Appendix 2, Part 1: Submissions





The National Forum for Human Rights (NFHR) is a federation of local human rights and rights related, an organization that coordinates collaboration and networking among local human rights groups. It was represented at the signing of the Lome Peace Agreement and has since being involved in activities around the TRC, one of the tenets of the Agreement. NFHR has more especially played a leading role in sensitizing traditional rulers and communities that suffered the brunt of the wars about the importance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

As one of its main activities, The National Forum was part of a network of both international and national human rights organizations that closely monitored and in some cases documented gruesome human rights violations/abuses during the armed conflict. Our experiences have revealed to us accusations and counter accusations by individuals and groups as to who is responsible for the enormous damages caused to the people of Sierra Leone. Everybody seems to vindicate his/her self of the role he/she played in the armed conflict. The question then is; who is responsible if everybody claimed not? This question is hoped to be answered by the TRC, thus the reason for the enormous importance the National Forum has attached to the work of this commission.

It is in this regard that the National Forum for Human Rights is forwarding this humble submission as requested by the Commission.


l. The emergence and perpetration of undemocratic governance since independence in 1961

The Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) was the party that formed the government immediately after independence and the All People's Congress (APC) formed the opposition. The subsequent election that was conducted in 1967 proved to be very controversial with each party allegedly getting 32 seats. Six seats however went to the independent candidates. Sierra Leone then started to experience serious political upheavals through the cracks of the aftermath of the 1967 general elections that saw the subsequent seizure of power by members of the armed forces.

The political scene continued to deteriorate and culminated into a military coup d'etats led by Brigadier Lansana, and a counter coup which established the National Reformation Council (NRC) with its leader as Juxon Smith. After about thirteen months in power they were toppled by non commissioned officers who formed the Anti-Corruption Reformation Movement (ACRM), which reinstated Siaka Stevens and his APC party. The APC feeling threatened started working towards a one party state, which they inter alia boycotted when the then ruling party (Sierra Leone Peoples Party) tried to introduce and establish. This was an indicator that the country will be plunged into violent and complex conflict.

Electoral fraud or rigging is another causative factor of the ten years war. From the 1967 election, which introduced stalemate in the general election, the political history of Sierra Leone continued to demonstrate this same tendency in other subsequent elections. The perpetration of electoral fraud and election rigging by politicians in power even after the expiration of their mandate, engendered distrust and dissatisfaction among the Sierra Leonean populace.

As a corollary to the above, was the stage-management of coups to get rid of political opponents. Supporters of politicians who were extrapolated in these alleged coups were executed. This resulted to factionalism as some sections of the Sierra Leonean society became disgruntled and to some extent vindictive.

In addition to this, is the over centralization of state machinery to the exclusion or isolation of rural communities. This is more the reason why it is generally echoed that 'Freetown is not Sierra Leone'. This resulted to severe inequalities in the distribution of state structures and functions, to the dissatisfaction of greater majority of the population.

During the above stated period especially in the late 1970 to 1991 the rights of people were grossly violated with impunity. The rights to freedom of association and assembly, freedom of the press and expression, political participation etc were egregiously violated by the state administration. Citizens were disenfranchised and party stalwarts made to go unopposed.

This environment served as a fertile ground for the recruitment of these resented politicians and citizens into the rebel movement.

2. Political intrusions into the State Security Agencies

Few years after independence, the main scene in Sierra Leone was military coups, of open military intervention in political life, the establishment of military governments or installation of military presidents, sometimes accompanied by the dissolution of political parties and heavy restrictions on democratic activity of civilian society, at other times buttressed by a single party political system. On the other hand where the governments was officially civilian, the army was playing a major role in every decision they took.

There were serious lapses in the security institutions due to political interference. Since independence, there were deliberate and calculated moves by politicians, to politicize the law enforcement institutions. The recruitment into the police, army and the Special Security Division (SSD) was purely on the basis of nepotism and not on qualification.

The card for recruitment was then introduced wherein recruitment into the forces were only based on the possession of a card from a politician or party stalwart. The recruitment into the forces therefore gradually became skewed in favor of a particular sect up to the outbreak of the war in 1991, the majority of whom were close relatives of the politicians.

The involvement of senior mi1itaty and police officers into the day-to-day political activities during the one party era (1978-1992) also added to the factors that led the military to become unprofessional. Heads of the police and military were members of parliament, thus becoming more of politicians than security agents. Attempts by pressure groups to force the APC to introduce multi party democracy was therefore met with the stiffest resistance from the law enforcement agencies not based on principle but on personal interest.

Through this mean a lot of people were sent on exile while others were forcibly alienated from actively participating in the politics of the country. Most of these people became part of the main vanguard of the rebel movement.

3. Weakening of the National Judiciary System

The judiciary has not been independent for the past two decades. The executive arm of government was directly involved in the judicial processes, which invariably inhibited access to justice. Backlog of cases became the order of the day as the courts became overcrowded with cases. "Justice delayed is justice denied". People were held custody for long periods without trial. Most Magistrates and judges were accused of being notorious for bribe taking and were known to have adjudicated matters in favour of their clients.

The instruments and structures used by the judiciary were and are still obsolete.  Most of the laws are not in consonant with international standards and therefore only protected the political aspiration of the ruling party.

The customary judicial system levied fines that were not commensurate with crimes committed.  To some extent, this led to migration of some youths who became dissatisfied with the system.  There  are instances where such returnees as rebels have wrecked mayhem and destruction in return for the ill treatment meted out to them in the past.

4. Breakdown in the Socio-Economic structures

Widespread and endemic corruption and mismanagement in both the private and the public sectors, incapacitated the state machinery resulting to the notorious 'vouchergate/squnadergate' saga of the late 80s.  It was a general belief that officials of government were to be tipped to undertake jobs for which they were paid.  There was no care for government property as people used them to achieve their own purposes.  In short, corruption was institutionalized.  In addition to this, massive unemployment coupled with poor conditions of service militated against efficiency.

Education was seen as a privilege and not a right.  The high rate of fees, which the average Sierra Leonean did not afford due to poor conditions of service left many children without access to education.  Government's inability to pay salaries, which led to the infamous go-slow system further exacerbated the situation, thereby grinding the entire system to a halt.

Lack of essential items like rice, petrol, etc., in in the market brought about the 'queue' element that created so much dissatisfaction among the populace to the extent of loosing confidence in the government and looking forward for a Moses to free them from bondage.

On the issue of tribalism, jobs were not given on merit but by 'connectocracy' resulting to square pegs in round holes. These categories of people were not only inefficient but also corrupt. They embarked on selfish ploys in raping the country of its resources. At the same time, these half-baked square pegs were basking in economic prosperity and and affluence while the mass of the Sierra Leonean populace were languishing in misery and poverty. The short cut to economic emancipation for the youth in particular was to flood the mines where illicit mining and smuggling was the way of life supported by state agents who are supposed to guide.

The above stated conditions served as stimulli for the conception and execution of the war as the only means of correcting the unfavorable state of affairs in the country.


The actors in the conflict included RUF/AFRC, Government forces, ECOMOG/ UNAMSIL and the Civil Militia.

Arson resulting to burning of houses, Churches, markets, Mosques etc.
Ambushed commercial transportation
Recruitment of child soldiers
Widespread looting
Child labour and enslavement
Acts of terror
Abduction of civilians and UNAMSIL peacekeepers
Revenge killings

Serve as state defacto security 
Recruitment of child soldiers  
Revenge killings

Revenge killings
Use of child soldiers
Collaboration with RUF (Sobel)

ECOMOG -1997 to 2000
Killings - Military intervention and repelling the 1999 January 6 invasion of Freetown by rebel forces
Provided security for the ruling administration
Restoration of democracy and government authority in 1998

Restoration of government authority.

Involved in diamond trade in exchange for arms
Provided mercenaries for the RUF/AFRC
Fuelled the war
Exploited the country during the war years
Harbored the rebels
Served as arms transit point


AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL                             Tel: (232)(22) 227354
Sierra Leone Section                                        Fax: (232)(22) 222053
16 Pademba Road, PMB 1021 Freetown         Email: aislf(d,
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Rt. Rev. Joseph C. Humper Chairman   
Truth and Reconciliation Commission

C/O    Executive Secretary
          NGO Laison Officer

Dear Sir,


Reference to your letter of 29t1' November 2002, and the subsequent reminder sent early this year, I forward herewith copies of relevant documents received from our International Secretariat in London which could be important to your work in the commission. These documents are classified as follows:

a. PRESS RELEASES: Thirty-two press releases covering the period June 1995 - January 2002

b. URGENT ACTIONS: Twenty-five Urgent Actions appeals on Sierra Leone ranging the period

c. 1992 – 1998.

d. ANNUAL REPORTS: Excerpts of our Annual Reports relating to Sierra Leone from

e. 1992 – 2002.

f. BRIEFING DOCUMENTS: Seventeen Briefing Documents dealing with specific documents  

g. covering period May 1994 - September 2001.

These documents reflect the organisation's views on the background to the conflict, the role of actors and institutions, and recommendations on how to avoid a repetition of conflict.

We therefore hope that the documents hereby submitted will be useful to your work for sustainable peace in Sierra Leone.

Respectfully yours
Momoh A. Jimmy
Campaign Coordinator and Group Development Officer

Please see the attached documents sent: -

21/1/2002: An independent prosecution must be assured.
24/9/2001: Renewed commitment needed to end impurity.
7/9/2001: DIAMONDS: International certification system assured to help end killings abduction  and torture of civilians
4/5/2001: GUINEA AND SIERRA LEONE BORDER: Fighting continues endanger civilian lives
24/4/2001: The International community's resolve to end impunity must be strengthened.
13/2/2001: The UN Security Council must make the Special Court effective and viable
31/8/2000: Action needed to end use of child combatants; ending impunity an opportunity not to be missed.
30/6/2000: Amnesty International calls for fast and effective action on diamonds.
30/6/2000: Rape and other forms of sexual violence must be stopped.
21/6/2000: Voices of victims of Human Rights abuses from Sierra Leone.
17/6/2000: Government must clarify charges against detainees.
15/6/2000: Amnesty International condemns continuing RUF attacks on civilians.
31/5/2000: Cutting the links between diamonds and guns.
17/5/2000: Human Rights violators must be brought to justice.   
10/5/2000: Civilians face real and immediate threat to their fundamental human rights.
30/11/1999: Escalating human rights abuse against civilians.
4/8/1999: The Security Council should clarify the United Nations position on Impunity.
22/1/1999: UN human rights presence reduced as abuses worsen.
14/1/1999: Escalating human rights crisis requires urgent action.
20/l0/1998: Executions of 24 soldiers after an unfair trial, a blow to reconciliation.
12/10/1998: 34 soldiers could face imminent execution.
27/8/1998: Amnesty International appeals for commutation of 16 death Sentences.
8/5/1998: Amnesty International receives shocking information about Mounting atrocities in Sierra Leone.
11/2/1998: Civilians deliberately killed as fighting engulfs Freetown and the provinces.
31/l0/1997: The next six months must see an end to arrests, torture and killing
25/6/1997: A month after the military coup, Amnesty international again calls For human rights to be respected.
28/5/1997: New military rulers must respect Human Rights.
25/9/1997: A decisive time to protect human rights
May 1996: Denial of rights to see asylum: Liberian asylum seekers aboard The VICTORY  REEFER
13/9/1995: Amnesty International calls for an end to Human Rights abuse in war against civilians.

20/10/1998: Further information on imminent executions (34 persons)
12/10/1998: Imminent execution/Death Penalty/Concern (34 Persons)
2/ 4/ 1998: Further information on Torture or ill- treatment (36 Persons).
2/ 3/ 1998: Further information on torture and ill-treatment (3 persons)
23/ 2/1998: Further information on fear of torture and ill-treatment (1 person -student).
6/ 2/ 1998: Further information on torture or ill-treatment (14 people)
5/ 2/ 1998: Fear of torture or ill-treatment (1 person – student)
28/1/ 1998: Further information on torture (3 persons)
Jan 1998: Torture or ill treatment, B.S. Massaquoi and several others.
20/ 1/ 1998: Torture or ill treatment, 3 journalists.
30/20/1995: Death penalty/ Legal Concern - Three Soldiers.
27/10/1995: Further information on fear of death sentences (8 persons)
 4/10/ 1995: Fear of death sentence and executions, (7 persons)1
12/ 1/1995: Death penalty: Lt. Col. CHERNOR M. DEEN
9/ 9/ 1994: Death Penalty: Amara Conteh.
29/ 1/ 1992: Executions: James Bambay Kamara and 25 others
21/12/ 1993: Legal Concerns: 264 political detainees
2/8/19/1993: Fear of Torture: Seven persons.
2/ 8/  1993: Legal and Health  concerns of 264 detainees                                                                                                                                               
June 1993: Legal and Politcal concerns   
March 1993: Fear of Torture and Extrajudical Executions: Seven Persons.
11/ 1/ 1993: Death Penalty: 26 People
10/ 6/ 1992: Legal / Health Concerns: Dr. Moses Dumbuya
31/12/1992: Death Penalty: James Bambay Kamara and 25 others.

Excerpts on Sierra Leone from Amnesty International's Annual Reports for 1992,1993,1994,1995,1996,1997, 1998,1999,2000 and 2001.


24/ 9/ 2001: Renewed Commitment needed to end impunity.
14/11/2000: Recommendations on the Draft Statute of the special Court.
31/ 8/2000: Childhood - A Casualty of Conflict.
26/ 7/2000: Ending Impunity – not to be missed..
26/ 6/2000: Rape and other forms of sexual violence against.
Nov 1999: Amnesty International's Recommendations to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Durban, South Africa, 12 - 15 November 1999.
June 1993: Political Detainees at the central prison, Pademba Road, Freetown.; Prisoners of War? Children detained in Barracks and prison Renewed  Commitment needed to end impunity.; The Extrajudical execution of  suspected rebels  and  Collaborators.; A Disastrous setback for  human rights.;Recommendations to the international contact Group on Sierra Leone - New York 19  April 1999
24/7/1998: The United Nations special conference on Sierra Leone:The protection of human rights must be a priority for the international community.
Nov. 1998: 1998 - A Year of atrocities against civilians.
25/ 9/1996: Towards a future founded on human rights.
12/ 5/1994: Arrests of former Government Ministers.
13/ 9/1995 : Human Rights abuses in a war against civilians.

Thematic Presentation- ON Governance
By Sundia Cleo Hanciles


The challenge of all human societies is to create and institute a system of governance that promotes, supports and sustains human development-especially for the poorest and most marginal. But the search for a clearly articulated concept of governance has just begun. (UNDP)

Governance refers to the process by which "diverse elements in a society wield power and authority and, thereby, influence and enact policies and decisions concerning public life and economic and social development".1

Among it's attributes are; the rights of citizens and groups to articulate their interests - exercise their rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences; consensus building - good governance is a government based on consensus between the govern and governed; participatory democracy, transparency and accountability.

The concept and ideal of good governance is relatively new in Sierra Leone, as in the rest of Africa. The increasing recognition and emphasis on governance as the necessary prerequisite for lasting peace and sustainable development in Africa is born out of our recent tragic post independence experience with bad governance. The history of pre-war Sierra Leone from the 1970s to early 1990s can be aptly described as the imposition and perpetuation of bad governance par excellence. Conversely, the recent history of post conflict Sierra Leone is the relentless search and struggle to rid the country and society of the vicious cycle of bad governance and replace it with the virtuous cycle of good governance. It is a unique and exciting experience, which have seen the emergence of civil society as a potentially potent force for change and sustaining good governance.

This presentation, with certain limitations, is made within the TRC methodological framework and will focus on the following:

1. The Genesis of the struggle for good governance in pre-war Sierra Leone 1870s-80s.
2. Shortcomings of and roadblocks to the institutionalisation of good governance in post conflict Sierra Leone.
3. The dilemma of social change.
4. The Manifestation of the Divergence Syndrome in Pre and Post Conflict Sierra Leone.
5. Recommendations and Conclusion.


Bad governance, characterised by extreme centralization and personalization of power, flagrant violation of human rights, social and political exclusion, social injustice, economic mismanagement and rampant corruption, was the root cause of the ten years Civil War in Sierra Leone.  However, this trampling of democratic rights and values did not go unchallenged.  The mid 1970s to mid 1980s witnessed the emergence of a nascent anti-one party dictatorship resistance and pro-democratic movement.

Undeniably, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone was the hotbed of resistance to bad governance in Sierra Leone.  It was spear headed by students, young intellectuals and progressive minded youths under the guise of students social and political groups such as, (the Gardeners Club), Movement for Progress in Africa (MOPA),  Pan African Union (Panafu), Friendship societies (Juche Club) or Study Groups (Green Book Study Club).  Their visions, stance and programs were articulated and propagated nation wide through the medium of newspaper such as the Tablet and Awareness Magazine founded by ex-students.

Student resistance against and confrontation with State and University authorities was in direct response and reaction to the ramifications of bad governance felt throughout the country. "In the contracting political space, students became the leading opposition to APC dictatorship and the main advocate for social and political change. The confrontation between students and the university administration continued throughout the 1980s and it had the effect of both radicalising campus politics and linking college and youth together (Rashid 1997, Abdullah 1997). Between 1970s and 1980s, this cultural, sociological and political nexus between radical college and urban youth had produced both a culture of confrontation 'and a language of revolutionary change of the `system'. The termination of 3 lecturers, expulsion of 16 students and suspension of 26 others produced a chain of events that spawned the Revolutionary United Front, National Provisional Revolutionary Council (1992), the Pro-Democracy Movements, the Resistance against the AFRC and the restoration of the democratically elected Government of Pres. Kabba in 1998. (I.Rashid 2003). I have given a detail explanation of my personal role in this phase of the struggle within and without Sierra Leone in my submission to the Commission and I see no need for repetition here. What I want to emphasise here is that, the affected lecturers and students in particular and the nation in general still want to know from the College authorities why they were summarily dismissed, expelled and suspended.  We demand a public hearing. This must and should be an integral aspect of the reconciliation process.

From the foregone, one can plausibly argue, that despite its unintended and disastrous outcome in some cases, the generation of students and youths of the 70s and 80s, despite merciless Suppression and oppression, created the conditions for the overthrow of bad governance and the restitution of democratic government in the 1990s.


Perhaps one of the didactic lessons most enlightened Sierra Leoneans learnt from the horrendous Civil War with all its horrible consequences, was that our pre-war system of governance was fundamentally flawed. Therefore, in post conflict Sierra Leone, the emergent national resolve is that, never again must the vast majority sit passively by and allow few people, motivated by nothing other than insatiable greed and naked lust for power to misrule and abuse us, and in the process drag the nation down the abyss of destruction. Sierra Leone belongs to all of us. Therefore, we have the natural right to actively participate in making and taking all the major political, economic and social decisions affecting our lives. The most practical manifestation of this new social awakening, is the national emphasis on the institutionalisation of good governance. But even so, this vision is not nationally shared. There are glaring contradictions.  On the one hand the country today awash with liberator concepts ideas and movements such as; good governance, democracy, accountability, transparency, civil society, poverty alleviation, anti-corruption, reform of the judiciary, civil service, police, military, food security, reintegration, reconciliation, respect for human right and gender equality, to name a few. For the well informed, even before the formal end of the war, Government in partnership with International donors and Civil Society Organizations, are doing everything within their powers to institutionalise these laudable ideals throughout the length and breadth of the country.

On the other hand, the old legacies of bad governance die-hard, namely;  corruption, endemic poverty, mismanagement, weak institutions, social injustice, excruciating poverty, economic hardship, mass unemployment and poor social service. In other words, the nation is still faced with the dilemma of how to replace the vicious cycle of bad governance with the virtuous circle of good governance.
Meanwhile, the interplay of these contradictory-organizing principles of society augurs ill for our national quest for rapid post-war recovery efforts, peace building and consolidation and sustainable development. It has given rise to two contrasting images of the present and future direction of the country. -One pessimistic, the other optimistic.


The pervasive hold of the bad governance culture in post-conflict Sierra Leone confronts us with the chicken and egg dilemma of social change i.e. 'Change is eternal Nothing ever changes'. For the majority of Sierra Leoneans the war had brought no changes in its wake. The old pre-war attitude and mentality are still intact. With the end of the war, it's back to business as usual. The privileged few continue to prey on the under privileged majority. Anti-people institutions are still in place.

But for far seeing and thinking Sierra Leoneans, the war has brought in its wake far-reaching changes, some positive, some negative. Among these are the changes in the governance environment. We have moved from dictatorship to democracy, the rule of law as enshrined in the Constitution is gradually being enforced. The culture of impunity is being tackled and confronted. New societal values or organizing principles as highlighted above are not only being aggressively propagated but are gradually applied by government in partnership with Civil Society organizations and the International Donor Community at all levels. The ultimate goal is to uproot, root, stock and branch the obsolete  structures, institutions and mentality implanted in the body politic by decades of bad governance, and replace them with new values based on good governance, transparency and accountability.

 But much of what is changing before our eyes is not discernible to the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans. The pertinent question here is, why is this so? There are many reasons for this. The main reason is the way we look at, think about and interpret society. In the face of earth shaking changes that are suffocating and engulfing us, we doggedly cling to outmoded tools of analysis to understand a qualitatively different social environment. Consequently, lacking a systematic framework for understanding the clash of forces and societal values in post conflict Sierra Leone, we are like a ship's crew trapped in a storm. To find our way, let us try to understand the concept and dynamics of the manifestation of the social divergence syndrome in our social system.


"The divergence syndrome in social systems manifests itself in the social complexity of human life not only as an extreme sensitivity to any change or fluctuation in political, economic conditions, but also as an acceleration of social change beyond the ability of society to control their direction and intensity." Applied within our context the challenge facing post conflict societies like ours is; how instead of serving as a cause for social crisis can the divergence syndrome be the "bearer" of positive transitions in society.

It is not possible to look at the recent history of Sierra Leone and not be struck by how tellingly the divergence syndrome showed itself.   

