In January 18 president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah declared ‘Di Wor Don Don’ – the war is over – after eleven years of turmoil and misery. It was the scene of some of the worst atrocities in Africa at the close of the twentieth century.
Returning after an absence of nearly two years, it was immediately apparent that things had much improved. The capital, Freetown, was bustling with cars and people, the shops were full, the street traders out in force. There were no soldiers patrolling the streets. Instead the police went about in smart uniforms and new vehicles. People were smiling, no longer wearing the gaunt expressions caused by hunger and anxiety. Nearly everyone seemed to have a mobile phone.