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The West Side Boys: military navigation in the Sierra Leone civil war
Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
2008 (English)In: Journal of Modern African Studies, ISSN 0022-278X, E-ISSN 1469-7777, Vol. 46, no 3, 487-511 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The West Side Boys were one of several military actors in the Sierra Leonean civil War (1991-2002). A splinter group of the army, the WSB emerged as a key player In 1999-2000. In most Western media accounts, the WSB appeared as nothing more than renegade, anarchistic bandits, devoid of any trace of long-term goals. By contrast, this article aims to explain how the WSB used well-devised military techniques in the field; how their history and military training within the Sierra Leone army shaped their notion of themselves and their view of what they were trying to accomplish; and, finally, how military commanders and politicians employed the WSB as a tactical instrument in a larger map of military and political strategies. It is in the politics of a military economy that this article is grounded.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 46, no 3, 487-511 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-261414DOI: 10.1017/S0022278x08003388ISI: 000259044900006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-261414DiVA: diva2:850369

346CB Times Cited:1 Cited References Count:50

Available from: 2010-02-12 Created: 2015-09-01 Last updated: 2015-09-30

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Utas, Mats
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