Firstly; we witnessed the sensitivity of society to major fluctuations. There are many who would have preferred to maintain the obsolete one Party system because of the stability it offered to the series of military and civilian implosions called revolutions that destabilised and destroyed their lives and properties.

Secondly; we all witnessed and experienced our inability to stop change. The divergence syndrome demonstrated through acceleration of change and growth can be understood as serving both as a cause and requirement of transformation. For example; despite our understandable revulsion and vexation with the rebel uprising, after this nightmarish experience we all agree that we must address its root causes and transform society accordingly.

Thirdly; there is the existence of a "punctuated social equilibrium, particularly in a post conflict society like ours. This means the occurrence of countervailing tendencies or forces that get easily amplified by social, economic and political conditions into a crisis. For example, because of their roles in the rebel uprising, the importance of finding tangible solutions to our youth problem has been realised; poverty alleviation is now an obsession with government because we realised the danger its existence posed to national stability and security; Sierra Leoneans still feel insecure because of the ongoing rebel war in Liberia.

The inescapable conclusion we can infer from all this is that, the inevitability of the divergence syndrome in the social complexity of human life requires the use of new methods of thought capable of dealing with its vibrant vitality. So we rehash and seek to answer the pertinent question: what do we need to do as a nation to ensure that the divergence syndrome currently 'prevailing in our country becomes the bearer of positive transformation? Within the context of the discourse, how can we institutionalise the ideals and praxis of good governance as outlined above in post conflict Sierra Leone?


Being aware of its unavoidable occurrence in the dynamics of social processes, what we need to do is to be guided by two key principles in our search for solid and practical recommendations to achieve good governance in post conflict Sierra Leone.

Firstly; the process of social transformation from a dictatorship to democracy is one of the most difficult of human undertakings. Those of us espousing new societal values of good governance, participatory democracy, human rights, gender equality, decentralization of power, social justice in harmony with the yearnings and aspirations of the vast majority of our people are actually planting the seeds, the vision of a new system of governance in Sierra Leone. We need to muster patience and perseverance to sustain the process until it becomes the new societal values.

Secondly, we must accept that the old societal values rooted in bad governance are still entrenched. It will not give way to the new easily. There are entrenched social classes, `powerful faceless actors' (political, economic, social), the product and beneficiaries of yesterday's dictatorship who are hostile to these new social values, because their realization threatens their wealth, privileges and status. Therefore, they will pay lip service to these ideals but practically, they will ensure that nothing changes.

The challenge is how to cross this barrier of resistance to change that is so prevalent in every quarter in post conflict Sierra Leone'?

2.6 New Political Culture

Commitment to the ideals of good governance (as defined above) demand the seedling of a new political culture based on active popular participation of the populace in the process of decision making at all levels. Currently, what prevails in Sierra Leone is the old political culture based on passive participation of the people in decision making which in most cases is limited to voting once every five years for political representatives and after which the voting machine is switched off. This is a far cry from participatory democracy.

2.7. Participatory Democracy

Participatory Democracy in essence means empowerment of the people to effectively involve themselves in creating the structures and in designing policies and programs that serve the interest of all. To achieve this ideal requires considerable input by a11 stakeholders namely; the awakened people themselves, but more importantly the actions and policies of the State and International Community to create the enabling environment.

The good signs are these ideal of people empowerment is being gradually applied in Sierra Leone by the Government, Civil Society and International Community by way of participatory consultative meetings, workshops and sensitisation campaigns. But this process is still in its nascent phase and is often limited to few participants. There is still the dire need for mass public civic education to teach our people new democratic values in order to win them away from the decadent social values of bad governance. Experts have forcefully argued on Governance that in moving from authoritarian rule to democracy, there is a risk that societies could become too divided and partisan. The building of capacity for different groups as a collaborative exercise can help build consensus about the new national values and provide a basis for equitable social and economic development. We need to heed and apply this in post conflict Sierra Leone.

2.8.Development of Civil Society and Non Governmental Organisations:

There is increasing recognition of the importance of Civil Society and Non Governmental Organisations in good governance. Civil Society NGOs are important in propagating and implementing the new societal values to good governance. They hold government accountable, make sure the people get the government they want. In their daily operations, Civil Societies provide experience of governance and democratic practices on a small scale with widespread participation. Thus providing a cultural environment that fosters and protects good governance at the local and national levels. Civil Society is important as the main initiator and engine of development. Moreover, the development of Civil Society brings people a better quality of life.

Thus, strengthening Civil Society is not only a means to development but also a goal of development.

Over the last couple of years we have witnessed an exponential growth of Civil Society and Non Governmental Organisations in Sierra Leone. The pertinent question here is how effective are these organisations? Do they meet the criteria outlined above`? What must Government and International NGOs do to develop their capacities?

Civil Society/local NGOs in Sierra Leone require capacity building developing skills and attributes that will promote a healthy society. Simple skills such as book keeping and literacy are important for governance. Many of them lack the capacity to participate effectively in the policy formulation process. They lacked the capacity for policy analysis, and access to up to date information. Government and International NGOs must help to develop capacity building for such organisations without destroying their autonomy.

For this to happen at the governmental level there is the need for a new relationship between the state and officials on the one hand and members of the Civil Society on the other. Until the 1990s, the relationship between the two was adversarial. The challenge in the present time is to transform this adversarial relationship into an advisory one.

A new vision of society, it is argued calls for new forms of organisation and methods of operation. Civil Society /NGOs in Sierra Leone as elsewhere are the gadflies of good governance. They have to practise what they preach. However this is not the case. Many NGOs exhibit the same characteristics for which they rightly criticise the government. They lack transparency and accountability. Some of them are the personal properties of one or few people who practise extreme centralisation of power.

In Sierra Leone, we have too many NGOs or Civil Society championing the same cause such as; human rights, youth problems, gender equality. They all seek financial and material Support from the same International Non Governmental Organisations. The resulting competition ensuing from this is that we are beginning to notice that rather than working together CSO and NGO are working against each other. Such like criticism against CSO, local and International NGOS in post conflict Sierra Leone abound.

However, of central importance in the search and quest for good governance in Sierra Leone is what needs to be done to build effective pro people organisations on the ground. How can CSO/NGOS become the effective link between the people, the government and international community to lay the solid foundation of good governance in Sierra Leone?


There are a number of disturbing facets in the life of post conflict Sierra Leone which any keen social observer cannot help but notice. Many of these touch on our very existence as a nation, and the path its development will take and follow. Therefore, it is proper that this malaise with far reaching implications for our social existence be identified, diagnosed and cured, One such malaise, is the social cancer that has eaten deep into the body politic of our nation is national indiscipline.

The current mentality, attitudes and values of most Sierra Leoneans are anti-ethical to the realisation of good governance or the rapid transformation of the country. If we are serious about moving forward, we perforce have to find a way not only to address this attitudinal problem but solve it.

In the era of participatory democracy the way to eradicate national indiscipline is not just by passing harsher legislation in Parliament nor putting more police in the streets or building more prisons. We have to explore new ways and means such as; the self organisation of the people at the micro and macro level to identify and solve the problem. The thrust of the public policy against national indiscipline must and should be to use participatory methods to encourage active involvement in identifying, diagnosing, and implementing solutions to the problem.


In post conflict Sierra Leone good governance and maintenance of international standards are the operational principles of government. Good governance program is enshrined in the national recovery plan which is itself a product of a participatory consultative process involving over two thousand Sierra Leoneans. It has seven key elements amongst which are; institutional restructuring, combating corruption and strengthening the judiciary and legal system to  safeguard human rights. In all these areas reforms are on-going and with time they will positively impact on all aspects of our national life.

However, from the public perception nothing is going on. The so called revolution of heightened expectation makes government an arduous and challenging task. According to public perception only the faces in the seat of power have changed but the system remains. High sounding words like good governance, participatory democracy, transparency and accountability are derisively dismissed as political sloganeering in their daily encounters with the state or public institutions they come into contact with public servants who still operate on the old dictatorial ethos of masters rather than servants of the people.

More so the public is very critical about the age old disjuncture between public policy formulation implementation and evaluation: in their candid view laws are made today only to be forgotten tomorrow. This atmosphere of cynicism and suspicion is certainly inimical to the growth and development of a new democratic culture in post conflict Sierra Leone. Great nations are not built by cry babies. But bold and creative people who having learnt and discovered the pitfalls in their society take decisive steps and actions to correct it and move ahead.

What all this points to is that there seems to be breakdown of communication between the govern and the governed in post conflict Sierra Leone. Good governance among other things is consensus building between the govern and the governed to agree or disagree as to what new direction the country should take, the sacrifice all and sundry need to make in the national interest. What is really essential is education.

Public Hearings of the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Sierra Leone

Statement by the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
May 7th, 2003

Mr Chairperson and members of the Commission: I am honoured to represent the United Nations Development Programme, Sierra Leone Country Office, in making a statement at these public hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We understand this process as the effort of Sierra Leone, with international support, to establish the truth about eleven years of recurring violence against its citizens and against the state. We hope the disclosure and documentation of the truth will lead to national reconciliation and to personal healing for so many aggrieved individuals.

Yours is the mandate for historical inquiry, to uncover the truth by asking the right questions. Ours is the mandate to respond to those questions, as it is the task of development to prevent the recurrence of war by addressing its causes.

We are not the repositories of the information you require to document the truth about Sierra Leone's years of conflict. We may assist your work, however; by sharing the analysis that underpins the work UNDP is doing in this period of post-conflict recovery and stabilization.

After 11 years of conflict, Sierra Leone was left with massive destruction of livelihoods and infrastructure and a traumatized population, more than half of which had suffered repeated and/or long periods of displacement. In 2002, Sierra Leone was ranked 173 out of 173 countries with enough data to be considered in the Human Development Index. (Eighteen countries were not ranked). What this status report does not take into account is that in 1991, when the war started, poverty was endemic, corruption was rampant, injustice was the rule, and marginalisation was a fact for most young people and women.

The causes of the war go back well beyond the nineties, and are rooted in the erosion of good governance, arbitrariness and injustice by traditional and state authorities, abuse of fundamental rights, described often by Sierra Leoneans as marginalisation of youth and women, and economic and social exclusion resulting in abject poverty.

Breakdown in Citizen Security and the Collapse of the State

The breakdown in citizen security at the village level which manifested itself in the early episodes of the war, eventually led to the collapse of state security in Sierra Leone There was a progression in what can be described as two stages of the war. During the first stage, before the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) Coup of 1997, the war was a !ow-intensity insurgency almost entirely directed at village targets in the Southern and Eastern provinces, using tactics of terror to recruit child combatants, cause civilians to flee their villages, and humiliating traditional authorities into submission or flight. This rendered the areas under rebel control ungovernable by the national government, and unliveable for the villagers who fled as refugees to neighbouring countries or became internally displaced persons in the safe havens of Bo and Kenema, provincial capitals secured by contingents from the West African forces, ECOMOG.

After the 1997 coup, with the alliance of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels and the AFRC, the rebels took control of the North, the provincial cities, most of the diamond-producing areas and the capital, Freetown. A national condition of un-governability ensued, due to extensive "civil disobedience" or civilian defiance, until ECOMOG troops, assisted by Civil Defence Forces loyal to the Constitutional government, pushed the AFRC/RUF alliance out of Freetown, and the Constitutional government returned from exile. International sanctions, the depletion of the AFRC/RUF stock of loot, and other factors of a stalemate brought the rebels to the negotiating table.

The fundamental reason for success and escalation of such an insurgency in the first place was the inability of government security structures to cope with it in its early stages, manifested by the deterioration of the discipline and performance of the army, and culminating in its treason and alliance with the rebels. Thus, weaknesses in governance and security structures were responsible for the breakdown in citizen security, which eventually led to the breakdown in the security of the state.

A longer discussion would consider in greater detail the "root causes" of the collapse of the state, and specifically how and why security structures became so ineffective. There was also a general degradation of all sorts of social organizations, as reflected in the level of poverty, economic stagnation and other characteristics of the combination enclave-and-subsistence economy of Sierra Leone prior to the war. The crisis of governance in Sierra Leone developed over many decades. Elected local governance disappeared in 1972.

Despite the many negative features of governance, it is important to acknowledge some positive turning points, even during the trouble-packed nineties. Some analysts assert that military rule in 1992 was not unwelcome at first, given the abuses of previous governments. It became increasingly unpopular as it did not fulfill citizens' expectations of improving welfare, and failed to bring peace to rebel domination of many rural areas. Nevertheless, it was the military government that agreed to relinquish power to an elected government in 1996, pressured by civic movements, particularly a coalition of women's organizations and activists.

Whereas the newly elected government was not victorious over the rebels, and the first peace agreement (Abidjan) fell apart, nevertheless the Lome Peace Agreement reinforced constitutional democracy, as the RUF acknowledged the legitimacy of the constitutional government, and accepted post-conflict roles in appointed office.

The role of international security forces is also important to an understanding of post-conflict challenges. In Sierra Leone, some elements of the security mosaic that brought closure to the war were: UNAMSIL peace-keepers; West African ECOMOG forces: the Civil Defense Forces (CDFs), that secured parts of the South and East of the country: the Guinean army on its border, that closed off the Northern escape and supply route in the final stages of the war; UN sanctions (diamond sanctions and general sanctions), that reduced the scope of the Eastern supply routes and international economic staging grounds; British military assistance, that dismantled the West Side Boys, broke the most violent remnants of the AFRC/RUF alliance, began retraining the army, helped maintain discipline in the CDFs, and maintained the threat of direct British engagement; United States training of ECOMOG forces, that increased the military capability of the West African contingents in UNAMSIL, and increased the potential threat of future Nigerian/ECOMOG force.

The role of UNAMSIL in post-conflict Sierra Leone has been determinant in maintaining the peace, in the year since the official end of disarmament and demobilization (January 2002).  UNAMSIL entirely replaced the functions of the army for a certain period of time, while national forces could be vetted, retrained and gradually deployed.  The withdrawal of UNAMSIL will depend on the successful restoration of government authority in all areas of the country, and the creation of viable security structures. To this end. benchmarks are systematically monitored to ensure progress on a detailed program of institution-building and capacity-building.

The link between justice and security is the same link as that between citizens rights and the security of the state, and it is a causal link. Injustice and violation of citizens' rights ultimately lead to a weak state, as reflected in weak institutions. In the extreme case, this leads to a failed state. This is an important point to consider in the institutional strengthening in a post-conflict period.

UNDP Interim Assistance 2002-2003

During the complex emergency in Sierra Leone, the UN system provided assistance primarily related to humanitarian and peace-keeping needs. In 2002. framed by the Millennium Development Goals, which seek to reduce extreme poverty by fifty per cent by the year 2015, UNDP created three practice areas: recovery, poverty reduction and governance. This reflects the consensus among Sierra Leoneans that the decade-long war was rooted in a breakdown in governance and the exponential increase in extreme poverty.


Following the war, the restoration of state authority to all areas of the country has been a key priority of the government. Restoring district-level administration and services has been difficult, and government institutions are still weak and lack the capacity and means to effectively discharge their responsibilities. Moreover, outside Freetown the judiciary is largely absent and the courts, police stations and prisons dilapidated or destroyed. Though much is already done, many courts, Court Barrie and police stations and most prisons and lock ups still need interventions. The same goes for district government facilities where some offices have been rehabilitated though the majority are working from temporary premises and lodging facilities. Furthermore they work under severe conditions, lacking mobility, communications, furniture, office equipment and stationery.

The basic needs of the most vulnerable people (including water & food security, shelter, basic health and primary education) are of highest priority and pose considerable challenges for the government considering the number of displaced, others affected by the war and the devastation of infrastructures. Over 300.000 houses were destroyed and the majority of water sources, health posts and schools are either completely destroyed or need major interventions. Of the Primary Schools, 78% need minor/major rehabilitation or reconstruction and only 13% of those have been addressed.

Sierra Leone has a particularly youthful population: over half the population is estimated to be under 15 years of age, and average life expectancy is only 38. Marginalisation of youth was one of the primary factors that led to the war, creating resentment and a sense of hopelessness in the first place, and ensuring the existence of a willing pool of recruits for the fighting factions. During the war, youth have been exposed to more trauma, responsibility and experience of power and authority than ever before. As a result, they are now more politically aware and carry greater expectations for involvement in decision-making and desire for economic opportunity than ever before. For both short and long term national stability and growth, it is therefore essential that youth be engaged and involved in planning, decision-making and implementation at all levels.

Women form a major component of the rural workforce in Sierra Leone, planting, weeding and threshing, conducting backyard vegetable and poultry production to supplement the household's nutritional intake, cooking, and collecting water and firewood. However, women face enormous barriers; lack of encouragement or opportunity to stay at school due to demands of domestic chores: increased exposure to medical risk, due to multiple births with grossly inadequate medical support available: lack of opportunity to vote for chiefdom authorities, to name but a few.

From both a short-term and long-term recovery perspective, therefore, it is vital that positive steps are taken to ensure the full participation of women in all political, economic and social interventions and processes.

While most areas in the country have been resettled and communities are reverting to normalcy, some are still receiving resettling populations and grappling with problems of occupied property, security established but fragile, high number of ex-combatants waiting for their reintegration projects and local governments without means or skills to address the problems. All these factors are more pronounced in the border areas, particularly in the East.

Based on a needs assessments conducted at the district level, a "Sierra Leone Recovery Strategy for Newly Accessible Areas" was finalized in May 2002. A comprehensive National Recovery Strategy, focusing on immediate actions to address essential needs of the population, was ready by September 2002 and is now the main document for the recovery process.

The Recovery interventions constitute an effort by the Government to restore its leadership role while capitalizing on the support received from its partners. It is promoting a people-centered approach, seeking community and Civil Society empowerment with increased and broader participation in the recovery process.

UNDP's Interim Recovery & Peace-Building Programme includes the following components:

1. Consolidation of State Authority by ensuring that district-level administrative functions are operating effectively by the end of 2003. Support rehabilitation of government infrastructure, including radio and telex over radio communication and furnishing of buildings.

2. Rebuilding of communities through rehabilitation of feeder roads and markets, and small quick impact projects; rehabilitation/reconstruction of infrastructure or production units; and through community based shelter provision using locally produced materials, with skills training and participatory community processes.

3  Youth engagement and supporting job opportunities for youth, including support to a nationwide youth gender sensitive network, workshops, development of training modules, training of trainers, income generating activities, organisational skills development, sensitization campaigns. civic education, HIV/AIDS prevention and similar activities.

4. Support to the National Recovery Committee and its district representations for policy development, data gathering and monitoring capacity.

UNDP-supported activities are coordinated with projects implemented through the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), the Human Security Fund in partnership with the National Commission for Disarmament. Demobilisation and Reintegration (NCDDR) and the UNAMSIL Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) section, using funds from Government, HIPC funds and other donors.

Poverty Reduction

Poverty in Sierra Leone is endemic and pervasive. Eleven years of conflict only exacerbated its depth and severity.

The human development and social indicators, including illiteracy, primary school enrolments, life expectancy, maternal deaths, malnutrition, and child mortality rates, are among the worst in the world. The infant mortality rate (IMR) is about 182/1000, while life expectancy at birth is about 38 years compared to 45 years for Sub- Saharan Africa. The adult literacy rate is estimated at 30%, while the population with access to safe drinking water is about 34%. Endemic diseases, especially malaria and HIV/AIDS, loom as a menace. About four-fifths of the population lives in absolute poverty, with expenditures below US$1 a day.

The major causes of poverty in Sierra Leone are multi-dimensional and include high unemployment and underemployment, high debt burden, poor growth performance and lack of access to basic social services.

The long-term stability of Sierra Leone will depend in large part on the efforts of government and its development partners in mobilizing the population for reducing poverty.

UNDP's Poverty Reduction Strategy is a collaboration with the Government and other international donors through interventions in five key areas, as follows:

1. Preparation of the PRSP and its implementation
Support to:

•  Key PRSP preparatory activities such as the sector reviews, developing and strengthening the consultative processes and promoting participatory tracking of budget inputs and outcomes.

• Build institutional capacity through the creation of an incentive package to attract skilled professionals, particularly Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora in the PRSP formulation process and the subsequent implementation of poverty reduction programmes, and related national re-building programmes.

2. Capacity building in key poverty related institutions and organisations

Support for:

• Capacity development of civil society organisations and community based organisations for promoting national dialogue and advocacy on poverty issues, promoting participatory tracking of poverty budget inputs and monitoring outcomes

• Capacity development for enhancing pro-poor policy formulation poverty analysis and monitoring in key government ministries:

• Increasing awareness campaigns on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and tracking progress for preparation of the Millennium Development Goal Reports (MDGRs).

3. Private sector development

Support for:
•  Creating an enabling environment for private sector investment in small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) as a means of promoting self-employment and income opportunities for the poor,

• Building indigenous business enterprise capacity to ensure the effective participation of local entrepreneurs and small business operators in competitive trade and industry, through SME development skills, strengthening of Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) and access to micro credit

4. Improving the livelihoods of the rural poor

Support for:

•  Increasing access to productive assets for poor farming households through the provision of appropriate and sustainable micro-finance facilities, including special facilities for increasing women's access to farm resources.

• Agricultural extension services to improve farmers' education in farm management for increasing productivity and output, minimizing post-harvest losses and promote the income security of small farmers.

• An integrated rural development programme through the review and establishment of a framework for harnessing renewable energy resources to alleviate the energy needs of the rural poor.

5. Increasing the income opportunities of youth and women in productive economic activities


• Assessment of the employment and income opportunities for women and youth to identify potential income-earning activities for their involvement.

•  Skills training and access to resources for small business development.


Sierra Leoneans affirm that two fundamental causes of the war are bad governance, leading to the collapse of state authority and services, and "disenfranchisement" or marginalisation of youth, including massive illiteracy and lack of opportunities for employment and social mobility. To build lasting peace. good governance needs to be created and youth need opportunities for a better life, through education and income-generating employment.

