This story of Fred Marafonos long involvement in the Civil War in
Sierra Leone, in a number of different roles, and the close relationships
he formed with the British High Commissioner, Peter Penfold, and a Sierra
Leonean Chief and Politician, Chief Sam Hinga Norman, make this a fascination
and exciting story. What comes through is the determination that these three
men (and some others) shared in defeating a corrupt and totally rotten rebel
force, aided by outsiders, and restoring true democracy to Sierra Leone,
which was eventually achieved in 2001.
First and foremost this is Freds story, ex-SSM Marafono MBE, the
true tale of his day job fighting a war in West Africa, with all the military
skills, dogged determination and bloody mindedness he had learnt in the SAS,
and it makes a stirring story.
Mike Jones ex-SAS
Hamish Ross's excellent book,
'From SAS to Blood Diamond Wars', reveals the exploits of Kauata 'Fred' Marafono,
the Fijian ex-SAS soldier who became involved in the 11year rebel war in
In the SAS one talks of 'crossing the river' for someone. Throughout
his time in Sierra Leone, Fred Marafono established a close bond with Sam
Hinga Norman. He was someone Fred crossed the river for and Hamish Ross's
book is as much about Sam Norman as it is about Fred Marafono.
Former British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone.
By so eloquently telling the story of Fred Marafono and his kinship with
the principal defender of Sierra Leone, Sam Hinga Norman, Hamish Ross has
told our story and the story of the "Land that we love, our Sierra Leone".
It may well be the first and perhaps only detailed account of the war from
the points of view of those who fought on the side of the people and government
of Sierra Leone.
The book is as inspiring as it is informative. It leaves us with the question
we have all asked ourselves over and over: What if? What if there had been
no Fred Marafono, no Peter Penfold, no Hinga Norman? Would there be today
a place called Sierra Leone?
Alfred Munda SamForay
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
"From SAS to Blood Diamond Wars thrilled me. By this book the great highs
and deep lows of Sierra Leone's battles, a long hard fight for their peace
and security, became real again. I was back in the thick of it. Hamish Ross
and Fred Marafono have done the impossible: a truthful account of a scrappy
and terrible war, and of an amazing soldier's extraordinary life, and of
his superman service to all that's good, that is thrilling and fun to read.
Do not try any of this at home!"
Fred with GPMG flying over the Rokel Creek towards Gberi Bana
Executive Outcomes personnel after one of their operations. Fred is second
from the right, Cobus Claassens on his right.