This book wrestles with fundamental questions of practical disarmament and peacebuilding in Sierra Leone. Although they were written prior to the May-June 2000 upsurge of violence in Freetown that led to the arrest of Foday Sankoh, these incidents underline the relevance of the authors' analyses.
The various research papers published in this volume have been written by actors of the Sierra Leonean conflict. The authors are civic leaders from Sierra Leone who are working for sustainable peace in their country. Each author is involved at one level or another in the search for a permanent peaceful resolution to the civil war, and a solution to the destabilizing influence of small arms and light weapons. In enabling these writers to get their views across, we hope to encourage a much-needed debate on security and security-sector reform in West Africa as well as to enrich the understanding of Sierra Leone's partners and donors. In the long run, we believe that this partnership approach will shore up the peace builders, and contribute to sustainable peace across the whole region.