An Interim-Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP) was finalized in June 2001 under the co-ordination of the Ministry of Development and Economic Planning. It calls for a transitional phase with emphasis on: national security and good governance: re-launching the economy; and provision of basic social services to the most vulnerable social groups. UNDP's Interim Governance Project 2002-2003 (IGP) provides for immediate implementation of the governance priorities identified in the I-PRSP.

The problems of governance, identified by Sierra Leoneans as causes of the war, are also the causes of poverty; thus there is synergy and complementarity between the governance effort and the poverty reduction effort, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Specifically, problems of marginalization of youth and women from political influence, and from access to savings and investment, are rooted in the same political structures at the local level.

In August and September 2002, UNDP supported four Governance Round-Tables (Freetown and three up-country regions) which provided an opportunity for broad consultation with government, representatives of civil society organizations, the academic community, journalists, representatives of ex-combatants in process of reintegration, and religious and traditional leadership. Special attention was given to spokespersons of youth and women, particularly in the regions.

The Governance Round-Tables informed the preparation of the Interim Governance Programme, with five strategic areas of focus. These focus areas are briefly described as follows, with some key intended outcomes and activities that are being carried out in 2003.

1.  Decentralisation And Local Governance

Support to the Decentralisation and Local Government Task Force to prepare a new Local Government Act with definition of services to be decentralised, local authorities to tax and spend, and new mechanisms for accountability and transparency; support for local government elections: training of local government officials and staff; enhanced capacity for citizen participation in governance, especially at district level; increased participation of women and youth in elected and appointed office.

2. Justice, Rule Of Law And Human Rights

Improved access to justice by citizens, especially improved access by women and youth to statutory law institutions; equip and train Justices of the Peace, clerks and bailiffs for nation-wide service; public information/sensitisation on human rights standards, especially for women and youth; support to local NGO activities related to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and reconciliation/community healing.

3. Public Sector Services And Public Sector Reform

New Civil Service Code and Regulations adopted and progress on implementation of reforms; comprehensive public procurement reform. including transformation of the Central Tender Board, professionalisation of procurement offices and processes to ensure accountability, transparency and efficiency.

4. Security Sector

Participation with other donors in training and capacity-building of police and offices of security, especially those providing security at the district and chiefdom levels; improvement in the knowledge and practice of human rights by security and law enforcement personnel and institutions; improvement in the protection and respect for women's and children's rights.

5. Capacity Building For Governance And Democracy

Increased capacity of civil society, especially women and youth, to participate in governance activities and in their own development initiatives; enhanced capacity of Parliament, especially to relate to constituencies; improved standards of ethics in journalism; increased interaction between and among government and civil society personnel at all levels.

The cross-cutting themes of anti-corruption, accountability, and opportunities for youth and women are emphasized throughout. Activities are being carried out simultaneously at the district level, where citizens' vulnerabilities manifested themselves early in the war, and in the development of key national institutions of governance.

A Consultative Group of international donors with the Government, meeting in Paris in November 2002, agreed to a short list of security, governance and economic benchmarks of progress. These are also present in the benchmarks of the National Recovery Strategy, which deals primarily with the physical infrastructure and enabling environment for resettlement and reintegration of communities. The Consultative Group benchmarks are as follows.

Consultative Group: Results Framework
Paris, 10-11 November 2002













Additional 2000 police recruited, trained, equipped and deployed.



Completion of the NCDDR reintegration programme



Reinsertion package developed and offered to demobiiised officers and soldiers




Disbandment of the Civil Defence Forces fully completed



Sierra Leone's security forces to assume full responsibility for security in areas




vacated by UNAMSIL



Poverty Reduction



Full PRSP completed, with representative participation of 'he poor as well as PRSP








Primary net enrolment rates increased to 60% and girls/boys ratio in the first class




increased to more than 90%



Fully immunized coverage increased to 60% national average



Safe drinking water source and sanitation facilities provided to an additional




346.000 and 5.:0.000 beneficiaries respectively



Resettlement of IDPs completed




and repatriation of at least an additional 50.000 returnees




Country-wide public awareness of HIV/AIDS




Governance, Justice and Human Rights



Revised public procurement procedures promulgated and operating and results of




the Corruption Survey Published




50°% of cases lodged by the ACC brought to prosecution and/or concluded




Elected district councils functioning




Elected district councils received human rights orientation




Magistrates Courts operating in all Districts




Pre-trial detention delays significantly reduced to meet constitutional requirements


End April


TRC completed its work




Economic Performance and Production ' Continuous




PRGF successfully implemented




Production levels of paddy rice increased to 1991 level



Diamond exports increased to at least US$ 60 million and rutile production







New comprehensive investment code promulgated



Complete implementation of limited scope CFAA action plan



Three public enterprises brought to the point of sale




Aid Flows and Management








Aid flows to be sustained to meet financing gap and sector needs




Annual HIPC funds fully disbursed




Bi-monthly aid coordination meetings begin and restructured national aid




coordination unit put in place -­




Through the implementation of the Interim Recovery, Poverty Reduction and Governance Programmes, UNDP, in partnership with other donors and assistance providers is supporting the efforts of the people of Sierra Leone to achieve these benchmarks of recovery and stability.


The institutions of transitional justice in Sierra Leone, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court, are instruments emanating or deriving from the Lome Peace Agreement, for the purpose of addressing war crimes, and helping victims deal with trauma and grief, and ultimately reconciliation, both as a technique for healing, and as an instrument for reintegration of ex-combatants.

Because injustice is identified as one of the causes of the war in Sierra Leone, the expansion of access to the institutions of justice, especially for those who perceive they have been marginalised, is part of the challenge of addressing the causes of the war. Impunity, marginalisation or exclusion from the protection of the law, miscarriage of justice through corruption and patronage, and sheer lack of coverage of the institutions of justice must be addressed.

The reality of deep poverty, competing priorities in reconstruction, and the state of institutional degradation in the judiciary create significant challenges in the justice sector Comprehensive law reform is under way, with multi-donor support, however some urgent attention is required to improve access to justice. An example of some immediate solutions is the training and equipping of Justices of the Peace (Jps).

There are only four Magistrates assigned to duty outside of Freetown, and only ten serving Magistrates for the entire country. Until November 2002, Magistrate courts had not sat in the Northern region for five years, the region most affected during the final stage of the war.

The Government's solution to the paucity of magistrates was to expand the scope of Justices of the Peace, sitting in pairs under the supervision of a Magistrate. With their deployment, the government has been able to expand access to justice for the ordinary citizen, with resident officers of the Court in eighteen locations, a significant improvement over what was in practice for the past decades.

Before deployment, the JPs received intensive training from the Sierra Leone Law School, covering principles of justice, criminal and civil procedure, evidence, limits and description of jurisdiction, customary law, human rights and related topics. Special emphasis was given to historical problems of justice for women and children, international principles and standards of human rights, and issues of transitional justice related to the Truth and Reconciliation process and the Special Court.

This was the first time that human rights was considered part of the core curriculum of legal training in Sierra Leone by the Law School. This was also the first time that the Sierra Leone Law School embarked on paralegal training.

The JPs are supervised by a Magistrate, who visits their location every month, and hears cases beyond their jurisdiction. In addition, UNDP, UNAMSIL and the British Department for International Development (DFID) are building or repairing buildings for Magistrate Courts in these 18 locations. This is an example of the many initiatives that must be undertaken to provide access to justice, in an effort to address one of the fundamental causes of the war.

Time does not permit a full description of UNDP's integrated support in the recovery, governance and poverty reduction areas. We will remit to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission the full texts of UNDP's interim recovery, governance and poverty reduction programmes, as well as a collection of six issues papers written by Sierra Leonean authors on subjects related to reconciliation and creation of governance in the aftermath of the war.

The Basis for Lasting Peace

To build lasting peace, good governance needs to be created and youth need opportunities for a better life, through education and income-generating employment. This analysis is not new. It has been said over and over again since civil society led the movement for democratic elections in 1996.  There was hope at that time that Sierra Leone might put the war in the past, but we know that an even more comprehensive collapse occurred in 1997.

Today, Sierra Leone has finally achieved stability. This time we must collectively succeed in addressing the causes of the war to build lasting peace. The temporary strategies for recovery, for dispensation of justice, and the mosaic of security institutions with international support must be developed into durable, inclusive and effective governance institutions. Sierra Leoneans must find a way to reduce the dichotomy between the literate minority with access to wealth and the vast majority of citizens. especially youth and women, whose empowerment to increase their economic welfare will substantiate the peace. But the first step is to deal adequately with the aftermath of violence, through reconciliation and justice.

UNDP Statement: Public Hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 7 May 2003. page 1 1 of 11

P.O. BOX 437
Tel: 241907/242241/240596 Fax: 232-22-234001 E-Mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

29th July, 2003

The Executive Secretary,

Truth & Reconciliation Commission


Dear Sir,

Presentation to the TRC

In response to the request of your Commission for information on the activities of the NCDHR in the area of human rights, I submit the attached summary (10 copies).

Yours Sincerely,

George Coleridge-Taylor
Ag. Chairman

Activities/Programmes of the NCDHR in the area of Human Rights

Within its terms of reference, the National Commission for Democracy and Human Rights (NCDHR) is mandate to:


  • Formulate, implement and oversee programmes intended to inculcate in the citizens of Sierra Leone an awareness of their civic responsibilities and an appreciation of their rights and obligations as a free people.
  • Investigate on its own or on complaint by any person any contravention of the fundamental human rights protected by  the Constitution, and take such steps as may be necessary for the abatement of such contravention including  associating itself with all efforts aimed generally at ensuring the observation of the human rights of the individual.
  • Recommend to the President effective measures for the promotion of human rights, including compliance by Sierra Leone with any international treaty obligations on human rights.

Our activities in this regard have been in consonance with the requirement of both the UNGA Resolution 57/206 on Human Rights Education and the objectives of Resolution 57/212 on the Decade for Human Rights Education.

Specifically, the following programmes may be cited:

1. The Commission has drawn up a Civic Education curriculum for the formal education system covering the entire primary and secondary school range of which Human Rights Education forms a significant component.

2. Civic education textbooks have also been prepared for all levels in the primary and secondary school system and     human rights education themes feature prominently in these texts. Areas emphasized include:

  • Constitutions and legal rights
  • Right to judicial protection and a fair trial
  • Right to protection against discrimination on basis of gender race, or any distinction
  • Right to security of life and property and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention, torture or inhuman treatment
  • Right to privacy and freedom of association, and speech.
  • Rights to vote and contest elections
  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Right to employment opportunity
  • Right to food security, shelter, health, education, information, freedom of worship
  • Right to free choice of one's partner
  • Right to enjoy the benefits of international instruments embodying human rights principles and practices,  principally the UDHR, CEDAW, CRC and the International Bill of Rights.


The Commission is now seeking funds to print and launch these texts within the next school year before the Decade runs out.

3. This year, a review of our curriculum has been undertaken under the umbrella of the Commonwealth Secretariat to accommodate stakeholders in the preparation of our national civic education programme, but without prejudice to our prepared textbooks.

4. At the tertiary educational level, the NCDHR has collaborated significantly with the Peace and Conflict Studies programme of the University of Sierra Leone in constructing a curriculum which is already operative.

5. In the non-formal sector, human rights education has been pursued

(a) Through radio and television discussion programmes on topics related to human rights awareness, principally:
• Gender equality
• Gender related violence (against women/girls)
• Empowerment of women /girls for political, economic and social emancipation
• Right to the disabled and aged
• Rights and responsibilities of children, parents and guardians
• Meaning and application of human rights
• Human rights, peace & development
• The TRC as an instrument of justice
• The African Charter on Human and Peopls's Rights
(b) Community meetings, seminars, workshops to educate the citizenry and to raise awareness not only of the rights of participation but which also focus on respect for the rights of others.  Target groups have been composed of traditional leaders, religious leaders, urban and rural community leaders and members, disadvantaged urban groups, women's groups, youth groups, student unions and other student groups, Awareness Raising Clubs (formed by NCDHR in educational institutional), the police, prisons and military forces, journalists and the business community.

Of special significance was our nation wide series of workshops conducted on behalf of UNICEF to educate both adults and children on the contents of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and to elicit their inputs as a prelude to its ratification and absorption into local legislation. It has been quite successful and stimulated a lot of     interest and awareness among both children and adults.

(c) Several discussion programmes were held specifically on the TRC as a transitional justice system to address human rights violations and the problems of impunity.

(d) A special pamphlet entitled "The TRC at a glance" was prepared for popular education and, together with a set of "Twenty Questions about the TRC" was translated into the four major local languages and disseminated.

(e) To mark the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), it was also translated into the same four major languages and widely distributed.

(f) A Human Rights Newsletter was also put out but was discontinued after a few issues because funds were not      forthcoming for its continuation. We had hoped that Civil Society organizations, to which all international funding was being diverted, would continue with a publication to fill the gap, but we were disappointed. UNDP and UNAMSIL between them put out their own publications but local initiatives are also most desirable in areas of education and awareness raising.

(g)  Pamphlets and posters have also been published and distributed to educate the public on their rights. Prominent among these are:

  • Know your Rights
  • Your Rights at the Police Station
  • The Constitution at a Glance
  • The State and the Citizens
  • Citizens Participation in Government
  • Civil Society and Democracy

6. Human Rights education cannot be complete, sustained or relevant without programmes of capacity building or the existence of a credible database and appropriate research.

The Commission has therefore sought to improve its own competence as a human rights education agency by:

(a) undergoing training in seminars, utilizing UNAMSIL expertise in the areas of human rights advocacy, monitoring and reporting of violations.                                                                                         

(b) participating in similar external (international) programmes.

(c) establishing a Research and Information Centre which is temporarily stifled as the staff and funds to operate it are lacking.

7. In a recent review and consultative exercise on the post-war agenda for Sierra Leone, a human rights programme was drawn up jointly with 6 Civil Society members.  The following excerpts, which relate to Human Rights education, are currently occupying our attention:                                                                                                      

-  Documentation of human rights violations and abuses in the country
-   Nationwide human rights education programme, to be delivered at community, organizational and institutional levels
-  Put structures in place where they are non-existent for the promotion of human rights, and strengthen existing ones to monitor and report human rights violations
-  Support the work of the Special Court and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as conflict resolution and peace-building instruments
-  Human rights education, advocacy and intervention extension to all in need

8. One of the very useful mechanisms established and operating within the community was the setting up of Monitoring Committees on

-Women and children
-The Police

These committees are constituted by persons from various walks of life and include Parliamentarian, journalists, religious and civic leaders, students, lawyers, teachers, NGO staff, doctors, academics, the police, prisons, traders and other private citizens.

Their task involved constant monitoring of the human rights situation within their specific portfolios and the submission of reports with recommendations to the NCDHR.

Problems with staffing, funding and transportation have made it virtually impossible to sustain these committees but the Commission is anxious and committed to reviving them when operational conditions improve.

The Commission also maintains a Legal Aid and Counselling Clinic which operates twice weekly and is widely used by members of the public. Its main beneficiaries are the disadvantaged, who cannot afford the cost of legal services or are unaware of how to access the judicial and other remedial services. We are assisted by professional volunteers, who receive only minimal honorarium. The clinic has proved itself, especially to young people involved in paternity disputes but cases of child mistreatment, gender abuse and administrative injustice are also referred to us and we refer the latter to the office of the Ombudsman, as this is his prime responsibility.

NCDHR Report to the TRC - 2nd July, 2003.

Mr. Chairman, Honourable Commissioners of the TRC;

Recalling the events which gave rise to the TRC has always been a traumatic experience, even for those whose interest may be only academic. For those of us who have dedicated our life, and work to the preservation and advancement of our motherland, watching its rise and fall has been simply devastating. Our only consolation derives from the realization that the revelations and reflections which engage the attention of this Commission are destined to reverse the course of this nation's fortunes and put her back on the path to recovery through reconciliation.

Against the background of the NCDHR's mandate for the protection and advancement of democracy and human rights, my presentation will be concerned with the ways in which the observance or disregard of these concepts can help to explain our historical past and prepare the way for a historic future.

The people of Sierra Leone have invariably shown a marked preference for democratic values. Bai Bureh declared war because he was required to pay tax but denied representation. Sengbeh Pieh rebelled because he was denied equality, justice and human dignity.

In more recent times, men like the Hon. H. C. Bankole Bright, who opposed the divide and rule strategy of the pre-independence elections, accepted the results because they expressed the will of the majority.

It is not surprising, then, that Sierra Leone was so peaceful through our first years of independence, when free association free expression and commodious living made us the envy and admiration of nations far and wide.

Regrettably, it has to be admitted that this was a reflection of the colonial administration and its after glow. The indigenization of politics unleashed the interactive cultural stresses between the supremacy of the popular will and welfare on the one hand, and the indigenous ideal of a benevolent autocracy which turned out to be negligently malevolent.

Political divisions and loyalties were tribally delineated; wealth and power were co-extensive and restricted to the privileged elite; minorities were either marginalized or excluded and avenues for redress or complaints either non-existent or virtually inaccessible.

In this climate of deprivation, discontent was fomented as a national reaction, resulting in alienation of the masses from the ruling class. In their delusion of security, little thought was given by the rulers to the welfare of the people or the interest of the nation. Poor financial management and disastrous fiscal policies soon led to a catastrophic economic climate in which unemployment flourished among the youth while over - centralization of power and wealth engendered and condoned corruption, injustice, nepotism, disregard for law and order, which together produced a recipe for bad governance.

Powerless and dispossessed, the people waited impatiently for relief to the point of exasperation. Many were even ready to sacrifice an elected government for an autocratic military dictatorship.

As it turned out, it was the politicians who initiated this retrogressive practice. The coup of 1967, the first of an unfortunate series, actually introduced the practice of manipulation of the military by the politicians, thereby opening Pandora's box and preparing the way for future interventions.

The NRC, NPRC and AFRC were logical outcomes of that first misguided act, transforming the noble institution that won honour and glory at Mayoung to the - Sierra Leone version of West Side Story.

Of course, the army had its own gripes, deeply anchored in causes which are happily becoming 'a thing of the past'. They resented the political manipulation which encouraged and invited them to intervene when it was convenient for one side or the other. Recruitment was equally politicized, as politicians sought ethnic and constituency quotas to facilitate election thuggery and strengthen their power bases.

A major and very important fact ignored by these politicians was that soldiers were recruited from civilian populations and carried their discontent with them into the army. The army thus represented a melting pot of incompatible ingredients. On the one hand, tribal divisions were tearing them apart in competitive rivalries as each sector strove for dominance in influence and numbers. In contrast, they were united by discontent with the status quo.

When this situation was compounded by a deliberate policy of marginalizing them, the recipe for revolt and disloyalty was complete and it persisted into the war.

Marginalization manifested itself in low and delayed salaries, inadequate and uncomfortable accommodation, denial of benefits for the family; with holding the supply of arms and uniforms, which constitute the pride of the soldier's profession, and subjecting them to the ultimate indignity of creating a rival and better equipped national security force.

This confluence of negative forces was a dynamic stimulus for violent rebellion, and provided a prominent, persuasive platform for the demagoguery of Foday Sankoh, while the lure of easy wealth, accessible through pillage and banditry, attracted many. For others it provided access to the envied acquisition of inordinate wealth, corruptly acquired and displayed with defiant ostentation by corrupt officials.

As with all civil strife, the nation was plundered. The foundations of its economy were destroyed, its institutions scuttled, citizens killed, violated and displaced. The difference in Sierra Leone was the sub-human depth to which it sank and the bestiality of the atrocities visited on innocent, unarmed civilians. These have already been revealed in tearful and gruesome detail by witnesses before this Commission.

Through these changing scenes of one party rule, military dictatorship and civil conflict teleguided from abroad, the underlying craving for a return to democracy persisted among the majority of the citizens.

This explains the unusual fact that a military regime, the NPRC, should have set up the National Commission for Democracy by Decree in 1994 with the primary aim of cultivating a democratic tradition and advancing the democratic process. The Commission's success has been largely demonstrated by the increased civic awareness of the citizenry and the emergence of a strong and vibrant civil society. It is no secret that the Commission played a leading role in the preparations for the 1996 and 2002 elections and in guiding attitudes to post electoral democracy.

Following the addition of a human rights portfolio to its mandate, the Commission has encouraged and, in some cases, spearheaded human rights awareness through interventions at various levels of the community ...... schools and students, war - affected children, women's groups, youth groups, ex-combatants, internally displaced groups, the business community, security forces and other arms of government. It also initiated the idea and coordinated the participation of civil society groups in the Lome Peace Talks and propagated the Peace Agreement.

Through our involvement with both sides in governance i.e. the government and the governed ......we have embraced and promoted the idea that repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation and respect for human rights are necessary pre-requisites for lasting peace and development. Underlying this equation is, of course, the fundamental adherence to good governance (including equitable dispensation of justice) and responsible citizenship on the part of all.

This dispensation of justice is being admirably actualized by the functioning of your esteemed Commission, the TRC, and the Special Court as transitional justice systems. They are transitional because they are not ends in themselves but we hope you will be the means to a desirable ideal, which is Peace with Justice.

To be of lasting success, however, your institutions must be buttressed by ancillary programmes and systems confronting and addressing the ills which contributed to the darkest chapter in our history.
Having outlined most of them at the outset, I do not wish to repeat those ills here. It is enough to state that good governance and good citizenship demand attitudinal changes among our people.

Patriotism, above all must be enthroned. Our first duty to our nation is to make it peaceful, prosperous, prominent and proud. Only then can we expect to benefit as citizens.

Unfortunately, our orientation has been totally materialistic and this has been the slippery slope to our downfall. We recognize the need for material prosperity and a comfortable quality of life for all. But if we build our future on a culture without values and positive attitudes, then our material prosperity will only lead us to worse doom and destruction than we have ever witnessed or experienced.

This is the greatest challenge confronting us as individuals and as a nation and this is the greatest preoccupation of the NCDHR because it is the core of our mandate. We are committed to the management of attitudinal change in a nation poised for recovery, but we need the men, materials and funds which are in very short supply at the moment.

