We Can’t Eat Peace: Youth, Sustainable Livelihoods and the Peacebuilding Process in Sierra Leone

Ibrahim Bangura, 2016

This article examines the legacy and ongoing threat of historical neglect and marginalisation of youth in Sierra Leone, and the implications for the peacebuilding process in the country. This threat, embedded in the current socio-economic status quo, has bred energetic but disillusioned, violence-tested and frustrated youth willing to resort to any means for survival. Such societal vulnerabilities, stemming in part from young people’s willingness to engage in violence, continue to test the resilience of the peacebuilding process. Underpinning this article are extensive interviews and focus group discussions conducted with youth and other relevant stakeholders across the country on issues related to youth and the peacebuilding process in Sierra Leone. Findings from this study provide new perspectives on the challenges faced by youth, the government’s inability to meet their needs, and the implications for the country’s peacebuilding process.

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