MSF team's accounts
MSF 1999 Report: Mutilations of civilians in Sierra Leone
24 May 1999
The following extracts are taken from the diaries written by MSF expatriate staff working in Sierra Leone: May 6th 1999 'We visited Songo, Mabang, Mile 38 and Masiaka. We picked up nine patients; three from Masiaka: one pregnant women and two amputees. In Mile 38, there looked to be around 500-700 people in very bad condition: full of skin infections, malnutrition, freaked out and frightened.' May 8th 1999 'Today we received one man from Port Loko, attacked on Wednesday, carried on a door to Pele and then on a canoe to Freetown. We also received two out of the bush from near Waterloo, after 12 days in the bush. And one woman yesterday evening, suffering from attempted decapitation.' May 10th 1999 'We received the first 15 from Port Loko (mostly amputees). Seven double amputees, two attempted amputees, the youngest is just four years-old.' The week of the 16th of May 1999 'Over the week, we have seen wounded continue to arrive from villages around Mile 38. They report a lot of killing and chopping. We are seeing people arriving just butchered (not just the hands). One man had six fractures; including most of his shoulder hacked off by a machette. One family lost everyone. The last child in the family died just after arriving. Her head was completely chopped open with a machette. Many arrived with nothing; all their clothes soaked in blood and puss and no shoes or anything to sleep on, nothing to eat or drink from..'