By Peter Penfold
In early 1997 Peter Penfold, arrived in Sierra Leone because the British excessive Commissioner. This attention-grabbing ebook describes not only his eventful three-year travel however the heritage and next occasions that positioned this small nation on the middle of the area stage.During his travel, he came across himself as correct hand guy to the country's beleaguered President Kabbah. because of insurgent activities, together with stunning atrocities, the writer needed to not just evacuate the overseas group (twice) yet was once pressured out himself. now and then, he flew in day-by-day from British warships, because the state of affairs was once dangerously unstable.We learn the way presently after being praised via best Minister Tony Blair for his pivotal position in getting this as soon as wealthy state again on its toes, he chanced on himself less than Customs and Excise research and Parliamentary Committee scrutiny for his intended position within the 'Arms for Africa' Enquiry. whereas reprimanded by means of the FCO, he was once feted and made a Paramount leader by means of the Sierra Leone people.He describes how, after his travel used to be minimize brief regardless of his and the host Government's appeals, the location back deteriorated. He supplies a hugely proficient account of the next occasions together with the SAS Operation BARRAS - the rescue of the British army hostages. this can be a extremely important account according to the main privileged wisdom.
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Additional info for Atrocities, Diamonds and Diplomacy: The Inside Story of the Conflict in Sierra Leone
Whereas i used to be caught in Conakry, she endured her reviews, however the separation used to be having an impression. London agreed that i'll have a whole holiday from Sierra Leone affairs for 6 weeks over Christmas and New yr. It was once now not a great time to be going away. With the junta reneging on its commitments less than the Conakry Peace Plan, the placement in Sierra Leone used to be turning into annoying. I argued with London that during my absence there can be disguise in Conakry over the vacation interval. Colin Glass used to be no longer as a result of pop out until eventually early January and along with his relations commitments i didn't are looking to disrupt his Christmas/New 12 months plans, so Dai Harries was once requested to break his Portuguese language education sooner than his posting to Maputo to supply conceal. The preparations have been installed educate. bankruptcy 4 Contacts with Sandline earlier than leaving Conakry on 19 December I known as on President Kabbah at his villa to need him a merry Christmas and to examine no matter if he had any messages to take again to London. As traditional we met by myself within the huge lounge at the flooring flooring of the villa. He sat sprawled out at the sumptuous leather-based sofa and that i sank into one of many huge armchairs. even though our conferences have been regularly very secure, we nonetheless maintained the diplomatic courtesies of addressing one another, ‘Your Excellency’. throughout the assembly he confirmed me in self belief a faxed reproduction of a draft agreement that he had lately got. I learn it fast. The agreement was once among a Canadian mining corporation known as Blackstone and the govt. of Sierra Leone. In go back for mining concessions from the govt, Blackstone could make on hand to a firm known as Sandline as much as US $10 million for the acquisition of apparatus and the supply of group of workers and coaching to help President Kabbah’s recovery. i didn't keep in mind that the draft agreement made any particular point out of hands, yet given the amount of cash concerned i presumed that hands will be incorporated as a part of the package deal. I had now not heard of Blackstone however the corporation Sandline and its boss, Tim Spicer, have been delivered to my awareness only in the near past in observing CNN studies at the tv in my resort room approximately its actions in Papua New Guinea. there has been a lot confusion in regards to the linkage among department strength, govt results, Lifeguard and Sandline, in part in their personal planned making that allows you to blur a few of the connections. The overseas place of work had prepared for me to name on department strength as a part of my pre-posting briefing. The British corporation had mining concessions to mine kimberlite in Kono District. After his evacuation from Freetown, department Energy’s consultant, Rupert Bowen, had reappeared in Conakry in the direction of the top of the yr. Given the letter he had despatched to Robin prepare dinner, i didn't exit of my method to meet him, yet at times he grew to become up on the bar of the resort Camayenne. whilst President Kabbah terminated the agreement with the South African dependent company, government results, as a part of the Abidjan Peace Accord, an affiliated corporation, Lifeguard, remained in Sierra Leone to supply safeguard on the department power mine and in addition on the Sierra Rutile mine, owned via a multi-national conglomerate together with Hanson belief.