We are miserably deprived and this is a national mistake that can lead to a national disaster.

In conclusion, I shall use this public forum to appeal to the authorities and the international community to provide every possible support ........ staff, equipment, transportation and programme funding facilitate that task so that we can continue to make a difference.

I thank you.





My Presentation is going to be based on the following sub-headings to enable us to know where we are coming from, where we are now, and where we are heading to:

1    Structure of the Party
2    Historical perspective of the SLPP
3    SLPP in Governance
4    Causes of the war
5    Recommendations


The Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) has a highly decentralised organisational structure: it is organised at the national, regional, direct, constituency, chiefdom and zonal levels, to ensure that grassroot members participate in decision-making processes.

The women and young generation wings of the party are responsible for mobilising women and young persons as supporters and members of the party and for organising and coordinating their affairs.

The SLPP also operates overseas branches in the United Kingdom and Ireland, USA/Canada, Israel, Germany, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

The Party's National Conference is the supreme governing organ which constituency, district, regional, national and overseas delegates attend to elect members of the National Executive Council (NEC), nominate the Party' Presidential candidate/Leader and the National Officers of the Party. It is responsible for the general direction and control of the party.

The National Chairman is the administrative Head of the Party but is not qualified to be the Party's Presidential candidate. The Chairman does not only preside over meetings of key committees and councils but also promotes the policies, principles and programmes of the Party.
Whenever the Party is in control of government the National Leader charts the course of government, steers the ship of state and ensures that the policies, programme, operations and conduct of the government and its executive functions are in the best interest of Sierra Leone.

The National Secretary-General is in charge of the day-to-day administration of the Party, including the custody of all records and documents.  As the vote-controller he is also in charge of the fortunes of the Party.  He/she conducts the correspondence of the party, internally and externally.

The National Organising Secretary is responsible for organising and co-ordinating Party activities and for generating membership for the Party throughout the Country and elsewhere. This officer is the principal liaison between the various arms of the Party.

The National Executive Council (NEC) is the principal administrative organ of the Party. When circumstances and or political expediency demand this body can transform itself into a National Conference and take crucial decisions, all in the interest of the Party to achieve defined objectives. The NEC as well as the Party Conference has membership right across the length and breadth of the Country. It carries out the programmes and policies determined by the Party Conference.

The National Policy Council (NPC) which comprises key national officers is the principal policy articulating and monitoring organ of the Party.

The Parliamentary Council is composed of all members of the Party in the National legislature. It ensures that members regularly and promptly attend sessions of Parliament and its committees. It also ensures that members speak and vote in accordance with agreed party lines.

It is instructive to note that implementation of party policies are partly done by standing committees (normally set up by the NEC) and ad hoc committees set-up by the NEC or the National Secretariat or the appropriate authorities within the established party structures.
Notable standing committees are FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSE (F&GP), STRATEGIC PLANNING, ELECTIONS, FUND RAISING, MONITORING ETC, Ad Hoc committees are exemplified by, NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE, CONSTITUTION REVIEW, etc. Ad Hoc committees are transient and are put together for specific purposes at a particular time to address or achieve that purpose.

An organogram is attached to show the relationship between the different administrative strata. Each stratum below the NEC has an elected executive of not less than 10 members, which manages and directs the affairs of the party at that level within broad outlines of the party's principles, rules and objectives.

The SLPP Constitution is designed in such a way that no one man/woman or group is absolutely in control of or owns the Party.  This is in stark contrast to other parties formed.    In that the demise or prolong absence of their leaders cum owners meant the collapse or total disintegration of the Party.  Let me give a few examples:  The once vibrant PDP disappeared with the death of their charismatic Leader, Thaimu Bangura; the UNPP disintegrated into different obscured parties courtesy to their dictatorial antics of their "HELICOPTERED" Leader, KAREFA SMART, who is currently hibernating in the USA waiting to come for another election, of course with a return air ticket. The death of Siaka Stevens has left the APC in complete disarray. They are at each others throat and still searching for a Leader.

As for the SLPP, the deaths of the past leaders (eg Dr and Lawyer Margai) have had no lasting negative effect on the SLPP Party. The Party is going from strength to strength.

Mr Chairman I have decided to go to some length to show the inherent democratic nature of the SLPP, an essential virtue for good governance. It therefore becomes a natural instinct for the SLPP to practice good governance at national politics in consonance with the common adages: "that charity begins at home" and `you cannot practice what you don't know'.

When the SLPP was in power before the APC era, we upheld and supported the institution of chieftaincy and local government along democratic lines. This was, however, subsequently bastardised by the APC. They created new ruling houses, anointed their own chiefs, and removed chiefs who were perceived to be opponents of the Party.

Fortunately, with the advent of the SLPP back in power in 1996, we have worked assiduously to restore the dignity of chieftaincy.
Currently, we have allowed election of Paramount Chiefs to be done without any Government interference. This was done in a violent-free atmosphere.

The result is that Paramount Chiefs representing Natural Ruling Houses have been popularly elected.

In addition, modalities are already been put in place for Local Government elections to be held to enable the people at every level within our society to decide on and implement what is good for them.

The "Big Brother" syndrome usually associated with Government has been eradicated. Other areas of governance are following suit, for example in the Ministry of Education, interviews for scholarships are now held at regional levels.

Scholarships are now awarded to deserving students. In essence the SLPP Government has reversed the negative adage that was common in the APC days, eg "Education is a privilege not a right". Today the SLPP is saying that education is a human right not a privilege, especially for the girl child.

Other Government Ministries are also in the process of decentralising. For example in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security there are now Regional Directors in addition to the Director General in Freetown, to ensure among others that the appropriate agricultural inputs get to the farmer at affordable price and on time.

In the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Health Management Boards have been set up, at all District and Regional Levels to work in concert with the Local Government machinery.

Recently, the Vice President Mr Solomon Berewa was all over the country to announce that contracts for projects should be awarded where feasible to local contractors within the beneficiary communities. This policy will surely enhance equitable distribution of wealth and retard the usual on-sided migration to the capital in search of centralised greener pasture.


The Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) was founded on April 27, 1951 partly in response to constitutional changes effected by the British Colonial Administration after the Second World War and partly to represent the views and aspirations of the people. It was the product of a merger of the Sierra Leone Organising Society (SOS), the Protectorate Educational Progressive Union (PEPU) and the People's Party. The Party was established on the ideals of Unity, Freedom and Justice, which were bequeathed to the nation at Independence.

The Philosophy of "ONE COUNTRY, ONE PEOPLE" was adopted as its motto and the Green Palm Tree as its emblem. The Palm Tree was chosen because of its national geographic coverage, its straight line posture signifying uprightedness, resistant to fire and wind signifying toughness, and of its economic and other utility values - ranging from making bridges, soft timber, roofing, source of food, beaverages to medicine - giving a total of about 28 uses.

Furthermore the Party's Motto underscores the importance which the founding fathers attached to Unity as a solid bedrock of national cohesion, stability, progress and prosperity.

The regional, ethnic and cultural origins of the founding fathers are evidence of the Party's national character and outlook. Amongst others, notable founding fathers were P.C. Bai Farma Tass II, Kandeh Bureh, Siaka Stevens and Dr John Karefa Smart, from the Northern Region, from the Southern Region Dr M A S Margai, Rev Paul Dunbar and P C Bockarie Samba from the Eastern Region, and Rev E M Jones a k a Lamin Sankoh, M S Mustapha and H E B John from the Colony of Sierra Leone, now the Western Area.

It is instructive to note here that it was P C Bai Farma Tass II of Kambia District who willingly relinquished the leadership of the Party in favour of Dr M A S Margai on the legitimate grounds that his duties as Paramount Chief would not allow him sufficient time to devote to national politics. He settled for the deputy leadership of the Party. Other key national officers were A J Momoh, First Vice President, Lamina Sankoh, Second Vice President, Kandeh Bureh, Treasurer and H E B John, National Secretary-General. Thus, the SLPP emerged as a party in which every ethnic group, every region, every religious group and every shade of opinion was well represented.

In the general elections of 1951 the SLPP won (13) thirteen protectorate seats and (2) two colony seats. As leader of the majority party, Dr M A S Margai was invited to nominate five members to become un-official members of the executive council. The following were given responsibility for Ministries in 1953. Dr M A S Margai, Health, Agriculture and Forests; A M Margai, Local Government, Education and Welfare, M S Mustapha, Works and Transport, A G Randle, Trade and Commerce, Posts and Telegraphs, and Siaka Stevens Land, Mines and Labour, P C Bai Farama Tass II was appointed Minister without portfolio. The ethnic and regional balance in this embryonic cabinet was to characterize subsequent cabinet appointments of SLPP leaders.

Other Political Parties were formed before the next elections in 1957 notably, the United Peoples Party (UPP), the Kono Progressive Movement (KPM), and the Sierra Leone Independent Movement (SLIM), but the SLPP won again. It scored forty-four (44) out of the fifty(50) elected seats in the House of Representatives by entering into alliance with successful "independent" candidates. However, in 1958 the internal split between "moderates" under Dr Margai and "radicals" under his brother, Albert Margai, came to the fore with the latter breaking away and forming the People's National Party (PNP), with Albert as Leader and Siaka Stevens as his Deputy.

Indeed, after ten years of political awakening and conscientization, honest dialogue and judicious cooperation with the erstwhile colonial masters spearheaded by the SLPP under the revered and able leadership of Sir Milion Margai, Sierra Leone attained Independence without resort to the use of violence on April 27`h, 1961. Indeed it was a peaceful transition from colonial rule to self-determination.
Consequently, Sir Milton Margai became the first Prime Minister of Modern Sierra Leone. The ensuing seven years of SLPP rule was charactised by peace, political tranquillity, remarkable socio-economic infrastructural development, a robust economy with a strong currency (the Leone), self sufficiency in food production with a normal surplus for the export market, affordable health care and educational facilities, observance of the rule of law and tolerance of organised dissent, an equitable distribution of the national cake, and a negligible level of unemployment. The high standard of education and self-reliance in food production in the country earned it the prestigious names of the "ATHENS" and Bread Basket of West Africa.

In short the SLPP established a culture of respect for the rule of law, meritocracy, honest and dedicated service to the nation and, above all national cohesion.

Between 1960 and 1962 the SLPP was the dominant party in the House of Representatives. Outside Parliament, its authority was challenged by the All Peoples Congress Party (APC), which emerged in 1960 under the leadership of Siaka P Stevens. In 1962, it conducted free, fair, peaceful and transparent General Election in which the APC won 16 (sixteen) seats drawn only from the Western Area and the Northern Province. The APC thus formed the official opposition in Parliament. The SLPP secured a working majority by entering into alliance with successful "independent" candidates who failed to secure the SLPP symbol.

Sir Milton's charismatic and astute leadership as well as his moderate and cautious approach to the problems of nation-building prevented the disintegration of the SLPP. When he died on April 28, 1964, he left behind a legacy of a party system, which was highly pluralistic in nature and highly tolerant of organised dissent.

Section 58(2) of the 1961 Constitution, which empowered the Governor-General to appoint as Prime Minister a Member of Parliament who appeared to him likely to command the support of a majority of the members of the House was invoked by Sir Henry Lightfoot-Boston to appoint Sir Albert as a successor to late Sir Milton Margai.

M S Mustapha who has twice acted as Prime Minster, Dr Karefa-Smart , Y D Sesay and S L Matturi initially challenged Sir Albert's appointment. Their subsequent dismissal as Ministers exacerbated internal conflict in the Party, Dr Karefa-Smart and some Northern Politicians who were dissatisfied with this development left the party to join the APC at once. Furthermore, Albert's attempt to re-organised the Party merely antagonised the conservative elements within its fold.

Indeed, Sir Albert Margai muted the idea of a single party in 1966 and actually passed a Republican Bill in 1967. These in addition to the allegation that he had transformed the SLPP into a Mende-Party provided the opposition with added ammunition which was used to discredit him in the 1967 General Elections.

From the foregoing, it is evident that the SLPP contested the 1967 General Elections as a deeply divided Party. Controversy followed the declared official result of SLPP 32, APC 32, and Independent 2. This created a stalemate which prompted the army to seize power and ushered in a military interregnum, the National Reformation Council (NRC). The elections in 1967 exposed the dangerous state of ethnic and regional tension in Sierra Leone. However, the SLPP went on record as being the first in post-colonial Africa to have conducted free and fair elections with the opposition emerging as winner.

From 1961 to 1967 the SLPP laid the foundation of a solid parliamentary democracy in the country. It provided accessible and affordable quality education and health care facilities for the people. It maintained a stable economy and embarked on infrastructural development projects aimed at accelerating social-economic progress and prosperity.

When the National Reformation Council (NRC) was overthrown by the Anti-Corruption Revolutionary Movement (ACRM) in 1968, the SLPP participated in a government of National Unity under the Leadership of Siaka Stevens of APC. However, the Government was constantly and consistently undermined by the APC and in 1969 the SLPP emerged as the official opposition in Parliament under the distinguished Leadership of Salia Jusu-Sheriff.

Besides the enactment of a series of Laws aimed at undermining the viability of the SLPP as an opposition, the APC used raw violence and intimidation to Kow-tow opposition figures into submission. 1973 and 1977 elections were characterised by unprecedented violence and intimidation against political opponents. A one-party system was imposed on the people of Sierra Leone in 1978. Salia Jusu-Sheriff and eleven Parliamentarians performed the heroic but dangerous role of official opposition to the autocratic and despotic APC.

The sum total of this all is that when the APC wrenched power from the SLPP in 1968, they did not only stop at that, but went further to shatter the foundation for peaceful coexistence by institutionalising and legalising violence as acceptable avenues for attaining political power. It organised and perfected a highly sophisticated syndicate which fixed huge waste pipes on all revenue-generating institutions through which billions of leones drained into private bank accounts in and out of the country, thereby depriving national developments projects of revenue. In short the APC did not only undermine the socioeconomic development of this nation but got it started on the path to persistent economic decline. Ironically and paradoxically as well, the APC became richer than Sierra Leone itself. Little wonder the Chinese Government then refused to hand-over the projects to the APC for implementation. Instead Chinese Government sent Chinese technocrats, technicians, construction personnel including cleaners and painters and materials and implemented all their projects. Thank God for that strategy, today we can boast of the National Stadium, Police Headquarters and Youyi Buildings.

Another significant development albeit retrogressively in the APC era was the legalisation and consolidation of the culture of unbridled corruption: a reversal of the positive gains of the SLPP: The Voucher and Million-gates speak volumes for themselves. Infact, and pathetically the central figure in the voucher gate scandal is still holding high office in the APC and even had the audacity and temerity, shamelessly though, to stand on this platform to accuse the SLPP of corruption.

The two common adages in krio said it all: WU SAI DEN TIE COW, NAR DAE E GO EAT and DEN SAY BAILOR BARRIE YOU SAY DAVIDSON NICOL. Financial and moral corruption reigned supreme.
Let me give a typical example of one of the so-called 99 Tactics the APC employed to deplete the resources into their pockets. The Kabasa Lodge was built with state-money at an unrealistic cost-the excess of course as kick backs. Next it was given to their Leader on one of his numerous birthdays as a state gift. After sometime, he sold it back to the state at exorbitant price. That is the APC basic economics of recycling resources. Uptil now we don't know who actually owns Kabasa Lodge.

Disheartening enough, the judicial system was destroyed with reckless abandon. The Constitution was amended and mutilated to suit the whims and caprices of those in power. The judiciary was converted into an open market place where lawyers, magistrates and judges battered justice for money or favours. In short it denigrated into a state of lawlessness where the so-called "Constructive Nationalism" became "Destructive Nationalism". Justice was denied to the under privileged, sending the signal that there was first and second-class citizens within Sierra Leone.

The re-introduction of democratic pluralism in 1991 witnessed the re-emergency of the SLPP under the dynamic leadership of Salia Jusu-Sheriff. Unfortunately, the democratisation process was interrupted by the Corp d'etat of April 29, 1992 which ushered in the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC).

However the NPRC was no better as it helped to prepare the stage for the eventual formalization of the unholy alliance between the soldiers and the RUF. Soldiers abandoned their constitutional role to defined the people of this country but opted instead to butcher them in cold blood: a criminal conspiracy against the defenceless citizens of this country.

Agitation for a return to civilian rule gained momentum in 1995. The Bintumani Conferences (I & II) and external pressures forced the NPRC to reluctantly conduct Presidential and Parliamentary elections in early 1996 in which Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and the SLPP emerged victorious. Thus the SLPP came to form a Government after nearly 30 years of mis-rule. It is important to note that other parties including the APC were given and took positions in Government. Expectantly, the SLPP inherited a completely collapsed state. A failed state that is. The soldiers though, half-heartedly handed over power but refused to be confined to the barracks, thus creating problems for the party to root and firmly anchor democracy and good governance in this country.

The first year of SLPP under the charismatic and effervescent Leadership of Alhaji Dr Ahmad Tejan Kabbah was characterised by traditional SLPP trade marks, progress on all fronts- the leone appreciation, inflation dropped from 100 to 6%, prices especially for our staple food, rice plummeted from Le30,000 to Le12,000 a bag on the average, a minimum wage of Le21,000 was introduced, the list goes on.

Again, on Monday 25, 1997 the sobels/rebels violently overthrew the legitimate and democratically elected Government which ushered in nine months of hell-on-earth of junta mis-rule, destroying all the gains made by the SLPP. There was unprecedented human rights violations, reckless destruction of our socio-economic infrastructure, and the wanton rape of the country's treasury and national resources. Luckily, the majority of Sierra Leoneans rejected the AFRC/RUF regime. The Media in particular played a key role, and mostly bordering on suicide to expose and discredit the Junta.

No country in the world recognised the Junta.  Eventually the combined forces of the international world led by ECOMOG, combined loyal forces of the Army and Police and the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) drove the AFRC/RUF out of power.

The SLPP - led Government immediately set in strategies to put a halt to the declining situation and opted to bring peace, unity, freedom, justice and national development.

Again on January 6, 1999, the AFRC/RUF and its mercenary allies struck the nation and its city with unparalleled barbarity, looting, rape and arson.

On behalf of the SLPP Party, may I once more take this opportunity to send sincere condolences to those who lost their loved ones or friends during those 10 or so years of rebel activities as well as sympathise with all those who were subjected to human rights violations of any sort and others who lost properties and families who are irreconcilably separated.


Between 1951 and 1957 the SLPP emerged as the only political party which commanded the confidence and allegiance of majority of the people in the country. It has a comfortable majority in the Legislative Council and the newly constituted House of Representatives.    Its leader Dr M A S Margai, was appointed as Chief Minister in July 1954 and towards the end of 1957 as Premier, and by the provisions of the independence constitution of 1961, as Prime Minister. The Party corroborated the efforts of the British colonial administration in laying the foundation of a solid parliamentary democracy in Sierra Leone.
The SLPP, under the charismatic dynamic and astute leadership of Dr M A S Margai, championed the struggle for the political and economic emancipation of the Country. It formed the United National Front (a coalition of political parties) which ushered the country to independence on April 27, 1961

From 1961 to 1967 human rights, the rule of law, freedom of the press, freedom of association and independence of the judiciary were rigidly respected. Political stability, social justice and economic prosperity were the order of the day.

The regional, ethnic and professional diversity of the SLPP Cabinet was and still is, in line with the principles and practice of the politics of inclusion aimed at fostering national cohesion and stability. Sir Milton Margai appointed Dr John Karefa-Smart (Loko), Siaka P Stevens (Limba), Kandeh Bureh (Temne) from the Northern Province, D L Sumner (Sherbro) A J Demby (Mende) and R B Kowa (Mende) from the Southern Province, M S Mustapha (Aku), H E B John (Krio) and R G O King (Krio) from the Western area, Taplima Ngobeh and Salia Jusu Sheriff from the Eastern Region.

The Sierra Leone People's Party was tolerant of organised political dissent. In 1962 it conducted free, peaceful and transparent general elections in which the opposition All Peoples Congress Party (APC) gained a sizeable number of seats in the House of Representatives. In 1967 the Party went on record as being the first in post-colonial Africa to have conducted free and fair elections with the opposition emerging as winner.

The autocratic and tyrannical rule of the APC which followed is a clear testimony to the fact that the SLPP was and still is, a national democratic party. The APC imposed a republican and one-party system against the wishes of the traumatised majority.

The APC misrule and economic mismanagement continued fort 24 years until the military interregnum (April 1991-1996).
After that, the SLPP came to power when it won the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 1996.

The SLPP, under the dynamic, capable and wise leadership of President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, puts high premium on respect for human rights, the rule of law, an unprecedented freedom of expression, social justice and strict financial and economic accountability and transparency. This has invariably earned the Country considerable international support. The British military and technical presence as well as the proliferation of international NGO's are testimonies to this fact. Moreover, international institutions like the IMF, World Bank, Africa Development Bank, Islamic Bank and others have found the SLPP-ruled Sierra Leone a fertile and safe place to do business.

The SLPP believes that peace is sine qua non for national progress and that a peaceful resolution of the then conflict was a must for national cohesion and sustainable socioeconomic development. Furthermore, sustainable peace and security will provide an enabling environment for each and every individual to maximise his or her potentials. In this regard, the SLPP signed a number of peace accords with the RUF including the Lome, and Abuja Peace Accords, which eventually got us the much sought after peace.

The choice of political leadership at the national and local levels has included all ethnic groups across the length and breadth of the country. Similarly, conscious efforts have been made in other spheres of life to maintain an ethnic balance in the military, the police, the civil service and in civil society generally. It has also opened an arena for unhindered operation of civil society movements.

The major objective of this strategy is to foster and secure the much-elusive national cohesion. There is ample evidence that the SLPP has made giant strides in unifying the Country; one such example is the cordial relationship between the legislative and executive arms of Government.

It is interesting to note that in the last Parliament the SLPP with twenty-seven (27) members in a legislature of eighty (80) was able to enact its bills into laws with minimal hitches.

