Article from ROAPE Volume 32 Number 103
Sierra Leone: Urban-Elite Bias, Atrocity and Debt
Sierra Leone experienced the violent results of an undeclared civil war which lasted over a decade. The state had lost control of the country's hinterland! Maiming, killing, and destruction dominated this part of West Africa, and the violence largely resulted from a set of programmes and policies of the country's post-colonial government which produced pronounced and obscene elite-peasant disparities. With the termination of hostilities, the IMF and the World Bank have financially assisted the country's recovery and rehabilitation through a set of programmes. These were dominated by the IMF's Post-Conflict scheme and the jointly-administered (IMF/WB) Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. This paper interrogates the documents of these international financial institutions (IFIs) and queries such data in two senses: a) has the nation's development agenda been able to recover from the debt overhang, and b) are the fundamental causes of the country's violent past addressed? The experience of Sierra Leone provides a window into the operations of the IFIs as they impose neoliberal globalisation in the third world.