Return to Kailahun

Published On:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Author:

Caroline Thomas

Caroline Thomas is a documentary photographer based in Sierra Leone. She is a stringer for EPA and works with NGOs and the UN as a photographer and communications adviser.

Introduction

The district of Kailahun is where Sierra Leone's civil war began. In 1991, rebels crossed over from Liberia and began their attacks on villages. These attacks spread throughout the region as rebels killed, mutilated, raped - and recruited. Thousands fled the violence, running into the bush, making their way across the border to Guinea, to refugee camps in Liberia and finally back to Sierra Leone, often ending up in the capital, Freetown.

The war ended in 2002 but many people remain in exile, separated from their villages and the lives they once knew. Recently, however, some of the displayed have been given funds and support by development organizations to make the journey back home. Gradually, people are returning to Kailahun.

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