Our National Leader, H E President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah has played a cardinal role in fostering national cohesion and in preserving democratic values and practices. His Cabinet appointments embrace all ethnic groups.


The conduct of the last Presidential and Parliamentary Elections ushered in a new era in the politics of Sierra Leone. Local and International observers who monitored the elections were unanimous in their reports that the elections were transparent, free, fair and free from fear.

The SLPP filed in candidates in all the electoral districts of the country a task which other political parties found difficult to accomplish.
The SLPP made significant in roads in areas which were erroneously perceived to be the APC stronghold like the Northern and Western Regions.

Out of 112 seats SLPP had 83 seats, APC got 27 seats and the Angel (PLP) 2 seats, illustrated as follows:








Northern Province






Western Area






Eastern Province






Southern Province






It is worthwhile noting that the import of this illustration shows that SLPP did not only get representatives from all regions, but also had representatives from all the districts.
The message from this unique achievement is that the SLPP had finally arrived at the platform of national cohesion as espoused by her sacrosant motto of "One People One Country". By the next election, we hope to improve on this achievement to continue justifying our party's name - Sierra Leone People's Party.
Also in the Presidential Elections, the SLPP .Presidential Candidate H E Alhaji Dr Ahmad Tejan Kabbah won a landslide victory in the first ballot with 70.6% of total ballot; a tall order by any standard.



The SLPP, under the dynamic and wise leadership of Sir Milton Margai formed the United Front which ushered the country to independence on April 27, 1961 Sierra Leone emerged as a young but dynamic and vivacious nation.

It preserved the democratic principles, values and institutions inherited from the British colonial masters.

Respected and still respect the fundamental rights of the individual and the rule of law.

Maintained maximum peace and stability in the country during its tenure of office.

Respected the independence of the judiciary and never used extra judicial means to attain any political end and, any other objective for that matter.


Encouraged missionaries and Local Government authorities to establish schools throughout the country. Founded the Njala University College and the Milton Margai Teachers College. Awarded scholarships to deserving students to study at home and abroad. Education was a right and not a privilege.

Technical Institutions offering vocational and skilled training were also established. Established the National School of Nursing. Introduced free feeding in Primary and Secondary Schools.


Provided a decentralised and affordable medical system with qualified doctors and nurses. Provided free medical care for students, provided pipe-borne water supply in key towns in the Country, Guma Valley in Freetown and the Degremont Water Supply projects in the provinces.


Established the Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Board (SLPMB) to enhance the cultivation and marketing of agricultural produce. Agricultural cooperatives were formed to also help farmers maximise their profits.

Established Rice Corporation in order to provide our staple food at affordable prices and for export to other Countries.

Oil Palm plantations were established.

Piassava was exported from the Sherbro Island, Ginger was similarly exported from the South especially within the Moyamba District.


Encouraged rapid development of efficient manufacturing industries, especially those which utilised raw materials as well as other local resources.

The Wellington Industrial Estate was set-aside for this purpose. Government granted special generous tax concessions to new manufacturing enterprises as investment incentives.


Built the Deep Water Quay, the National Harbour Improved and maintained the railway.

Established first-class road network in the country. Encouraged river transportation on all of the navigable rivers. Developed the Lungi Airport to international standards and established airfields in all provincial headquarters.

Established the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC) in April 1965 to operate Bus services and road haulage throughout the Country at reasonable prices. Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) and Sierra Leone Television, (SLTV) helped to inform, educate and entertain the people.


Renegotiated the Mining lease with the SLST. The Lease was reduced from 99 years to 36 years.

Introduced the Alluvial Diamond Mining policy, which made provision for African participation in the diamond industry. It operated diamond and gold buying and exporting offices in Freetown, Bo and Kenema.

Established Sierra Rutile and SIERROMCO Mines to mine rutile and bauxite in Southern Sierra Leone.

Iron ore was mined at Marampa by DELCO. Chromite was mined within the Kenema District.

Judicious use of the proceeds from the mining industry helped in the structural development of the country.


Established the Central Bank in Sierra Leone and preserved a conducive climate for the operation of commercial Banks. It offered sound and constructive advice on monetary and fiscal policies.

Introduced the decimal currency (the Leone) with a par value with the pound sterling but stronger than the American dollar.

Operated a stable economy thereby enabling the citizenry to live within their means (salaries) with the option to save.


An adequate and reliable supply of electricity is vital for economic development. There has been an absence of this in Sierra Leone for the past two decades. The infusion of donor funds and substantial subsidies by Government has improved the situation, lately, but power sector requirement are immense.

Through fund provided by the EU and the Government improvement were made to the distribution system. Thanks to these funds, some problems relating to low voltage and poor electricity supply to certain areas of the city have been addressed.

Some substations have been refurbished and vital equipment bought to effect repair to certain areas of the distribution system.

On different occasions a technical audit team from the ADB and the World Bank (WB) team recently reviewed and inspected the Bumbuna operations respectively. Donors (ADB, WB, Italian Government) have now agreed to fund the Project. It is hoped that this Project which will provide 5OMW electricity in the first instance (with a potential of about 350 MW maximum) will soon be initiated with a completion period of 12-18 months. This will greatly enhance Sierra Leone's power generating and supply capacity.

The Guma Hydro-electric plant, which has been non-functional since 1977, will be reactivated this year by Government through the help of the Chinese. When completed it will have an installed capacity of 2.8MW.

Water Supply

The SLPP Government has taken considerable strides in improving both urban and rural water supply.

The Banda Treatment Works at Lungi is being rehabilitated and would soon be commissioned to guarantee 24 hrs water supply to the airport and the environs of the township.

Materials for the emergency water rehabilitation project in Makeni have been procured, and the project completed.


The Transport and Communications Sector is at the heart of macroeconomic development in most countries the world. -Sierra Leone is no exception.

Most of over 11,000 km road networks were in very advanced stages of dilapidation by this time. The SLPP made a point of maintaining the structural integrity of our roads even during the war as long as access was possible.

Our international airport was a death trap only a few years ago. With improvements on the runway, perimeter fence, edge lighting and terminal building, sanity has been restored. The terminal building is now respectable. Passenger and baggage screening and baggage recovery equipment have been installed to enhance air safety and elevate the airport to ICAO Standards.

With the merging of the Sierra Leone National Telecommunications and Sierra Leone External Telecommunications (SLET), SIERRATEL was born. This single commercial strategy brought international telecommunications right into the bedrooms of many Sierra Leoneans.

The SLPP also radically reformed the sub-sector with the issuing of licence to private operate of all phones and internet cafes. This has really proleterianised and improved the telecommunications service sub-sector. These services are being extended throughout the country.


In conformity with HE's vision for agricultural food self sufficiency, the Government has recently accepted and adopted an Agricultural master plan for Sierra Leone aimed at charting the country's vision for agricultural development up to the year 2015.

-    The SLPP Government has made tremendous strides to restock all forms of livestock

Operations of the North Central Agricultural Development Projects which were suspended due to war have now resume full operation.

The remaining fund of US$3million for the programme will be utilised for agricultural activities in the Tonkolili and Kono Districts.

Funds provided by the ADB will be used for feasibility studies - the following areas:

Rolakoh Rhombhe irrigated rice cultivation

Impact of the combined efforts of all the above is expected to increase agricultural productivity by at least 5 percent every year.


A novel idea of the SLPP has been the establishment of a "social safety net" otherwise known as the National Security Scheme. The net covers the disabled, the needy and those without regular income, although it focuses on widows and separated children to help them become participators so that they would be re-integrated into society. Another novel SLPP scheme is the National Social Security Scheme. This one is designed for ablebodied Sierra Leoneans between ages 18-60.

Contributors to the scheme will benefit from its various pensions and disability programme on retirement.


Several years of neglect and mismanagement and the destruction of health facilities left 90 percent of our health care delivery facilities nonfunctional. Lack of drugs, equipment, and supplies characterised our health delivery service. Overcrowded and sanitary living conditions exacerbated the situation, leading to a sharp increase in infectious diseases.

The SLPP Government has made steady progress in providing basic health care services to the majority of Sierra Leoneans including those in displaced/refugee camps.

Capacity building for doctors in public health, environmental health, officers, clinical specialists, tutors for the training institutions, MCH and other nurses and 1,355 TBAs were successfully undertaken.

Through the help of donors and from Government funds, drugs were procured and made available on a cost recovery basis in our hospitals.

The Connaught Hospital, the nation's foremost referral health institution, has a modern laboratory facility, and it is to be rehabilitated soon.

SLPP has decentralised health delivery services.


1 Relief and Humanitarian Assistance

Since its establishment, the commission and its humanitarian partners provided relief assistance to nearly half a million refugees through (UNHCR) and over 1.6 million internally displaced persons and vulnerable communities. Through this effort, war victims benefitted from temporary shelter, health, education, water and sanitation, food and non food items.

2 Assessment Coordination and Resettlement

With marked progress in disarmament in 2001, NCRRR actively coordinated various assessment missions in newly accessed areas in the North and East of the country. District recovery plans were designed and round table conferences held to mobilise resources for each accessible district. In collaboration with UNHCR, government facilitated the return of 60,000 Sierra Leonean refugees in neighbouring Guinea and Liberia through the Commission, and also facilitated the resettlement of over 2million Sierra Leoneans.

3 Re-integration

The Commission's long-term re-integration programme targets ex-combatants as well as war victims in resettled communities who have benefited considerably on a various committee based programmes outlined below:

(a)    Community Based Programme
(b)    SAPA Programme
(c)    Support to Resettlement and Re-integration Project
(d)    Emergency Recovery Support Fund



Explore and exploit all legitimate avenues to secure sustainable peace and national security in Sierra     Leone. Re-organise, modernise and re-equip our security forces.


Mobilise and efficiently utilise local and international resources to resettle displaced people and refugees and to contribute meaningfully in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of their war-ravaged homes.


Respect and uphold the Rule of Law, human rights and the principles and practice of democracy.

Provide justice for all irrespective of race, religion, political, social and economic background.

Respect and protect the independence, dignity and effectiveness of the judiciary.


Restore honour to the civil service by upgrading standards of operation and renumeration.


Wage a relentless war on corruption and economic indiscipline that have undermined national development.

Device and implement a comprehensive programme aimed at optimising the use of human and material resources in the best interest of the Country.


Promote high agricultural productivity for self-sufficiency, and economic prosperity.


Implement the principles of transparency, accountability and probity in financial affairs.

Review the method of collecting revenue, make judicious use of national resources, and objectively negotiate conditionalities with the IMF, the World Bank and other International Organisations.

Strengthen the Banking system and device policies and programmes to control inflation.

Implement a need oriented, self-reliant, people centred, human development strategy.


Uphold and support the institution of Chieftaincy and local government along democratic lines.


Enhance opportunities for the citizens to effectively participate in the commerce and industrialization of the nation.

Encourage industries to maximise the utilization of local factors of production in preference to imports.


Establish a convenient, safe, reliable, efficient and economic transport system for meaningful national development.


Build on the giant strides already made towards making quality education free at every stratum of the educational system.


Provide efficient, decentralised medical services accessible to all and sundry irrespective of social background.


Work with professionals, foreign governments and NGO's to create a profitable but ecologically sound tourist industry in the Country.


Search for diplomatic and other options to end the on-going rebellion.

Establish and maintain embassies which are cost-effective, with status of accreditation.

Respect and honour international treaties and obligations.


Strengthen the Department of Mines and improve on its international marketing links.

Review the investment policies of the mining sector and seek foreign participation from reputable investors and companies, laying emphasis on the security of Tenure and a win-win situation for all     concerned.

Effectively monitor the diamond mining industry not only to minimise/eradicate smuggling but also enhance the realisation of the benefits of this sector for the generality of Sierra Leoneans.

Harmonize the national programmes and policies on mining and the environment with a view to minimising environmental degradation and ensuring the rehabilitation of affected areas.


Encourage the development of community participation in all aspects of infrastructural development, including urban and rural water supply by wells and gravity systems.


Ensure that power generation is improved to cater for rural areas as well as urban/industrial/mining areas, with a view to operating these facilities on a sustainable basis, while ensuring a fair distribution of electricity to all parts of the country.

Develop and harness hydro schemes aimed at reducing our dependability on oil for electric generation.

Invite NGO's to help us harness as much solar power as possible on a cost effective basis.


Encourage the development of a housing, building construction industry, taking into consideration the role of the public and private sectors, suppliers of building materials, housing, financing insurance and mortgages, buildings and land tenure, building code, and use control.


Develop programmes designed to promote the social and economic status of women, enlarge their legal rights and opportunities for economic development.

Support women empowerment, which will include the setting up of mechanism to guard against the abuse of women and children.

YOUNG GENERATION              

Design special, relevant and viable programmes for the young generation.

Formulate a comprehensive programme for the promotion of sports and encourage participation at all levels in order to create a congenial competitive atmosphere.

1    Electoral fraud
2    Refusal of constitutional rights and protection for political opponents.
3    Elimination of institutional checks and balances.
4    Centralisation and concentration of state power in the office of the President
5    Termination of open party politics by the introduction of the single party system in 1978.
6    Regulation and confinement of political participation within the framework of the recognised Party- the APC.
7    Use of coercive methods to enforce compliances.
8    Recruitment into the Army based on the ticket system and not on merit.
9    Fusion of the Party and national accounts.
10    Promotion of tribal interests over and above the national as exemplified by the Akutay Syndrome. This was buttressed by no less person than the then President and Leader of the APC, Momoh decreed that everyone is at liberty to develop itself along tribal lines.
11    Award of dubious contracts to party members only.
12    The inclusion of the Army and Police in Parliament and Cabinet as far back as 1974.
13    Declaration of an economic state of emergency occasioned by economic mismanagement thereby exposing the military to corruption through manning of economic/financial check points.
14    Declaring the police and the military as self-accounting.
15    Economic marginalisation of areas perceived to be opposed to the APC.
16    Abuse and erosion of the authority of traditional rulers.
War as a political weapon
17    Foday Sankoh chose to launch his war against this nation from the safety of Liberia through the east. Basic common sense will tell you that for a guerrilla war to be sustained in Sierra Leone you need cover offered by the forests in the East and part of the South and a launching pad of relative safety when military withdrawals were needed - Liberia in this instance.

Since the East and South were perceived by the APC as non-conformist to their ideals the war was deliberately kept at bay in those areas as a punishment and a way of decimating the voter population.

The Military regime, NPRC, initially prosecuted the war with vigour and sincerity and therefore temporarily successful. However the APC soldiers in the army broke away and formed an unholy alliance with the rebels to destabilise the Government and the country.

Unfortunately though, the NPRC having tasted the sweet of governance stage-managed the war with the hope of keeping them in power longer.

In addition, Sankoh chose the east and south as the launching pad for economic gains. He did not have the funds to sustain such a war. He cleverly took over those areas - Kono for its diamonds, Kailahun for the agricultural products and Pujehun for diamonds. These areas we all k now are commonly referred to as the bread basket of Sierra Leone. From then on Sankoh had sufficient sources to exchange for lethal weapons needed to kill mother Sierra Leone. It is obviously clear that it is juvenile and expensively ridiculous on the part of anyone to link SLPP to the RUF. If that was true the RUF would have easily turned over the country to the SLPP when we democratically took the reigns of power in 1996. Instead they joined the soldiers to over throw us in 1997. In addition, if the war was our war, why didn't we form an alliance with the RUF or further still merge to contest the 2002 General Elections. Instead the RUF and APC were visibly seen frolicking together during 1997 AFRC/RUF, regime, and during and after 2002 General Elections.

Certain members of the APC served diligently without coercion in the AFRC/RUF junta, and helped in the persecution of SLPP supporters and democratic forces like the media. Paradoxically, an APC Member of Parliament who was obviously part and parcel of the democratic process that was overthrown sought and got appointment as Executive Chairman of a sensitive parastatal. He use the monies belonging to the people of this nation to fund the junta and his personal desires.
At this juncture, I will like to state here without hesitation that uptil now there is no known genuine SLPP Member who took any position in RUF Junta Regime.

Mr Chairman, Commissioners of TRC, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, if I may ask, who then is an RUF Collaborator/Member? The APC or SLPP. The answer is elementary - the APC.

18    The undertaking of White Elephant projects either to gain cheap political popularity and/or for personal aggrandisement.  Two such example were the green revolution of the APC where huge sums of money were diverted into pockets, luxury vehicles and other luxuries were paid for while the nation was waiting for the so-called harvest.

The other was the hosting of the OAU Conference in 1980.  The economic burden were so unbearable that Sierra Leone's fragile economy completely collapsed. Inflation ate the social economic foundation in the homes and the country at large thereby disturbing peaceful co-existence; the value of the Leone plummeted out of orbit and it is only now that we have managed to bring it into the market economy orbit.


1    One of the major causes of the rebel war was greed, hatred and jealousy of the success of others.

2    Furthermore, people refused to play their roles according to their actual potential. Soldiers catapulted themselves into prominent leadership positions knowing fully well that they were ill-equipped to perform such roles. Corporals and Sergeants wanted to become Heads of State. In short, the unbridled ambition of soldiers and the never-do-wells ignited the rebel war.

3    The APC policy dismantling not only the local government structures but also of interfering with Chieftaincy even at the village level was another cause of the war. This obviously eroded the authority of traditional rulers and culture creating indiscipline and lawlessness.

4    Concentration of political power in the hands of members of one ethnic group was another cause of the war.    J S Momoh was the President of Sierra Leone, Bambay Kamara was the Inspector-General, the Speaker of Parliament, Mr William Conteh etc were of one ethnic group.

5    The explicit and incontrovertible public pronouncement by J S Momoh that he had failed the nation was also a cause of the war.  From that moment the people lost confidence in him, yet he tenaciously held on to power against the wishes of the people.

6    Unbridled corruption coupled with unbearable economic hardship dwindling standard of living of the people was another cause of the war. Mass unemployment was the order of the day providing a comfortable breeding ground for potential recruits into the rebel outfit.


1    Since the current 1991 constitution was made by and for the APC, we recommend that the Constitutional Review Committee made public its findings as soon as practicable.

2       That Local Government elections be held on partisan basis as dictated by the tenets of multi-party democracy. This will also enhance participatory democracy at the grassroots levels.

3    That the forthcoming general elections and subsequent elections be conducted on constituency basis in conformity with the dictates of the national constitution.

4    In that respect, it is further recommended that constituency boundaries be re-demarcated to eliminate the anomalies associated with the APC gerrymandering and to also reflect the current demographic picture.

5    That political contest and regime change be strictly limited to the ballot box. In this regard, all intensive civic education campaign should be launched to sensitise the masses, particularly the young generation, on the need to sustain democracy. Peace studies should also be incorporated into the school curriculum. The military should also be made aware of the fact that the basic tenet of democracy is the subordination of the military to civilian control.

6    That Government should implement without delay the President's policy to solve the youth problem taking on board the fact that youth are in the majority who have been used by the APC, RUF/AFRC to wreak havoc upon this nation and consequently suffered as well.


All Peoples Congress (APC) Party - Submission to the TRC


The All Peoples Congress (APC) Party hereby acknowledges receipt of your letter dated 29th November 2002 requesting it to make submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

(b) The APC considers this an opportunity to present its side of the story relative to the causes of the war which has devastated the country.

(c) The people of Sierra Leone, with the full support of the International Community have won this war. It has not been won by any one man or woman, or by one party or by one tribe or by any particular group of persons.

(d) The APC made significant contributions in ensuring the present Peace. We supported government when me saw it fit to do so and in this regard, our Parliamentary representatives voted with government to make the Lome Peace Accord become an Act of Parliament. Our initiative and full cooperation in introducing the 1991 Constitution (Act No. 6 of 1991), our subsequent participation in both the 1996 and 2002 General Elections also helped in sustaining the current multi party democratic dispensation. Our acceptance of the outcome of both the 1996 and in particular the flawed May 2002 elections is the foundation of the current peace exercise.

(e) The people of Sierra Leone have achieved victory in war. Now the people want prosperity in peace. We have learnt an instructive lesson as a nation that peace is not an abstract thing. To be real, it must be won and it must be worked for.

(f)  As we have experienced from the failed Abidjan and Conakry and Lome Accords, Peace Accords do not necessarily guarantee lasting peace.

It is the socio-economic policies and political will which follow the cessation of hostilities that determine the sustainability of peace.

(g) The APC is desirous of sustainable peace and welcomes the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a conflict resolution mechanism and an instrument for creating an objective historical record.

(h) The APC is convinced that without freedom and justice there can be no peace. The TRC would therefore be required to objectively address the deprivation of both justice and freedom from the depressed people of this country and recommend appropriate measures to prevent any future occurrences.

(i)  The people of Sierra Leone deserve and must be assured of a happier future. This must be done quickly and in time to prevent their hopes and aspirations being replaced once again by disaffection and apathy. The APC regards this as a sacred mission.

(j)  The APC further hopes that the issues presented to the TRC will not engender TRIBAL, RELIGIOUS OR REGIONAL CONFLICT, but issues that will permanently enhance our NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY.

To this end, we hereby submit the position of the APC to the T.RC as our party's contribution towards unveiling the TRUTH as an ingredient for National Reconciliation.


(a) The APC was founded in the wake of Sierra Leone's Independence struggle, and was officially declared a political party on the 17,h October 1960. This was in response to the clarion call by democrats to address injustices emanating from the poor colonial dictatorial form of governance that the British were bequeathing to the SLPP in the wake of the wind of change in Africa. A populist grassroots democratic political party, the APC was formed to address the needs of the poor, deprived, abused, underprivileged, depressed and marginalized within the elitist and undemocratic SLPP setup. In addition, there was a demand for "ELECTIONS BEFORE INDEPENDENCE" as was the case in other former British Colonies. Elections are the best form of eliciting the participation or concurrence of the electorate. This demand to involve the masses of the people was flatly rejected by the SLPP Government, hence the formation of the "ELECTIONS BEFORE INDEPENDENCE  MOVENIENINT" which later metamorphosed into the APC.

