From SAS to Blood Diamond Wars

Hamish Ross


Fred Marafono

This is the story of an outstanding warrior, even by SAS standards.

On the point of being demobbed from the SAS, Fred Marafono was recruited by David Stirling for his private security company. After Stirling's death, Fred found himself in the midst of Sierra Leone's Blood Diamond wars, and formed an unbreakable bonding with the country's champion of democracy, Chief Hinga Norman, whose leadership and tragic death are integral to the story.

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This story of Fred Marafono’s 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 Fred’s 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 Sierra Leone.

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.

Peter Penfold

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!"

Simon Mann

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.


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