David Olusoga TV - Diamonds, Gold & Guns TV - Simon Schama TV - The Empire in Africa 2006 -
Sierra Leone, West Africa: Here beneath the trees are the ruins of a slave fortress. The first fortress was built here in the seventeenth century. It’s lain abandoned, forgotten, for almost two centuries. It was in places like this that the British slave trade began. Slaves were bought, sold and imprisoned here before being shipped to British colonies in North America and the Caribbean. David Olusoga, Black and British: A Forgotten History II: Freedom ***** BBC 2016
The British were masters of the slave trade. In total Britain transported more than three million people in slavery. ibid.
Some of them, and this included the children, had DY, or Duke of York, burned into their chest. ibid.
Sierra Leone: From 1991 to 2002 the sale of over a billion dollars in rough diamonds funded a rebel army who committed horrible atrocities against civilians. These rough diamonds became known as blood diamonds. ibid.
The idea that in Africa there could be a place where ex-slaves would enjoy true liberty and security – that place was on the coast of Sierra Leone, and they call it the Province of Freedom. Simon Schama’s Rough Crossings, BBC 2018
Within days of sailing the fleet was in trouble … The violence of the storms they encountered … People were dying … Smashed and scattered about, they were still a liberty fleet. There was nothing like them at sea. ibid.
Was this the place they had dreamed about? … The company men in London had made sure they would as usual be subject to rules made by white men. The deception was a recipe for trouble. ibid.
With the rains came another scourge – disease. ibid.
Now they would make their hands bleed for themselves. ibid.
‘The whites show nothing but extravagance, idleness, quarraling, waste and insubordination.’ ibid. John Clarkson
A stunning landmark: free elections for ordinary people decades before it came to Britain and America. ibid.
Sierra Leone is a small country on the West coast of Africa. Like many other African countries, its land is rich in natural resources which have been exploited since colonial times.
During the 1980s survival became even more difficult for the people of Sierra Leone.
After losing hope of making any change through democratic means, a group called the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone was formed. This group, known as the RUF, took up arms in order to revamp the system and redistribute the country’s wealth.
Soon thereafter, the RUF established an alliance with the Sierra Leone Army (SLA) via its political branch, the AFRC. The new coalition fought a ten-year civil war to take back control of the country’s riches from foreign powers. The Empire in Africa, 2006
7 July 1999: The President of Sierra Leone and leader of the rebel forces signed a peace accord. These accords are intended to end the civil war. ibid.