A private security service firm targeted Sierra Leone's ex-child fighters to remobilise them as low-paid soldiers in Iraq.

A fourteen year old child soldier for the Sierra Leone Army, Abu Kamara, left, is helped with his British self Loading rifle (SLR) by another soldier while protecting the small town of Ropath near Masiaka, 55 km east of the capital Freetown, May 23, 2000. (File photo)
A fourteen year old child soldier for the Sierra Leone Army, Abu Kamara, left, is helped with his British self Loading rifle (SLR) by another soldier while protecting the small town of Ropath near Masiaka, 55 km east of the capital Freetown, May 23, 2000. (File photo) (AP)

After being traumatised by a civil war that ended in 2002 in Sierra Leone, the country's former child soldiers were recruited by a private security company to fight in Iraq, according to a report by a Danish researcher Maya Christensen.

The security company Sabre International targeted Sierra Leone after it was barred from operating in Liberia.

Among them is Sierra Leone's ex-child soldier Alhaji Koroma who was recruited by a private security company with the help of Sierra Leone's government to fight in Iraq.

"You experience a lot of bombing everyday, it's really hard. Seeing dead bodies everyday you know." said Koroma.

Sierra Leone's government used the process as an employment scheme.

For Gibrille Kuatay, a former child soldier, the issue wasn't about traumatic memories but it was about equal pay.

He said they were paid less than Kenyans and Ugandans while they were doing the same job.

But now, Sierra Leone's ex-child soldiers no longer have to cope with warfare in Iraq or contend with unequal pay as the government banned overseas recruitment during the Ebola outbreak.

TRT World's Caitlin McGee reports from Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Source: TRT World