The Rebels

The Rebels A historic report on the blood diamond fuelled conflict in Sierra Leone.

Kneeling before the camera an RUF guerrilla sends out his prayer. "Let the world understand that we are freedom fighters...that we are not hooligans." But picking the truth from the propaganda is a muddied business in this dangerous nation. Filming in the guerrilla controlled area we listen to the side widely accused of atrocities. Sam Bockery, commander of the RUF, maintains that they are misrepresented: "Civilians are blasted with [ECOMOG] mines so they go and say we are maiming civilians." Gruesome scenes of bloodied victims filmed during an ECOMOG bombing campaign testify to the casualties wrought by their aerial bombardment. The RUF say they fight for the people, for a state that will invest the nations rich mineral wealth into schools and hospitals. They say foreign support of Kabbah through ECOMOG and private mercenaries is just a cynical skirmish over mining rights. By stepping-up their campaign they hope the world will listen to their version of events. But whether victory by them would mean a better future for Sierra Leoneons is in as much doubt as their well being under Kabbah.

Produced by Journeyman Pictures/Peter Strandberg and Richard Betts

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