Economic and social development indicators suggest that the small West African state of Sierra Leone is among the poorest countries in the world. Sierra Leone’s economy and quality of life deteriorated rapidly during a decade of political instability and civil war in the 1990s, when many people fled their homes and abandoned their livelihoods due to the rebel insurgency. This paper examines the post-war reconstruction scenario in Sierra Leone and presents recent evidence from two rural communities in the Eastern Province that were badly affected by the conflict. The paper considers the links between the farming and diamond mining sectors, which, despite severe dislocation during the conflict period, have proved to be remarkably resilient. It is argued that seasonal labour mobility associated with this dual economy has not only continued to be a key ingredient in sustaining livelihood portfolios, but is actually an essential pre-condition for the creation of an enabling environment for sustainable post-conflict return.