In reading the chronology pages and the novel A Long Way Gone What did you discover about the motivation of the army soldiers versus thosse of the rebels? In your opinion, what made the leaders of the RUF so ruthless for so long ?
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I guess it really helps to know the historical particulars of this conflict to answer this. Africa is fraught with tribal, political, military and governmental conflicts. For many African countries like Sierra Leone, it's like one big whirling tornado of chaos. Strictly from the context of the book, it would seem that the RUF was pretty savage. Their motivations were, like most conflicts, about greed and power. Men not happy with the government take up arms and try to force a coup. The RUF used child soldiers as well. The army soldiers seem just as ruthless. Their leverage with the boys, besides copious amounts of cocaine, seems to be retribution for their loved ones. In the end, the party supported by the army could be just as bad as the party supported by the RUF. The tactics of both sides are just as brutal. Unfortunately this is the plight of some of the poorest countries in the world.