2006 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, 1st prize

Yannis Kontos

Polaris Images

13 November, 2005

Young Abu (7) buttons his father's collar in their shelter in a camp for amputees near Freetown. His father, Abu Bakarr Kargbo, had both arms cut off by rebels of the Revolutionary United Front when they attacked Freetown in 1999.

Some 50,000 people were killed and thousands more had their bodies mutilated in a civil war between government and rebel forces that lasted from 1991 to 2002. Hacking off hands or arms of civilians was a rebel trademark, designed to sow terror among their enemies. In 2004, a peaceful settlement was finally reached and a war crimes tribunal opened. Former combatants from both sides benefited from social reintegration programs, but little was directed at amputees.

About the photographer

Yannis Kontos

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