(b) The history of the APC in office is one that is chequered with coups and attempted coups instigated by some SLPP big guns. On the very first day the APC won the 1967 Elections, the late Brigadier David Lansana ordered Lt Hinga Norman (now Minister of Internal Affairs and Co-ordinator of the SLPP Kamajor Militia) to arrest the Governor-General (Head of State), the newly sworn-in APC Prime Minister, Siaka Stevens, and other APC stalwarts at gunpoint, and declared Martial Law. That treasonable action was the genesis of military coups and political instability in our country. We in the APC will always remember that horrible incident and for which we hold the SLPP responsible as the original cause of the continued political instability in Sierra Leone. Because the SLPP refused to bow to the democratic wishes of the people expressed through the ballot box in 1967, free and peaceful elections and consequent peaceful change of government has not been the norm in our country for a long time.

(c) To blame the APC for the devastating war that ruined almost every infrastructure which our Party in government constructed, is not only unfair, but glaringly shows a lack of knowledge of the source of our country's instability. Since the APC was returned to power after the SLPP led Military interregnum in 1968, the ever present threat to remove the party from office by force of arms, forced successive APC governments into a self-defense and state defense posture. In the process, internal security and stability assumed a very prominent place on government agenda thus slowing down the full impact of our development strategies. Even so, the APC is proud to present to this nation significant achievements in nation building, a reality which even our political opponents will acknowledge.

(d) In spite of this stark reality, those opponents have continued to engage in an intensive smear campaign of vilification, mudslinging, misinformation and downright lying against the APC. This evil propaganda gained prominence during and after the Strasser Coup d'etat of April 1992 and the devastating 11-year-old war. Eleven years thence, there is still no discernable national development in the country. We in the APC proudly look back and affirm that the only significant infrastructural development in Sierra Leone since Independence was provided by our party in government.


The SLPP was the first party in governance following the attainment of independence in 1961. The SLPP was therefore given the opportunity to manage and nurture the new multi-party democratic experiment of the young state. Unfortunately, some of their policies led to most of the problems our country is experiencing today.

The APC is a party formed to put an end to the autocratic rule which the SLPP was wont to continue after independence. The Party, which was initially a movement advocating elections before independence clearly shows its democratic credentials. The Party demanded the participation of the people of the country in determining the type of independence they would prefer. They, wanted for their country an independence without strings attached. The participation of the people in decision-making could only be by election or referendum. The demand for election was denied our party and on the eve of independence, the SLPP under Sir Milton Margai accused our leaders of treason and detained the senior leadership of the APC at Pademba Road Prison. Those detained included - Siaka Stevens - the Party Leader, I. T. A. Wallace Johnson, S. I. Koroma, C. A. KamaraTaylor, S. A. T. Koroma, Ibrahim Ortole Kargbo and many others. They were only released after Independence without charge. Thereafter, obnoxious legislations such as the Public Order Act of 1965 were promulgated.

The APC participated in the first post-independence general Elections in 1962. The SLPP used the advantage of incumbency and converted otherwise contestable Parliamentary seats to the SLPP. This happened even before the elections were conducted. This action of "Unopposed Seats" deprived the APC opposition the chance of a free and democratic contest in those constituencies that had been declared unopposed. At this point vices such as tribalism, nepotism and electoral violence reared their ugly heads. Non-Mende tribes resident in the South and East became victims of SLPP harassment and intimidation and in some cases, naked violence for supporting the APC. This trend characterized subsequent elections up to the controversial 2002 General Elections. The APC together with its ally - the Sierra Leone Independence Movement (SLIM) won 20 seats out of 66 seats in the 1962 general elections. Our Party then accepted the outcome of the election in spite of the massive electoral anomalies.

It is particularly important to acquaint the TRC and the public of abuses of power perpetuated by the SLPP before, during and after the 1967 General Elections. The All Peoples Congress (APC) Party won 32 seats, the SLPP 28 and the Independent Candidates 4 seats. The handpicked SLPP Electoral Commission shamelessly and recklessly concocted the results and announced APC 32 seats, SLPP 32 seats.

This created a lot of confusion and uncertainty.

The Paramount Chiefs Parliamentary results, which were still trickling in were tampered with. The Electoral Commission, in contravention of the law and established convention, announced that all the twelve Chiefs had declared for the SLPP. In fact the Chiefs were a separate class of MPs expected to support the Party which wins the Majority of ordinary member seats. The Governor, who represented the Queen of England, had the authority to appoint as Prime Minister the person who appeared to command the support of the Majority of MPs. Those Paramount Chief Elections results contrary to law were being announced as favouring the SLPP even though it was no longer a secret to the populace that the APC had clearly won the elections. As has been said, the Chiefs in Parliament were expected to support the winning party.

In the face of such blatant display of naivety, callousness, corruption and disregard for the wishes of the electorate, a smooth transfer of power from the SLPP losers to the APC winners through the democratic process became impossible. A gun-toting Lt. Hinga Norman then ADC to the Governor General (now Minister of Internal Affairs and head of the proSLPP Kamajor Militia) arrested the newly sworn-in APC Prime Minister Siaka Stevens and some of his new cabinet Ministers in addition to the Governor General who was representing Her Majesty the Queen of England. Those arrests were at the instance of the then Head of the Military, Brigadier David Lansana himself an SLPP stooge.

It was therefore the SLPP that introduced the soldiers and their coupist ambitions into the politics of our country. When a ruling party uses foul means to hang on to power against the popular wishes of the electorate like the SLPP did in 1967, there can hardly be national concord and reconciliation or the inculcation of a culture of democratic change. The 1967 elections were conducted on the foundation of gross electoral malpractices on the part of the then ruling SLPP. The Justice Dove Edwin Commission of Enquiry into the conduct of the 1967 General Elections clearly documented the fraudulent and flawed nature of the said General Election.

When the APC was returned to power in April 1968, the twice-appointed Prime Minister the late Dr. Siaka Stevens undertook a national reconciliation move by appointing a National Government which included the SLPP and the Independent Candidates as follows:
APC    -    8 Ministers
SLPP    -    4 Ministers
Independents     -    2 Ministers


Siaka Stevens was the founder and first Leader of the All Peoples Congress Party and he remained Leader until he retired in 1985. He led the Party in the first post-independence General Elections in 1962. The APC won 16 seats, its ally the Sierra Leone Independence Movement (SLIM) won 4 seats and the SLPP 46 seats. Siaka Stevens served as the Opposition Leader until the 1967 Elections, which he won and was appointed Prime Minister. Earlier, Siaka Stevens had been elected Mayor of the Municipality of Freetown when the APC won that City Council Elections in 1964.

As has been noted, the victory of the opposition APC under Siaka Stevens was abruptly ended when an SLPP instigated coup d'etat under the Force Commander Brigadier David Lansana aborted the democratic experiment. The newly sworn-in Prime Minister Siaka Stevens was arrested on 22nd March 1967 on the very day he was appointed. Thirteen months later, in April 1968, Siaka Stevens was re-appointed Prime Minister.

There has been a lot of condemnation of therule of Siaka Stevens spanning the period 1968 to 1985. The APC hereby presents an assessment of his reign in the light of the socioeconomic and political conditions of his time.

• He formed the first opposition Party in Sub-Saharan Africa which unseated an incumbent government in 1967 through the ballot box.
• He formed a government of National Reconciliation in 1968, a year after he was deprived of power giving 4 Cabinet Posts to the SLPP and 2 to Independent Candidates as against 8 seats for his Party.
In the opinion of majority of Sierra Leoneans, Siaka Stevens stabilized our country in the period between 1968 and 1985.

This was the era in West African history when military coups were the order of the day. The 17 years following the fall of Juxon Smith's Military Regime in 1968 saw much stability, development and forward and upward social mobility that no other period in post-independent history of Sierra Leone had recorded. This was the era during which most of the post-independence infrastructural development took place. Roads replaced bush paths, bridges replaced ferries, social services such as Health Care delivery and education, communication and awareness expanded and spread to many parts of the country.
These achievements by Siaka Stevens were neither by accident nor were they by good fortune. On he contrary, they were the results of deliberate policy, prudent calculations, wise counsel and good knowledge of the people and politics of Sierra Leone. These developments are a living testimony to his vision and include, but are not limited to, the under listed:

(a)The Youyi Building
(b)Police Headquarters
(c)Military Headquarters
(d)Aberdeen Bridge
(e)Hill Court Road Bridge
(f)Juba Bridge
(g)The Mange and Kambia bridges
(h)The Masiaka - Bo Road
(i)The Makeni - Kono Road
(j)The Makeni-Kabala Road
(k)The Makeni - Lunsar Roads
(l)Bo - Kenema Road Freetown -
(m)Masiaka Road

Furthermore, Siaka Stevens succeeded in binding and holding the country together clearly using among other things the following combination of techniques:

i. He endeavoured to maintain his image above tribal sentiments by downplaying his own tribal origin.
ii. He brought together as many of the dissenting groups as possible and deployed them at all levels of governance and administration. In short, he instituted a national unity government with a heavy South/Eastern presence through the introduction of a One Party State.
iii. He fostered broad based participation by all tribes in all spheres of social, economic and political endeavours with across-the-board ethnic involvement.
iv. He gave special prominence to the Southern and Eastern ethnic groups in his administration.

Siaka Stevens ensured Military and Police representation in Parliament and Cabinet to ensure their participation in government and cooperation of those vital security institutions.

This had an assuaging effect on their members and for a long time national security and stability were maintained.

By the end of both the administrations of Siaka Stevens and J. S. Momoh, a total of more than 69 senior cabinet posts had been manned by South-Easterners as against a combined total of 40 senior cabinet positions for their Northern counterparts.


Between 1961 and 1978 Sierra Leone had a multi-party system of government. This period covered the reigns of both Sir Milton Margai and Albert Mlargai (1961 - 1967) and Siaka Stevens from 1968 - 1978.

An attempt to introduce a one party system of governance was made by Sir Albert Margai when he introduced a Bill in Parliament in December 1965.

The people of Sierra Leone were ill prepared for this type of government under Sir Albert. The socio-political situation of the country then did not favour a one-party system of government.

The strong-arm tactics and the unguided outbursts of Sir Albert Margai were frowned upon. His arrest of several Senior Army Officers of Northern and Western Area orientation and replacing them with his South-Eastern tribesmen did not go down well.

Sir Albert Margai's maneuvers to introduce the one-party system of government were vehemently opposed by the APC on grounds that he was not trusted at that time.

Sir Albert's enthusiasm was dampened by the decisive defeat of he SLPP in the local District Council Elections held in May 1966. The APC contested 95 seats in the Northern Province and won 72. Earlier in the Freetown City Council elections, the APC won a decisive victory thus unseating the SLPP administration in the Municipality. Siaka Stevens, leader of the APC Opposition in Parliament, was elected as Mayor of Freetown.

When the 1967 Elections were decisively won by the APC, The SLPP instigated the Army to intervene. Since then the Military's ambition to interfere in state governance has been unbridled. A junior officers' coup ousted the NRC Junta of Juxon Smith in196S and Siaka Stevens who had won the 1967 General Elections became Prime Minister. His government contended with several coup attempts as tribal and regional cleavages became exacerbated as a result of the failure of the SLPP to accept democratic change. During the 1973 elections, unprecedented violence was unleashed by the SLPP in the South and East in an attempt to rig the elections. However, the results showed that the APC had a commanding lead in the whole country. After those elections, Siaka Stevens embarked on a national pacification drive to reduce tension in state governance. Much needed development funds were diverted to state security and the maintenance of law and order.

Meanwhile, the APC leadership had appealed to a cross-section of its membership from the Chiefdoms to the District up to the Regional and National levels to open up and accept people from other parties. Thus, the Party was circumspect enough not to force the one party system on the people. The Party leadership refrained from any action likely to give an indication that it intended introducing the one-party system arbitrarily. Eventually, the one-party system became a household topic. Paramount Chiefs and Chiefdom elders particularly from SLPP strongholds in the South and East came to Freetown on delegations requesting the APC government to introduce a one-party system of government. Many prominent SLPP members saw the APC government's all-inclusive and pragmatic approach to state governance as encouraging and voluntarily transferred their allegiance to the APC.

From the above, it became clear that the country needed unity and concord to address the problem of divisiveness at all levels - tribal, regional and religious. The country needed good roads, clean water supply, food, health facilities, etc and only the combined efforts of Sierra Leoneans could provide those services. The country was in a state of economic emergency, health emergency and in short, development emergency. So in May 1978, in response to the national call for a one-party system of governance, a National Referendum was conducted which overwhelmingly endorsed the system.

As has been mentioned in another section of this submission, the country benefited tremendously from the peace and stability which followed the introduction of the one-party governance. Infact, the change from the oneparty to multi-party significantly weakened the state governance apparatus. The country could have better addressed the rebel war if the plethora of political parties had not emerged to vie for power even if it meant destroying the country. The RUF would not have been able to receive support from some sections of the civilian population in the country under the oneparty rule. Opposition parties such as the SLPP and some newly approved parties in 1991 were believed to have given tacit support to the rebels and even encouraged the success of the military coup that toppled the APC, in April 1992..

Most of the major infra-structural development that took place in Sierra Leone occurred during the period of one-party rule. No one can deny the fact that all political talents were integrated in the one-party and every section or tribe contributed to what happened under the system. Political energy was channeled away from tribalism and sectionalism while national development and peace reigned until the reintroduction of multi-partism in 1991.


President Siaka Stevens was succeeded by Major General Joseph Saidu Momoh as Head of State in October 1985. In the view of the APC, the spate of attempted military coups had in the past hampered national development and created instability in the country. The choice of the Head of the Army as the new Head of State was intended to obviate the grim prospect of the Army usurping power. Consequently, Momoh received overwhelming endorsement at the General Elections in October 1985.

President Momoh ushered in the New Order of Change which many people misunderstood at the time. As soon as his New Order government came into force Momoh initiated political and economic changes. In preference to the IMF Monitored Structural Adjustment Programme, Momoh distanced himself and his government from business tycoon Jami1 Sahid Mohamed, thus removing that tycoon's stranglehold on the economy. Not many African leaders in his era were brave enough like Momoh to introduce IMF programmes.

Momoh was very honest to tell the population after one year in power that his plea for them to - give him their total support having failed, he was unable to remove the country from the economic quagmire he had found it in. He said he would be moving on to accepting the bitter taste of the IMF conditionalities. This statement was quoted out of context by his detractors who said Momoh told the nation that he had failed. The APC submits that Ex-President Momoh has tremendous respect for education and educated people. He had many highly educated people in his cabinet up to the time of his overthrow. At a meeting with Senior Members of the Academic Staff at Njala, he wanted to know the college's capacity in terms of accommodation for students. Momoh was told that thousands of students normally fulfill the academic entry requirements but only a few hundred could be accepted annually because of the limited space. So in addressing students of the college he said those lucky to gain acceptance in that college should count themselves fortunate and privileged since thousands of their kith and kin could not make it. This statement was also quoted out of context. Today, when the SLPP talks about education, they simply say APC said education was a privilege. This is why Sierra Leone is where we are today because of this type of dishonest presentation of people's views.

President Momoh took the bold steps of inviting the IMF and opening up the political process by introducing the 1991 Multi-Party Constitution within a free market economy.

It was not easy for Momoh to reintroduce multiparty democracy and accept the IMF conditionalities. Even Momoh's critics would agree that it takes courage and determination for a leader to undertake economic and political reforms simultaneously. Removing subsidies on fuel, rice and other essential commodities under the IMF Structural Adjustment Programme though courageous, is always at the peril of the government of the day and particularly its leader. Additionally, making the political adjustment from a one-party to multi-party is equally fraught with political land mines inimical to the government of the day and its leader.

Like Gorbachov and his policy of "Glasnosts" and "Perestroika" which dismantled the oneparty system in the USSR, President Momoh introduced the 1991 multi-party democratic Constitution (Act No 6 of 1991) which ended 13 years of one-party rule (1978 -1991). Indeed like Gorbachov, Momoh himself was over-whelmed by those changes and he subsequently became the sacrificial lamb on the altar of both the political and economic reforms he initiated and implemented. Nevertheless those reforms opened up the economy only to be plundered by a youthful, ruthless, corrupt and illegal Military Junta, the NPRC and their sponsors and collaborators, the SLPP.

Precedent to ushering in the 1991 Constitution, Momoh demonstrated a good spirit of National Reconciliation through the rehabilitation of a number of SLPP big guns who had been in selfexile for decades. Beneficiaries of this conciliatory gesture included President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah who was invited home and given back his houses and properties confiscated by the Military junta that took over from the SLPP in 1967.

The question of confiscated properties by Military Juntas in 1967 and 1992 are addressed under a separate heading. But it is relevant and important to note here the fact that even though President Kabbah was in a position to advise against the NPRC seizures in his capacity as the Chairman of the said junta National Advisory Committee, Tejan Kabbah advised the junta to strip his benefactor J.S. Momoh of all his titles, and confiscated his properties and his Military pension. Kabbah had the opportunity to rescind the junta's unconstitutional decisions relating to most of the seizures when he came to power in 1996. As a lawyer, Kabbah knew that the NPRC White Papers on the seizures were mostly at variance with recommendations by the Commissions. Those who were adversely affected were not granted permission to appeal.

When habbah attempted reconciliation, he brought in a West Indian lawyer Justice Cross. Under undue political pressure, Justice Cross left Sierra Leone without completing his job and his conclusions were selective and smacked of vengeance. For example, General Tarawalie who had served as a Commissioner on the BeokuBetts Commission of Enquiry in 1967 that recommended sanctions against Kabbah was singled out for punishment. He did not only lose his properties wrongfully confiscated by the NPRC, Kabbah's white paper on the Justice Cross Commission also deprived him of a building which was not a subject of the NPRC Commission of Enquiry. This is just plain politics of vengence.

In the case of Momoh, President Kabbah ensured that he was deprived of his retirement benefits as President to ensure that he did not pose any threat to him. The sad thing about the Momoh affair was that invitation given to him by President Kabbah to return home was done in bad faith. In 1996, Momoh's wife died in exile in Guinea. When he came to Sierra Leone to bury his wife, he received an enthusiastic welcome from the populace. This did not go down well with Kabbah.

The Cross Commission which was wrongly called National Commission for Reconciliation and Unity was woefully manipulated to the extent that even the NPRC recommendations and decisions were milder than the Cross Commission towards Momoh. That Kabbah orchestrated commission deprived Momoh of everything he had worked for. He came home after Kabbah lured him home to face huge embarrassment at all levels.

The terms of his return home, as clearly stipulated on paper by Kabbah included:

i.    Provision of a house
ii.    A monthly remuneration of Le900,000.
iii.    Provision of security
iv.    Prepaid domestic staff /servants
v.    Office and a secretary
vi.    Monthly allowance of Le250,000 for his wife.

After Momoh returned home on February 22, 1997 those promises ceased to mean anything. The government permitted him to reside in his house, which was in an advanced state of disrepair, with the proviso that the house was government property. In fact it was the APC that undertook the repairs of the house before Momoh occupied it in 1997.

An orchestrated Radio phone-in programme was arranged in which a paid radio audience used unprintable and vitriolic language against a former president. This unsavouiy situation elicited no intervention from the government. In the end, Kabbah told Momoh he could not pay the Le900,000 and the other perquisites promised since students and the radio audience had protested against government paying such benefits. Momoh should be granted the opportunity by the TRC to explain the treatment meted out to him on his return at the explicit invitation of President Kabbah.

As we talk about Truth and Reconciliation we must listen and go beyond the verbal pronouncements of the SLPP leadership which are insincere and only intended to placate the domestic public and the international community. In actual fact, no serious effort has ever been made by the SLPP to encourage genuine national reconciliation. Rehabilitating a former Constitutionally elected president like Momoh would have gone a long way towards bringing national unity and reconciliation. Momoh is today destitute in Guinea deprived of all what he had worked for including his properties and even his Military and Presidential retirement benefits.

Momoh has appealed to the Appeal Court but nothing has yet been done.


Following the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, in the wake of Gorbachev's far reaching policy of "glasnost" which resulted in the break up of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, monolithic Party institutions in many African countries broke up. A wind of change ushered in a new era of Democracy, and just as the APC of the seventies succumbed to the fashionable idea of One-Party, so again did it without pressure, respond to the democratic wind of change by re introducing a Multi-Party Constitution in 1991. By this Constitution, the One-Party system of Government first proposed by the SLPP under Sir Albert Margai and later put into effect by Siaka Stevens through extensive consultations among existing political Parties including the SLPP, formerly came to an end.

Opinions will continue to differ in the unending debate regarding the negative and positive effects on society of the two systems of one Party and multi-Party in the Governance of Sierra Leone. In the context of that debate, the APC submits that the change from One-Party to Multi-Party led to intractable weaknesses in State Governance. Those weaknesses to a large measure fuelled the rebel war from its very beginning and eventually led to the overthrow of the Momoh Government by the NPRC Junta.

In the view of the APC, it would have been highly unlikely that under One-Party rule the RUF would have received succour from the civilian population of the Southern and Eastern regions where the rebels first struck. The truth is that both the RUF rebels and hard core SLPP elements took advantage of the dispensation provided by the 1991 Constitution to whip up support for rebel activities from within the civilian population of the East and South of the country. It is also true that as the rebel war raged, the common objective of both the SLPP and the RUF to overthrow the APC Government became inseparable and had to be achieved by all means, foul and violent.

Thus, in the view of the APC, although the reintroduction of Multi-Party Democracy may have given Sierra Leone a new image of acceptability in the eyes of the Western countries advocating democratic systems and practices, it is incontrovertible that the change to multi-party gave rise to serious political cleavages that impacted negatively on our politically uneducated society. The splits into groups of many Political Parties with ill defined agendas and goals prevented the formulation and pursuance of a cohesive national policy needed to initially counter the menace of the marauding RUF rebels when they first struck. Many political parties including the SLPP saw the RUF rebel incursion as an opportunity to gain power once the APC lost it.

