RUF (Sierra Leone)

Country: Sierra Leone
Details of Formation: The RUF was a rebel army that fought during the civil war in Sierra Leone. Major Johnny Paul Koromah of the Sierra Leonean military staged a coup with the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) against President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah on May 25, 1997. Koromah subsequently invited RUF leader Foday Sankoh to join him in the government. Sankoh agreed to join on May 28, 1997.
Details of Termination: The group ceased to classify as a PGM when RUF and AFRC were evicted from the capital by an invasion of a Nigerian-led West African force that reinstated the rule of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. The termination date of March 12 in 1998 refers to the date when Kabbah returned to Freetown after nine months in exile. Subsequently, the RUF continued to exist as a rebel group fighting in the country. After peace was established in Sierra Leone, the RUF was converted into a political party, the Revolutionary United Front Party (Wikipedia).
Purpose: The RUF supported the AFRC after they gained control through the coup in 1997.
Organisation: The RUF was created and headed by Foday Sankoh, of Temne and Mende background. His allies were Abu Kanu and Rashid Mansaray. Sankoh was held in Nigeria from 1997-1999 (Wikipedia).
Weapons and Training: Libya, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea are reported to have helped in providing weapons to the RUF. They were also supported by Charles Taylor. Not only did Liberia provide military training, but there was a constant flow of weapons, ammunition, food and other supplies into RUF territory in Sierra Leone (Amnesty International 2006).
Size: no information
Reason for Membership: Initially, a group of Sierra Leoneans created and joined the RUF due to their own commitment. However, over the course of their existence, they made extensive use of child soldiers - boys and girls - who were forced to serve as soldiers or prostitutes (Wikipedia).
Treatment of Civilians: When the RUF started to exist, they were popular with many Sierra Leoneans who looked forward to the promise of free education and health care. However, the RUF acted terribly cruel towards civilians by e.g. hacking off limbs to intimidate and spread terror among the population. They were also known for their widespread recruitment of child soldiers (Wikipedia).
Other Information: --
References: Amnesty International. 2006. “The call for tough arms controls: Voices from Sierra Leone.”

Wikipedia. “Revolutionary United Front”.