about the book

sierra leone COVER


Sierra Leone: Inside the War provides readers with an detailed overview of the 1991-2002 civil war.including descriptions of Sierra Leone’s culture and pre-war history, a year-by-year account of the civil war, and narratives from 30 people who describe their experiences  as both civilians and fighters.

Written after the 2012 conviction of Liberian warlord Charles Taylor for crimes committed during the Sierra Leone war, the book provides details of the complicity of Taylor and Muammar Qaddafi of Libya in the war.

The narrators, who include civilians and members of all fighting factions including child soldiers from all factions, describe fascinating and sometimes brutal aspects of the fighting, the relative success of the reconciliation process that took place at the end of the war and the current state of the country. The narratives also provide interesting cultural details of the fighting, such as the use of witchcraft and the indoctrination of child fighters.

This book is recommended for anyone with an interest in Sierra Leonean history and culture, West African politics, and the anthropology of war. With nine maps and numerous photos.



  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Kindle – Currently available
  • Publisher: Orchid Press
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9745241989
  • ISBN-13: 978-9745241985



The Authors:

James Higbie was born in Michigan and graduated from Denison University (Granville, Ohio) and the University of Hawaii. He worked in Sierra Leone for ten years, first in the Peace Corps in the early 70s and again after the war in educational development for an international NGO. He has also worked in Hawaii, Thailand, South Sudan, and Laos and has published books on the Thai and Lao languages, also with Orchid Press Publishing.

contact:  jimhigbie@yahoo.com.

Bernard S. Moigula is from Moyamba District in Sierra Leone. He holds a Higher Diploma in Community Health and Clinical Sciences and a BSc (Hons) in Public Health, both degrees from Njala University. He has worked in Kailahun, Bo, and Moyamba Districts in clinical and community medicine.


Orchid Press Publishing:

Orchid Press, established in Thailand in 1981 as White Orchid Press, is a specialized publishing house devoted to books related to Asia—books of general interest, scholarly texts, fiction, and poetry, both new works and reprints. Books are sold through distributors, booksellers and directly to customers around the world.

website/catalogue:  www.orchidbooks.com


Sierra Leone: Inside the War


Country and People
Before the War
The Rebel War: 1991-2002 (a year-by-year account of politics and fighting)
After the War

PART 2: NARRATIVES (RUF-rebels; SLA-Sierra Leone Army; AFRC-army faction following coup d’etat; Kamajors-main civil defense force)

1. Sheku (Civilian) They Called Themselves Freedom Fighters
2. Lucia (Civilian) It Was Rogues and Crooks
3. Jusu (RUF Child Soldier) Rebel Child
4. Jeneba (Nurse with the RUF) Saving the Lives of Others
5. Michael (Civilian) Things Became Difficult
6. Jasper (RUF) Voluntarily Recruited
7. Fatmata (RUF) I Became Involved
8. Bolo (SLA–AFRC) Why Am I Fighting?

1. Allan (Civilian) Everyone Wanted Diamonds
2. Jammie (Civilian) I’m Going To Die
3. Kumba (Civilian) A Command To Cut Off Our Hands
4. Momodu (Kamajor) The Kamajors were Fighting for Peace
5. Massah (Civilian) Remembering The War
6. Finda (Civilian) Massacre in Tombodu
7. Tamba (RUF Child Soldier) Helping The Men

1. Bobby (RUF–SLA–Kamajor) Liberian Connection
2. Ansumana (Civilian) Southern Villager
3. Foday (Kamajor) Protecting the Village
4. Baby Seiya (Civilian) He Proposed Love
5. Borbor (Kamajor) Initiation
6. Makambo (SLA–AFRC) Soldier of This Country
7. Bernard Sifoi (Civilian) Bo School
8. Mr Tucker (Civilian) Around as a Young Man
9. Margaret (Civilian) It Pays to be Kind

1. Gibrilla (Civilian) Trouble in Aberdeen
2. Heavy D (RUF) He was a Good Leader
3. Samuel (AFRC Child Soldier) Freetown Invasion
4. Alfred (Civilian) Brima Lane
5. Isata (Civilian) Victim
6. Mahmood (Civilian) A Devil Incarnate
7. Kaiku (AFRC Child Soldier) They Were Against Us
8. Edward (Civilian) Do You Want to Know a Rebel?

1. Mohamed (Civilian) These Were the Thugs I Saw
2. Fallah (RUF Child Soldier) I Never Want to See Such Things Again
Allan Epilogue: Counseling and Reconciliation

Appendix 1: Groups and Organizations Involved in the War
Appendix 2: Leaders and Commanders