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Conflict in Sierra Leone

In 1961 Sierra Leone gained independence from the United Kingdom. Since then, there has been a struggle to control the country's diamonds.

Even though it is rich in diamonds, people living in Sierra Leone are very poor. Angry at being poor, rural people set up the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) to fight the government.

A war began in 1991 between the government and the RUF. Both sides killed and harmed many people. At least 500,000 people died in the fighting. The RUF did not win control of the country.

Peace was declared in 2002 but some fighting continues. Sierra Leone is one of the world's poorest countries and is still an unsafe place to live.

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