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The Heart of the Matter (full report)

Ian Smillie, Lansana Gberie, Ralph Hazelton


This study grew from a discussion in 1998 among members of an informal group in Ottawa called the ‘Sierra
Leone Working Group’ (SLWG). Meeting under the auspices of the Canadian and African NGO coalition,
Partnership Africa Canada (PAC), the SLWG has helped to raise Canadian awareness about the conflict in Sierra Leone, it has raised funds for peacebuilding and emergency relief in Sierra Leone, and it has encouraged
senior Canadian government officials to take a greater interest in the broader political and economic aspects
of the conflict. The group concluded in 1998 that diamonds were central to the conflict, and that a highly criminalized war economy had developed a momentum of its own. The group believed that regardless of what might be done to bring about a peaceful settlement, no peace agreement would be sustainable until the problems related to mining and selling diamonds had been addressed, both inside Sierra Leone and internationally.

Full Text:


West Africa Review. ISSN: 1525-4488 (online).
Editors: Adeleke Adeeko, Nkiru Nzegwu, and Olufemi Taiwo.

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