is thought to have triggering turmoil in Sierra Leone as it stretched over its borders. Much of the fighting caused by the RUF was funded and perpetuated by the prosperous diamond mines, later to be called Blood Diamonds because of the destruction they caused, located in the southeastern part of the country. By 1999, the United Nations sent a mission to Sierra Leone to end the “Blood Diamonds” conflict by disarming soldiers and building…show more content…
The loss of land, displacement from villages for safety, and the destruction of crops were direct results of the conflict that lead to a decrease in food security throughout the country. Food production businesses in Sierra Leone were also “severely dislocated” after the war, which causes an increased strain on the large urban population relying on foods made outside of the household as they did not have access to agricultural lands. This struggle to find sources of food, especially protein, created a demand of other forms of food not typically used in the Sierra Leonean diet. Bushmeat is a term used in Africa that includes wildlife species that are eaten for food, ranging in size from small bats to elephants. In African crisis zones, where food production is limited and harvests are not consistently accessible to a majority of the population, bushmeat becomes more integrated in the diet. Several bat species are known to be reservoirs for EBOV and eating these as the protein in a meal has been identified as the main process by which EBOV spills over from reservoirs to humans. While there have been efforts in the past to end the eating of bushmeat, it has become an important food commodity that has created an illegal trade, which has increased the consumption of bushmeat through the increased accessibility. As the…show more content…
Finding the initial source of the outbreak was important to scientists to create prevention strategies in the future and better understand the start of the outbreak. Through retrospective studies, an 18 month-old boy was found to be the first suspected case and was seen playing in a tree that was later found to be the home of many bat species that are known reservoirs for the EBOV. The first case of Ebola in Sierra Leone was a young woman in May 2014 and her infection was traced back to a traditional healer from her village, whom was well known in Sierra Leone as well as Guinea for her healing powers and was called to help heal Ebola patients. Humans are typically infected with EBOV through contact with bodily fluids of infected animals or other humans, or through the consumption of meat of an infected animal. In the past, geography hindered the spread, as those infected were in rural settings where the EBOV only came into contact with limited numbers of people, but the West Africa outbreak had epicenters in cities where the virus could spread more easily in density populated slums. EBOV can be found in a number of human secretions during the acute phase of infection, such as saliva, feces, semen, breast milk, tears, nasal secretions, and blood. In the urban slums, there is a much
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