Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sierra Leone: Where God Weeps

An interview with Archbishop Edward Tamba Charlest:
I will say here, first of all, what it was not. It was not a religious war; rather it was the usual African tribal war. It was greed for power. Some groups wanted to take over power and have access to the wealth of the country; the huge mineral resources we have. Injustice also played into that because some of the people who were treated badly joined one or the other of the fighting groups to avenge what was done to them. For example in some areas entire villages were wiped out. Later on, we were told, that was done by some people who felt that their own party was cheated during the election of chiefs. They thought everybody should lose so they went and burned villages....

 This is one of the manifestations of the mystery of evil. Sometimes people who are good, peaceful and loving act in a manner that is difficult to explain and ours was such situation. Young people were forced to go out and commit atrocities against other people -- in most cases innocent people. Victims were shot, arms were amputated and pregnant women had their stomachs opened to know the sex of the child. It became a game among the young people because they were drugged by adults. And yet as you say, the majority of the Sierra Leoneans are peace loving. They hate violence in normal circumstances. So it is one of those manifestations of the mystery of evil that is difficult to explain. (Read entire interview.)

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