"Sierra Leone has seen serious and grotesque human rights violations since 1991 when the civil war erupted."
"...illegal arms shipments and the odd mention of the conflict, with a bit of sustained coverage in 1996/97".
"...Sierra Leone government also comes under criticism for causing civilian casualties while bombing suspected rebel positions".
"... peace deal had been agreed to in 1999".
" For a long time, a number of UN peace keepers were also held by rebels, but subsequently released".
"...Human Rights Watch reported that abuses were still continuing towards the end of 1999".
"At the beginning of July 2000 the United Nations Security Council decided to impose an 18 month ban on diamond exports from Sierra Leone".
"The RUF has been mining diamonds and selling them to fund their weapons purchase and other activities, including human rights abuses".
"At the beginning of May 2001, the U.N. security council went further by imposing sanctions on neighboring Liberia for supporting the RUF".
"Additionally, a diamond mining ban was announced in Sierra Leone, from 18th July 2001, hoping this might help address the violence, although many are skeptical".