Sierra Leone: One Man’s ‘Adventure’

Polygon president Jacques Voorhees had no idea what to expect when he visited the West African country of Sierra Leone. He had heard about the role diamonds played in the now-settled civil war there and wanted to investigate for himself. "I was intrigued and felt it was important to learn more about the issue," he says. "I didn't quite understand what the fuss was about. So warlords were selling diamonds to support their activity. So what? Warlords typically loot and pillage the territory they conquer. Name a commodity where that doesn't happen. The fact that there was this movement to indict one of the resources was puzzling. Plus it sounded like an adventure, and I figured, 'Why not?' " So, with the help of an old friend who ran the local UNICEF program, he went and had "the most fascinating eight days of my life." He saw everything from the horrors of the amputee camps to "possi
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