A major challenge of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission therefore is to unravel the inexorable Truth about who really started the war and why. Was Foday Sankoh's RUF acting alone from beginning to end of the war? Pin pointing responsibility for starting the war and the reasons for it, is a major challenge to the TRC.
APC's record of bad Governance has often been cited as a reason for the war. However, the nature and conduct of the rebel war, from its very beginning to end, belies that claim. If the RUF objective was the removal of the APC for whatever reason, why did the war continue and increase in its intensity long after the APC Government was removed in 1992? Why were all parts of the country affected especially after the SLPP was voted in Government in 1996? Surely, the unrestrained spread of the war did not happen because of dislike of the APC by the people of Sierra Leone. The spread of the war was deliberately orchestrated by the SLPP to ensure that the Northern part of the country which is the support base of the APC is destroyed.


Among the many monumental APC infrastructural development are the following:

(a) All the country's good roads and two lane bridges
(b) The National Stadium, Youyi Building, the Police and Military Headquarters, the Kennedy Building, Students Hostels and the Mary Kingsley Auditorium all at FBC.
(c) The Bo, Bumbuna, the Makeni, the Port Loko and Milton Margai Teachers Colleges
(d) The Bo - Kenema power service. The Dodo Hydro Electricity and the BoDanida Thermal Electricity
(e) The Magbass Sugar Factory and several IDA Agricultural Projects in the hinterland
(f) Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), the Law School, the Medical School, the School of Hygiene and the Para-Medical school in Bo.
(g) The Cost Recovery Medical Drugs Programme
(h) The construction of Low Cost Housing
(i)  The expansion and construction works of Military Barracks in Bo, Benguima, Jui, Lungi, Makeni and Goderich.
(j)  Extension and dredging of the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, extension of Lungi Airport to international standard
(k) The modernization of SIEIRR.ATEL and the provision of Earth Satellite Station.
(l) The construction of OAU village
(m) The building, extension and refurbishing of Mammy Yoko, Bintumani, Cape Sierra and Brookfeilds Hotels
(n) The creation of Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA)
(o) The construction of schools and health care centres all over the country.
(p) The establishment of the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC)
(q) The Mano River Union and the Mano River Bridge linking Sierra Leone and Liberia.
(r) Commencement of the Bumbuna Hydro - Electric Project

The above examples show glaringly that the APC left its indelible marks on the development map of Sierra Leone. Since the overthrow of the APC by the NPRC military junta in 1992, the country has been sliding backwards and the situation has been exacerbated by the uncaring SLPP Leadership of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. The APC submits that there was no need for a rebel war in view of the stability, security, peace and development our party was giving to Sierra Leone. We further submit that the ballot box is the proper medium for change of government.


In apportioning blame for the causes of the war, it has been fashionable for the opponents of the APC to falsely put it at the doorsteps of our Party. They say the war started because of bad governance under the APC. This, in our view, is a simplistic and escapist attempt on the part of our detractors to distort the true causes of the war. On the contrary, it has to do to a great extent with the inability of the SLPP to peacefully accept change through the democratic process. One has to look far beyond the APC Administration to have an objective assessment of the causes of the war.

The RUF war is the worst tragedy that has befallen our country. Cpl Foday Sankoh and his cohorts including power hungry politicians in the SLPP took up arms to remove the APC government from power. When they struck and wherever they went, the RUF marauders danced with palm leaves, the symbol of the SLPP. It is an undisputed fact that the SLPP supporters in the South and East warmly embraced the RUF fighters. Soldiers of the Sierra Leone Army suffered great loss of life and limbs as they were wrongly labeled as "Momoh's sojas". While the APC vehemently resisted the RUF incursion and denounced their horrible atrocities and abuses of human rights, the SLPP was dining and dancing with them. The SLPP saw the RUF as an extension of the infamous "Ndorgborwusoi" war of the early 1980s during President Siaka Steven's reign. The RUF fighters in the initial stages of the war included foreign mercenaries thus underlining its international dimension. Foday Sankoh who had earlier been imprisoned for treasonable offences was bent on revenge against the APC. He thus became an easy tool to be manipulated by the SLPP and the international mercenaries who invaded Sierra Leone.

In the end, the RUF menace rapidly escalated throughout Sierra Leone and became a national tragedy. In the wake of the mayhem the entire country became devastated. Large numbers of innocent people were maimed or amputated. In addition social set-vices such as education and health delivery efforts were adversely affected as the economy totally collapsed.

It is relevant to draw the attention of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to the role of external forces in encouraging rebel wars in West Africa.

The 1960s and 1970s were characterized by military coups in the sub-region. The use of rebels to overthrow governments took center stage in the 1980s and the 1990s with disastrous consequences for the affected countries. Libya became a training ground for West African dissidents. Foday Sankoh, and others were amongst the core group of RUF dissidents who received military training and ideological indoctrination in Libya to stir up insurgency in Sierra Leone. The foundation of our rebel war was therefore laid outside Sierra Leone and it was only a matter of time for our country to experience the bitter taste of rebellion.

Foday Sankoh and his RUF rebels used Liberia as a launching pad to attack Sierra Leone.

The war could not have been started in Guinea since that country's Regime opposed it. At the same time, the pro-APC residents bordering the Northern Frontier of Sierra Leone and Guinea would not have welcomed the insurgents. Liberia was therefore the best conduit through which the war against the people of Sierra Leone could be launched. That is where the SLPP had its strongholds.

The NPFL rebellion against President Doe attracted the attention of the sub-regional ECOWAS group which eventually formed the Economic Community of West Africa Monitoring Group (ECOMOG). Sierra Leone became the main take-off base for the ECOMOG forces and it was not surprising that Charles Taylor quickly used this as an excuse to support a rebellion against Sierra Leone. ECOMOG jet bombers took off from Lungi to bomb NPFL targets in Liberia.

When Foday Sanhoh announced the start of his rebellion and said it was intended to overthrow the legitimate government of Sierra Leone, the West African Heads of States should have been prepared to use ECOMOG to support and defend the country against the insurgents.

But countries like Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast had actively supported the rebel activities by either directly sending troops to fight on the side of rebels or providing safe havens for them. It was no secrete that Burkinabe soldiers actively fought on the side of the NPFL of Liberia and the RUF of Sierra Leone. Ivory Coast became the training base for RUF insurgents at a place called Danane. There was therefore no early ECOMOG intervention in Sierra Leone.

The APC in governance distanced itself from the Libyan regime by refusing to use the principles contained in the Green Book of Col Ghadaffi. For this reason the Libyan Leader encouraged dissidents from Sierra Leone to destabilize the country.

It is therefore not surprising that Libya went all out to support Foday Sankoh in his war effort against the APC government. These were the external forces at play in Sierra Leone at the time immediately before the war. It is therefore unfair and totally unacceptable to assert that the rebel war was solely caused by internal misrule. Whilst the APC accepts that mistakes were made during the period of our governance of the country, we maintain that international conspirators played a decisive role in fueling the war and destroying our country.

Our diamond resources helped the rebels and their external supporters to prolong the war and thus the suffering of our people.

The TRC might find it useful to investigate the role blood diamonds played in the Sierra Leone rebel war.

Under APC governance, tribalism and its negative consequences virtually disappeared. The leadership of the Party initiated and developed a deliberate policy of bringing together all the tribes under the national banner. Before this, each tribe considered itself as a distinct group prepared to defend and protect the parochial interest of its membership.

Unfortunately, tribalism again reared its ugly head in 1991 when the RUF rebels declared war on the people of Sierra Leone. They received support from the South / Eastern tribesmen who swelled the ranks of the RUF.  The fact that Foday Sankoh, a Temne, was the Leader of the RUF did not in any way affect the large South/Eeastern composition of the movement. He was a stooge in the hands of the SLPP who used him to "remove hot chestnuts from the fire". The senior cadre of the RUF and the rank and file, were predominantly South/Eastern SLPP supporters and sympathizers.

The truth of the matter is that the rebel war became an expression of the SLPP tribalism with the initial support for the rebels coming from the pro SLPP support base in the South and Eastern Provinces.


On the 29th of April 1992 a group of renegade soldiers left the war front and abandoned their constitutional role of defending the country from the marauding RUF rebels and violently overthrew the legitimate government of Sierra Leone

Reference has been made to close sanguinary ties between the SLPP and majority of RUF fighters hailing from the Mende ethnic group. The RUF was formed to topple the APC government from power and they received support of the SLPP. When elements of the RUF and the foreign mercenaries entered Sierra Leone on 23rd March 1991, they carried palm leaves, the symbol of the SLPP.

Many people dishonestly tried to justify the war by advancing reasons ranging from the non provision of logistics to prosecute the war to corruption of the APC government. The above assertions are erroneous as the APC government robustly resisted the rebel incursion by providing adequate arms other logistical support including increased food rations for the fighting men. By the time of the NPRC coup the rebels had been pushed to a small portion along the Liberian border in the Kailahun District. The NPRC military junta cannot use the lack of logistics as a plausible reason for abandoning their traditional role of protecting the people of Sierra Leone and turning their guns against the legitimate government. Furthermore in an effort to minimize corruption the APC government had by 1991 completed the implementation of political and economic reforms.

Sierra Leone had been given a clean bill of  health in August 1991. The IMF and World Bank agreed to provide Sierra Leone between $40 million and $50 million to help pay for essential imports. The European Community agreed to provide similar sum and other donors were prepared to follow suit.

The party initiated economic and political reforms which led to the government securing an IMF Rights Accumulation Programme (RAP). Under this program the requirement for a country to make capital payments to the IMF was suspended. Having successfully put in place the required economic reforms the APC government was granted the right to accumulate amounts under a Structural Adjustment Facility (SAF). By February 1992 the World Bank had funded the importation of essential goods including petroleum and petroleum products. Money had also been made available for the rehabilitation of the Kingtom Power Station. These were all as a result of prudent economic policy initiated by the APC Government under President Momoh.
In 1991 the APC promulgated the multi-party Constitution which had been endorsed in a nationwide referendum thus ending thirteen years of one party governance. With the introduction of the multi-party system of government elections were slated for October 1992. In response to this the following political parties emerged:

(a)    Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP)
(b)    National Action Party (NAP)
(c)    Unity Party (UP)
(d)    Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
(e)    Democratic Peoples Party (DPP)
(f)     All Peoples Congress Party (APC)

It is against this favourable economic and political climate that both the rebel war and the military coup were unleashed on the people of Sierra Leone! Contrary to the high expectations of their admirers, four years of reckless and treasonable NPRC rule created more problems for this country than they actually promised to solve. The indiscriminate killings of perceived political opponents will be cataloged under human rights abuses in this presentation.

12.0   THE SLPP IN GOVERNANCE- (1996-1997)

When the APC Party agreed to support the SLPP Presidential candidate Ahmad Tejan Kabbah during the 1996 Presidential election run-off, it did so in the knowledge and belief that the SLPP as a Party had connections with the RUF rebel group that took up arms against the APC Party, as well as with the NPRC military junta that subsequently overthrew the APC.

Since both RUF rebels and NPRC junta activities led to nothing but chaos, lawlessness, massive looting and unprecedented violence, it was the view of the APC that their common ally, the SLPP, should be called upon to clean the mess which all of them created. Furthermore the APC realised that the NPRC Junta under Julius Maada Bio could only have handed over power to the SLPP, and to no other party! For the same reason the APC Party also believed that a good chance to strike a peace deal with the RUF rebel group existed only if the SLPP was in power.

The APC believed that the stage for the early attainment of peace with the RUF had been set before the departure of the NPRC Junta under  Maada Bio himself a declared SLPP. He had identified Foday Sankoh as the rebel leader and had actually spoken to him by radio to the hearing of many Sierra Leoneans. Prior to that, there were doubts as to the existence of Foday Sankoh as leader of the RUF.  All that Kabbah needed to do on assuming power was to deal with Foday Sankoh, with sincerity and determination.

The people of Sierra Leone must consciously recollect that Kabbah, upon assuming office, could not convince himself about the reality of Foday Sanhoh. He took the position that there was no one to talk to.

This explains why peace was achieved only after so much loss of life and property, and shows the extent of President Kabbah's bad judgement for which he should take full responsibility.

Managing the peace process was indeed an important, delicate and sacred assignment that needed careful attention and judgement. Did President Kabbah see it that way? Did his policy, if any, show an urgent desire to achieve genuine peace and reconciliation with the RUF rebels in accordance with the mandate of the people of Sierra Leone through the 1996 election?

The people of this country know very well what happened. President Kabbah misjudged and bungled the situation he inherited. He underrated the force of the RUF and its level of organisation. There was therefore no committed policy to deal with them with a sense of accommodation in order to end the war quickly and reconcile the country.

The Abidjan Peace Accord later signed by President Kabbah and Foday Sankoh could not be implemented because Kabbah signed it in bad faith. After the signing of the said agreement the SLPP government instigated a coup plot against Foday Sankoh by senior RLJF members who had been despatched to Freetown on a mission to consolidate the said Agreement. As it turned out, that coup plot against Foday Sankoh failed woefully when the coupists, upon their return to the bush, got arrested by fellow rebels and charged with disloyalty to Sankoh. Their fate has never been known, but the rebel war raged on because of that failed coup plot. At the same time, the National Army may have become war weary and disillusioned and were perhaps unwilling to fight the rebels any more. As a result, the rebels swept right across the country with little resistance from the army.

At this stage, SLPP anger against their presumed RUF ally reached boiling point because they had failed to acknowledge the attainment of their common objective of forming an SLPP Government. This led some SLPP elements within the RUF rank and file to break away and form the Kamajor Militia, which became fiercely hostile to the RUF.

That SLPP militia, a mono-ethnic force operated far beyond its local vicinity contrary to the operational requirement of a civil defence force.

The Kamajor was accorded full recognition by Government and provided with substantial financial and logistic support contrary to the Constitution. This was at a time when the National Army was ill provided with such support. No other local defence force by any name in the country received any such attention and support as the Kamajor. This led to discontent and disillusionment within the rank and file of the Army.

At that point, Government seemed like dangerously running two opposing Armies. In fact, in some areas this led to hostility and open war between the Army and the Kamajor militia while RUF rebels stood by and watched. It had then become obvious to many observers that sooner or later one of these armies would rebel against the Government of President Kabbah.

It was in fact elements of these disgruntled soldiers who eventually illegally overthrew the Kabbah Government and formed the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). That overthrow plunged our country into the worst political quagmire it had ever witnessed since independence. This gave rise to unprecedented loss of life and property. President Kabbah confessed that he knew of the coup three days before the miscreants struck. Why he failed to put in place the necessary deterrent security measures should be of interest to the TRC. In the opinion of the APC, it bears repeating that President Kabbah and his SLPP Government should be held responsible for such grave human tragedy and the destruction of Sierra Leone, which in every respect was the product of bad policy and poor judgement.


One of the most disturbingly destructive actions of Kabbah's Presidency was that of requesting the late Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha, to send troops to Sierra Leone to reverse the AFRC coup and restore him back to power, whatever the human and material cost. Dr James Jonah, then Sierra Leone's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, was a strong advocate of that position. Abacha, seeing the invitation as an opportunity to divert Nigerian public and international attention away from his unpopular dictatorial military junta, quickly despatched forces to "restore Democracy" in Sierra Leone. People wondered why Abacha could be so willing to do this while blatantly denying his Nigerian people that so-called Democracy.

On June 2nd 1997 Abacha's army randomly bombarded the city of Freetown from Nigerian naval boats berthed in Sierra Leone's coastal waters of the Atlantic. On that fateful day, over eighty people, most of them civilians, lay dead. From that day on, the story of the Sierra Leone civil war was one of violent confrontations involving the Nigerian army and local forces of the Sierra Leone army, the RUF and the Kamajor militia. In time, each of these forces committed horrendous and serious crimes against poor innocent civilians. The extent of their violations of human rights and the crimes they committed against the civilian population has warranted the setting up of a Special Court in Sierra Leone in addition to the TRC.

To many people, it was obvious that Abacha had miscalculated in his belief that Nigerian military might could dismiss the AFRC Junta in a matter of days. That did not happen. On the contrary, initial Nigerian actions were bungled and unprofessional, contrary to Kabbah's characterisation of it as a professional Army. Local forces overran their positions capturing over three hundred Nigerian soldiers. They were eventually released, but there was no doubting the fact that Nigerian military temple of pride had been broken in Sierra Leone. This led to anger. To restore their battered image, a huge military build up was ordered and within weeks their base at Jui in the outskirts of Freetown had developed into a huge garrison. Dislodging that fortress was an impossible task for the AFRC Junta. Clashes with Nigerian forces led to great loss of life and property.

In order to conceal Nigeria's unilateral military action in Sierra Leone and more so to give it a measure of legitimacy in the face of heavy criticism nationally and internationally, the name ECOMOG was applied to their operations. However, everyone now knows that to all intents and purposes, the Nigerian military intervention in Sierra Leone was based on an understanding between Kabbah and Abacha. It had no UN or ECOWAS sanction or authority before it began on 2nd June 1997.

As it happened, embellishing naked Nigerian action with ECOMOG colours was not going to stand the test of time. Little wonder therefore that upon the death of Abacha the so-called ECOMOG idea also died. Kabbah had to hurry to Lome to negotiate with the RUF rebels at last under pressure from the international community. This was a position he had refused to take early in his presidency when it was most desirable in order to save life and property.

It remains the strong view of the APC that the Nigerian military intervention in Sierra Leone contributed to a large measure in the escalation of the brutal war. Some of the horrifying acts committed by local forces against ordinary citizens may have been intended to send a message of anger, protest and disapproval to Kabbah regarding atrocities and brutalities of Nigerian presence in Sierra Leone.

14.0  THE SLPP IN GOVERNANCE (1998 - 2002)

The SLPP governance since the treasonable invasion of Sierra Leone by foreign forces including Sandline Mercenaries and the forceful reinstatement of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in Februray 1998 is the period under focus in this section. During this period, many human rights violations were committed. At the same time President Kabbah's bungling policies during this period created a lot of hardship for the people of Sierra Leone.

One cannot deny the fact that the setting up of both the TRC and the Special Court in Sierra Leone is as a direct result of serious human rights violations committed since the coming into power of President Kabbah. In other words, the focus is on the Kabbah regime, for no other regime since Sierra Leone's attainment of independence has been wreaked with so much violence and bloodshed.

The human rights record of the SLPP between 1998 and 2002 is abysmal. Evidence of this exists in the statistics of the Pademba Road Prison relating to this period. That prison was designed to accommodate a maximum of 324 inmates. Between February and June 1998, it was overstuffed with 3,928 inmates most of them labeled "collaborators" who were arbitrarily arrested, tortured and detained. Among the inmates were under -aged children, disabled people, pregnant women and suckling mothers. By the end of that year the number of inmates had risen to a staggering figure of 4,685. Human Rights activists described the conditions under which people were held as overcrowded, unsanitary and inhuman.

Most of these arbitrary arrests were done in flagrant violation of the Sierra Leone Constitution, which provides for Fundamental Human Rights and Individual Freedoms as well as Protection from Arbitrary Arrest and Torture. Having ignored these provisions in the first instance, the Kabbah Government subsequently decided to legitimize its actions by introducing a Public State of Emergency with retroactive effect for all previous illegal arrests.

In addition, many other workers in both Public and Private Sectors faced summary dismissals and excessive harassment. These included teachers, journalists, trade unionists, university professors, businessmen, religious clerics of all denominations and distinguished private citizens of all sexes. Even the judiciary was not spared. Its Chief Justice, the Honourable Samuel Beccles Davies was despatched on premature retirement. His offence was that he had administered the oath of office to Johnny Paul Koroma as Chairman of the AFRC Junta. The spread of the net was so wide that only few in society were spared.

It is significant to state that most ordinary citizens arrested had campaigned in favour of a politically negotiated solution to the crisis rather than a military one. Hit lists of persons suspected to be anti-war or just simply opposed to the Government were prepared by SLPP stalwarts with the tacit agreement of Government. Some persons named in that list were summarily executed in the streets when caught. The relatively lucky ones were tortured, publicly frog-matched and dumped in the overcrowded Pademba Road Prisons. Many were eventually charged with treason.

A BBC Correspondent reporting from Freetown on the 14th of February 1998 had this to say: "civilians, mostly youths, are actually going out looking for soldiers, RUF rebels and other sympathizers of the AFRC, and in most cases, actually killing them on the spot".

The APC submits that most of those killed immediately after the restoration of the Kabbah Government were its party supporters. They were deliberately targeted because of their party affiliations, tribal or regional origins. Those killings represented nothing but premeditated vengeance that represents a sad chapter in our country's history.

The APC therefore further submits that the success of the TRC's work shall be measured and judged by the Sierra Leone public and the International Community in terms of the extent to which those responsible for these vengeful killings are identified and brought forward to confess their actions publicly and ask for forgiveness.

Unlike Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, the Siaka Stevens and Momoh presidencies epitomize the advantages of reconciliation and atonement over vindictiveness, selfishness, intransigence and foolish pride which President Kabbah exhibited at the height of the civil war. The Kabbah administration could have borrowed a page or two from the Siaka Stevens / Momoh eras as a first step in the search for lasting peace in Sierra Leone.

Tejan Kabbah undertook a lot of bungling moves during his first 15 months in power as well as after his re-instatement in 1998. Those bungling moves included the following:

(a)    He signed the Abidjan Peace Accord in bad faith and failed to lay that instrument before Parliament as required by the Constitution.
(b) He pitched the mono-ethnic SLPP Kamajor militia against the Sierra Leone Armed Forces thus causing an escalation of the civil war and general instability in the country.
(c)    He pronounced that the Armed Forces were disbanded thus causing the army to become rebels.
(d) Kabbah unilaterally allowed a military foreign intervention into the Sierra Leone crisis without UN, OAU or ECOWAS approval thus causing mayhem in the country.
(e)    Kabbah violated many sections of the Constitution since he assumed the presidency:

  • Appointment of Ministers from Parliament.
  • Failing to declare gifts
  • Appointment of the current Attorney General (Eke Halloway) without going through parliamentary approval.

