UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council is lavishing rare praise on Sierra Leone, a country once known for "blood diamonds" and chopping limbs off innocent civilians, which now contributes soldiers to U.N. peacekeeping missions and aspires to be a middle-income country by 2030.
At a meeting Wednesday formally wrapping up 15 years of U.N. peacekeeping and peacebuilding in Sierra Leone, the council commended "the remarkable achievements" by Sierra Leone over the past decade. It also commended the effectiveness of the United Nations and the international community in building peace in the West African nation.
A rebel insurrection aimed at seizing control of Sierra Leone's government and rich diamond mines that began in 1991 led to killings and atrocities against thousands of civilians. It ended in 2002 when U.N. and British troops intervened.