Revolutionary United Front (R.U.F.)
The Revolutionary United Front was an organization formed in Sierra Leone around 1991 by Foday Saybana Sankoh. This group threw Sierra Leone into an 11 year civil war, in order to seize control of the diamond-producing regions of the country. In their 11 year stint the soldiers of the Revolutionary United Front killed over 60,000 people and displaced approximately 3 million people. The R.U.F. was known for its guerrilla type tactics as well as recruiting child soldiers. These soldiers were often drugged and held against their will. They were often branded with the R.U.F's initials to signify who they were fighting for. Foday Saybana Sankoh was eventually arrested in 1997 but that didn't stop the R.U.F. According to McHugh, in 1999 the R.U.F. underwent their most atrocious and violent attack called "Operation No Living Thing". During this attack they systematically abducted and dismembered 6,000 civilians. After this attack the Lomé Agreement which allowed Sankoh and other various R.U.F. to be apart of the government was put into effect, this did not stop the soldiers from attacking civilians. Sankoh was recaptured by the government in 2000 where he was sent to trial to face the charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other violations of international humanitarian law. He did not make it to trial because he died of natural causes. The Revolutionary United Front was dismantled in 2001, the civil war officially ended in 2002.
|Foday Sankoh; one of the leaders of the R.U.F.|
Child soldier with R.U.F.'s initial branded on his chest