(f)  The Appointment of Chief Hinga Norman as Deputy Minister knowing too well that he is Commander of the Kamajor Militia.
(g) Kabbah's pronouncement in Makeni that the North should apologize to the rest of the country because Foday Sankoh, the RUF Leader has a northern name and is said to have hailed from the North. This was incitement to regional divide and ethnic animousity.
(h)    Kabbah's poor handling of events after his re-instatement in 1998 caused the January 6th 1999 invasion of Freetown by rebels.
(i)  When Kabbah was in exile in Guinea in 1997, he informed the world that all those Sierra Leoneans who stayed in Sierra Leone after the AFRC coup were rebels. Conversely, when he was re-instated in 1998, he again said that all those Sierra Leoneans who stayed in Guinea were rebels. It was not surprising then that the hitherto receptive Guinean Authorities unleashed unprecedented violence on defenseless Sierra Leonean refugees in that country.
(j) His failure to halt the rampant corruption in the SLPP government makes him an accomplice to the massive destruction of the Donor Funded Sierra Leone economy.

When all this is said, it is relevant to look outside of Sierra Leone to see how Kabbah is perceived by no less a country than the world's superpower and leading democracy, the USA.

The US Defence & Foreign Affairs Handbook on the Sierra Leone situation describing Kabbah's uncompromising and intransigent stance after his re-instatement; wrote thus:

"The Government of Ahmed Tejan Kabbah continued to press its offensive against the rebels throughout the remainder of 9998, but without any real sign of conciliatory gesture. to build the country. The government continued to rely on ECOMOG forces, mainly Nigerian Armed Forces to sustain itself in power; the Sierra Leone Armed Forces were, to all intents, completely destroyed by the civil war.

On October 19, 1998, in defiance of international and domestic calls for conciliatory gestures, President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah commented an the matter of 34 Military Officers who had been sentenced to death by a General Court Martial on October 12, 1998. He noted- 'I was unable to exercise the prerogative of mercy in favour of 24 of the convicted officers. In respect of these convicted officers, I have allowed the judgement of the court to stand and for the law to take its full course. They have accordingly been executed today'! he commuted the sentences of the remaining  10 convicted officers to life imprisonment. Among those executed included Brigadier Hassan Karim Conteh, one of the former senior military leaders of the country.

President Kabbah's actions were badly received by most of the foreign states which had supported his reinstatement as Sierra Leonean Head of State. Many obswevers had concluded that the original coup had taken place largely because of poor actions by President Kabbah himself, and that his reinstatement had been brought about by the actions of foreign states (particularly Nigeria, other ECOWAS states and Britain), and not because of any leadership by President Kcabbah himself. As a result, his subsequent failure to help bring about conciliatory gestures in the country only served to sustain the rebel war in the countryside."

We have decided to quote the American Handbook to indicate to the TRC how prudent leadership could have averted national disaster by a calculated study of the socio-political and military situation that existed then.

When President Kabbah signed the death warrants for the execution of 24 Senior Military Officers, the military and political situation in the country glaringly had two antagonistic factions facing each other with uncompromising anger and bitterness across a broad and drawn out battle front as follows:

i. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah with his governing SLPP and their protector the Nigerian interventionist army in league with Mr. Hinga Norman's mono-ethnic SLPP Kamajor Militia on one hand and
ii. J. P. Koroma with his renegade AFRC and the bulk of the Sierra Leonean Army in unison with Cpl Foday  Sankoh's RUF on the other hand.

Beyond any doubt, those were two formidable military and political forces each with potential to wage a protracted, lethal and destructive war. The capacity of each to muster internal and external support should not have been underrated by Kabbah. Each of these groups had acquired the unsavoury reputation of imposing dastardly cruelty on hapless civilians. All that aside, Kabbah and his newly re-instated SLPP Government did not take cognizance of the fact that associations within each of the major forces may not be particularly stable. The Tejan Kabbah - Hinga Norman alliance had earlier shown cracks and cleavages of such serious nature that there had been talk of a major rift within the southern camp pertaining to the Kamajor Movement.

The people of Sierra Leone including the SLPP suddenly started seeing the Nigerians as an occupation army especially with the insufferable arrogance of their soldiers. History should have taught Kabbah that no country ever continues to stay in love with her conquerors for long. The fact that the position of Army Chief of Staff had been given to a Nigerian Maxwell Khobe, head of the interventionist force, and the fact that a Nigerian military officer was head of the Court Martial that passed death sentences on very senior military officers further enraged the army the bulk of whom were in the hinterland together with the AFRC and RUF forces. The players in the Tejan Kabbah theatre of war will definitely not continue to be agreeable bedfellows for long.

On the other side of the battle line, there was no telling whether and how long the allegiance of the RUF to Lt. Col J.P. Koroma will last. Kabbah should have discerned the unstable nature of this alliance because the incarcerated Cpl. Foday Sankoh remained the Supreme Leader and Mentor of the RUF. The Kabbah SLPP Government should have known that the AFRC / RUF union was an association of convenience, not a marriage of ideology. So when the coalition of disparate forces broke up in 1999, a faction moved on Freetown and the 6th Jan 1999 mayhem was the result.

Kabbah should have anticipated this explosion and stayed action in sanctioning the executions of senior army officers. Those executions may have fuelled the anger of the soldiers / rebels who invaded Freetown in January 1999.

If Kabbah had taken cognizance of the possibility of an explosion taking place within each of the two major belligerent groups, innocent blood spilt during the invasion of Freetown in 1999 could have been avoided. We have mentioned elsewhere in this submission the way President Kabbah mismanaged the Abidjan Peace Accord and later the Conakry Accord. He also did not handle with care the Army / Kamajor and the Army / Civilian relationships. He encouraged the dissemination of destructive propaganda by his pro-SLPP radio station FM98.1 under two people Julius Spencer and Alie Bangura) who were rewarded with Ministerial and Ambassadorial positions respectively. The third person (Hanna Fullah) was eventually made Manager of the said radio station.

The radio totally fueled the war in this country by deliberately misinforming the masses. During the invasion of Freetown in 1999 by the rebels, the radio misinformed the people to the extent that many casualties among the civilian population were directly the result of the misinformation bandied around by Dr. Julius Spencer and others. The role of that radio station should be of interest to the TRC and the Special Court. Spencer and Alie Bangura were the Goebells of Kabbah's regime who engaged in RADIO JOURNALISM similar to that which provoked and fuelled genocide in Rwanda.


The APC is making reference to the various Treason Trials by successive governments with a view to ascertaining whether due process of the Law was observed. Thereafter, we request that efforts be made to ensure that extra judicial killings are addressed and discouraged. Also, the APC appeals to the TRC to recommend that the Laws of Treason be delicately and scrupulously guarded to avoid abuse and misuse.

i) Brig. David Lansana and Others
The first treason trial was the case of David Lansana and others in 1968. That case is reported in the All England Law Reports, 1969 (Sierra Leone Edition). The APC stands by the records in those reports. That action by Lansana and Hinga Norman directly aborted our democratic experiment and brought the military into the politics of this country. In spite of this, during the APC administration, David Lansana, Berthan Macauley and others appealed against their conviction and the Court of Appeal presided over by judges of high integrity upheld the appellants appeals and they were accordingly freed.

ii) Brig. John Bangura and Others
The APC inherited an Army and a Police Force that were already very politicized. The first few years of APC rule were spent at repelling coup attempts by the Army and in the process valuable time was spent on consolidating national security. After several attempts by Brig. Bangura to overthrow the government, he was tried and convicted by a Court Martial through due process of the law. The views of the new Leadership of the APC regarding political executions is radically changed and our hope is that the Laws of the country relating to Court Martial would be revised in view of current international human rights considerations.

In particular the APC would urge that the process of appeal be maintained for Court Martial cases.

iii) Mohammed Sorie Fornah and 14 Others
Those treason trials lasted for almost two years and went through the due process of the Law. Death sentences were subsequently carried out. It will be recalled that both Mohammed Sorie Fornah and Ibrahim Taqi were Senior Cabinet Ministers in the first Stevens' government in 1968. They left the APC and formed a new political party which unleashed unprecedented violence in the country. The violence was so extreme that the government was left with no alternative but to ban the Party. In their frustration, they resorted to subversion and treason for which they were tried and found guilty. Records of those trials are a testimony of the truth in defense of the APC and the Laws of Sierra Leone.

iv) G. M. T. Kaikai, Francis Minah and Others
That matter went through all Superior Courts of judicature. In all those courts - High Court, Appeal Court, Supreme Court, Mercy Committee, the verdict was guilty. The Chief Justice at that time was the late M. S. F. Kutubu, a Mende of known SLPP sympathies. That verdict was carried out in accordance with the Laws of Sierra Leone.

The NPRC Junta was an illegal, treasonous, brutal and inhumane regime. The APC believes that no legality could come out of an illegality and we humbly submit that whatever the NPRC did cannot be justified let alone the brutal extra judicial killings they committed.

The NPRC executed 29 people who had been allegedly convicted by a Military Court headed by Lt. Col. Kesboyah for allegedly plotting to overthrow the junta. All those executed with the exception of a handful of military officers including Major A. S. Jalloh and Col. Kahota Dumbuya were already in prison having been arrested on the 29th of April 1992 on the day of the coup. Bambay Kamara the ex-Inspector General of Police and Lt. Col. Yayah Kanu for example had been arrested and detained on the day of the said coup. All 29 people were allegedly tried on the night of 29th December and executed on 30th December 1992. The APC submits that no formal trials were conducted, but rather those 29 unfortunate Sierra Leoneans were tortured and killed extra judicially.

The victims of those extra judicial killings included 19 civilians who were arrested in a drinking pub at Lumpa village. Police had declared all of them innocent of the alleged crime. However, whilst detained at Pademba Road Prisons under the State of Emergency, they were dragged out of the Prisons and killed.

It is strongly alleged that those extra judicial killings were far in excess of 29 persons as announced by the NPRC Junta at the time. We appeal to the TRC to ascertain the number of bodies dumped in a mass grave at Kingtom Cemetery after those executions. In the interest of national reconciliation, the APC appeals to the TRC to recommend compensations to the families of the victims of this heinous crime. In addition we request that the TRC recommends that the ring leaders of the NPRC junta including its leader, Capt Strasser and their Advisors come forward and confess their sins and ask for forgiveness.

When President Kabbah was re-instated in 1998, he abandoned the pacific and reconciliatoiy line as was required by the fluid military and political situation then. The SLPP vigilantes and Kamajors were let loose like wild dogs on defenseless people. In a most unprecedented manner, Public Servants and many others who were collectively called collaborators were arrested and tortured. It is reported that the number of so-called collaborators who were detained at the maximum-security prison at Pademba Road numbered about 5,000 people. This is a prison with a capacity for less than 400 inmates. Perceived political opponents of the SLPP government were all rounded up, tortured and detained. Many unfortunate Sierra Leoneans were lynched or burnt alive by hysterical SLPP youths and Kamajors. People like Musa Kabia, Sheikh Mustaba, Sakoma and Abu Black - all members of the APC - suffered this fate. Radio 98.1 played a decisive role in instigating those murders.

15.3.a) The SLPP 1998 Treason Trials
Those trials were vengeful acts and a travesty of justice. All suspects were tortured and brought before the three established treason courts. They were described by Solomon Berewa, now Vice President, as "collaborators". The Treason and State Offences Act 1963 has no place for collaborators! Was President Kabbah himself not a collaborator during the NPRC Junta which he served as Chief Advisor?

Public Notice No. 4 of 1998 issued by Vice President Berewa, then the Attorney General, is a disgrace to the integrity of all Sierra Leoneans. By that Public Notice which was issued after the offence of the alleged treason, Solomon Berewa deprived the accused persons of FAIR HEARING and violated Section 25 of the Constitution.
Public Notice No. 4 of 1998 also changed the old age Criminal Procedure Act of 1965 and the standard, historic and the unanimous 12-man verdict of the jury to a politically manipulated 8-man verdict of the jury. This was at the expense of the lives of innocent ordinary citizens of our country.

The treason trials were irregular, unfair and emotionally dressed up as the law even though they were not legal. In a desperate and exasperating effort by the Kabbah/Berewa SLPP Administration to exterminate perceived political opponents, that obnoxious Public Notice was issued. The APC appeals to the TRC to address that miscarriage of justice against political opponents in the interest of national reconciliation

Never in the history of Sierra Leone has a government proclaiming itself a democratically elected government of the people, descended to such barbarous depths of brutality and revenge killings. When President Kabbah was re-instated in 1998, he appealed to all rebels and soldiers to surrender and promised that those who surrendered would be protected. A large number of soldiers thus surrendered to ECOMOG or to the Guinean authorities in the Republic of Guinea. Killing surrendered soldiers did not encourage their colleagues in the bush to lay down their arms. As a result, some soldiers joined the RUF rebels in a self-defensive move. It was that group that invaded Freetown, broke into Pademba Road prisons and set free all inmates.
With indecent haste and reckless indifference, the Kabbah SLPP administration having Solomon Berewa as hatchet man, killed 24 (twenty -four) soldiers - most of them Senior Officers - They were shot and killed after a very poorly conducted Court Martial.

The current head of the Armed Forces of Sierra Leone and Nigerian Military Officers helped President Kabbah and Berewa to do this dirty job. No appeal was allowed! Can such act engender national reconciliation in a democracy? The answer is an emphatic No!
Of the 24 soldiers executed, only 2 (two) were coupists - Tamba Gborie and -Abu Sankoh a.k.a Zagallo. Both Gborie and Sankoh confessed in open court but Kabbah and Berewa refused to listen. To satisfy their whims and caprices, they tied valuable lives to stakes and shot them in cold blood. A woman Military Officer, Major Kula Samba in charge of rehabilitating child soldiers and combatants, was amongst those killed in cold blood.

We appeal to the TRC to investigate those Court Martial trials. The APC believes that President Kabbah's revenge arrests, trials and executions cannot promote national reconciliation. They are a bad precedence for our fledging democracy.


The APC strongly requests the TRC to address the issue of confiscated properties to the State by Military Juntas starting with the National Reformation Council (NRC) under the late Lt. Col. Juxon Smith in 1967 to the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) of Capt Valentine Strasser in 1992. Whenever the Military intervenes in the affairs of state governance, they are quickly surrounded by opportunistic opponents of the ousted government who chart a course of action which invariably targets marked individuals of the previous government. Commissions of Enquiry in Sierra Leone have been used by Military Juntas as a quick method of vilifying officials of deposed governments and justifying their illegal act of overthrowing a legitimate government.

Commissions of Enquiry were set up by both the NRC and NPRC Juntas. Whereas the former formulated their white papers and followed the recommendations submitted by reputable judges of the Commissions and based their actions on those reports, the NPRC mostly disregarded the recommendations of the judges and vengefully punished all those they perceived to be implacable enemies of the NPRC from among the selected Ministers and Civil Servants who were summoned to appear before the Commissions. Furthermore, whereas the NRC allowed those adversely affected to appeal against the decisions, the NPRC disallowed all appeals. Also, the NRC published the Reports of the Commissions, but the NPRC refused to publish their Commissions Reports contrary to Article 149(4) of the National Constitution, which stipulates that Reports of Commissions of Enquiry should be published within 6 (six) weeks of their completion.

The NPRC reports were only made available to the Cross Commission four years later, in 1996. The said Cross Commission selectively absolved top SLPP members who were Vice Presidents and Ministers in the overthrown APC government of J. S. Momoh.

President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and Vice President Solomon Berewa, as Chairman and Member respectively, of the NPRC National Advisory Council, played decisive roles in influencing the bungled Commission Reports for which Berewa was a hostile Prosecuting Counsel.

The treatment meted out to Ex-President J. S. Momoh, his former Vice President Abdulai Conteh and other APC officials by the Kabbah sponsored Cross Commission was very selective and unjust. The decision of the Kabbah government to strip them of all their titles and properties was not done in the interest of national reconciliation. Particularly unfair is the decision to deprive the President and Vice President of their retirement benefits. Former Leader of SLPP Salia ]usu Sheriff and who was also Vice President under Momoh was curiously rehabilitated- by Kabbah in spite of the fact that there was an adverse report against him. Our Party frowns at such high handedness and vindictive injustice handed down to our APC Leaders and Officials.
President Kabbah has been less than candid in his promises to restore to Momoh entitlements due him as a former President of Sierra Leone. The public and the international community are given the impression by Kabbah that he has returned properties confiscated from Momoh and rehabilitated him. President Kabbah told the UN General Assembly in 1997 that he had rehabilitated Momoh and accorded him treatment befitting an Ex-Head of State.

Compare the above treatment meted out to ExPresident Momoh to the humane reconciliatory gesture made by Momoh to President Kabbah when he returned home from his over 20 years self-imposed exile. The gesture included restoration of his own properties earlier confiscated in 1967 by the NRC Junta. President Kabbah ignored the implementation of the provisions of Act No2 of 1986 relating to Retirement Benefits for Ex-Presidents and Vice Presidents.

Even the late Dr Siaka Stevens was not spared the wrath of the NPRC Junta to which President Kabbah was Chief Advisor. The Parent decree establishing the Commissions of Enquiry did not cover the period of the late Dr Stevens' administration. However, a witch-hunt was directed against the late President. In the end, Dr. Stevens' properties were confiscated to the state in an unprecedented show of vengeance.

As if that was not enough, the late Dr Stevens was stripped of all his titles and honours post-humously. In our view, this is a bad precedence which cannot engender national reconciliation and unity.
Against this background, Kabbah is believed to have dished a lucrative retirement package to his erstwhile Vice President Albert Joe Demby. We request the TRC to ensure that Ex-President Momoh and his Vice President Abdulai Conteh are given their gratuities and pensions using the same parameters. National Reconciliation demands compliance with legislative enactments.

The TRC may wish to find out where the NPRC leaders, who assumed a holier-than-thou attitude to their APC victims, stored their loot after they were removed from power. Most of them are believed to have bought mansions in Europe and America. Other civilian NPRC Junta leaders like John Benjamin and John Karimu who championed the 1992 coup d'etat and known to have acquired considerable wealth both within and outside Sierra Leone were also instrumental in the seizures of APC properties under the NPRC Junta. Interestingly, they are today members of the SLPP holding high offices and receiving favours from the current government.

The APC requests that properties confiscated by the various Commissions of Enquiry from 1967 be returned to their owners in the interest of National Reconciliation. The TRC is requested to ensure that retirement benefits deprived of people affected by the Commissions be re-instated.

At this stage, it is pertinent to state that the SLPP Government continues to illegally occupy APC properties. These include the Party's National Headquarters at 39 Siaka Stevens Street and its Multipurpose (We Yone) Building situated at Old Railway Line, Brookfields. These properties were never the subject of any Commission of Enquiry. Their continued occupation by the present SLPP government is unfair and will neither enhance national reconciliation nor promote our new democratic dispensation.


i.  Our submission ends on the note that the strength of the APC lies in the many infrastructural developments the party undertook all over Sierra Leone. Our greatest pride and strength are found within the pages of the 1991 Multi-Party Democratic Constitution (Act No. 6 of 1991). This is the APC gift to Sierra Leone.

ii.  To our political adversaries, the SLPP, we ask that they kindly hold sacred this Constitution in the interest of National Reconciliation, Democracy, the Rule of Law and Freedom of the Press. We regret to note that President Kabbah has deliberately yet consistently violated many sections of this Constitution in his vengeful and autocratic tendency to downplay democracy and strangle opposition to his SLPP administration. Such a tendency cannot enhance national unity and reconciliation.

iii. Politics in our country is an APC / SLPP affair even in the context of Multi-Party Democracy.

iv. Like the chicken and the egg situation relating to which of them is older, so it is with the SLPP and the APC with regard to which party did what and during what period in the history of the country.

v. The SLPP accuses the APC for all the evil befallen Sierra Leone. We in the APC flatly deny this charge and instead, we blame the SLPP, the oldest political party in our country for being the architect of all dirty political tricks and evil that have befallen Sierra Leone including, but not limited to, the under listed:
    a. Nepotism
    b. Tribalism
    c. Corruption
    d. Vandalism
    e. Election Rigging
    f. Military intervention in politics and coup d'etat
    g. The tribal "Ndorgbomvosoi" war in Pujehun District in the early 1980s h.
    h. The Foday Sankoh RUF War of destruction and devastation
    i. Legislation of bad laws: The Public Order Act of 1965
    j. Expulsion from Parliament of Opposition Members of Parliament
    k. Political interference in judicial appointments - the Gershon Collier appointment as Chief Justice and Desmond Luke as Chief justice

1. Political interference in appointment in the Civil Service - the Peter Tucker and John Kallon appointments as Head of Civil Service and Establishment Secretaries respectively in the early 1960s.

        m. Banishment of Paramount Chiefs and political opponents from their home chiefdoms into strange lands.

        n. Cannibalism and Ritual Murders
        o. Use of Secrete Societies in politics - Poro Societies. The list of examples is unending.

vi. Accusing President J. S. Momoh of promoting the Limba Tribe through his love of Akutay is as good or bad as accusing Prime Minister Albert Margai of promoting Mende Tribesmen in all sensitive positions during his term as Leader of SLPP and Prime Minister of Sierra Leone.

vii.  Can anyone deny the fact that it was Prime Minister Albert Margai who refused to accept SLPP defeat at the polls in 1967?

viii. Can anyone deny the fact that the SLPP Prime Minister Sir Albert Margai urged Hinga Norman and Brig. David Lansana, Head of the Armed Forces to stage the first coup d'etat in 1967?

ix. Can anyone deny the fact that the BeokuBetts Commission of Enquiry into the special coffee deal indicted SLPP President Kabbah in 1967 and declared him unfit to hold public office for which good character and integrity are prerequisites?

x. Is it not a fact that with the approval and blessing of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, ECOMOG Forces and Sandlilne Mercenaries invaded Sierra Leone and killed thousands of innocent civilians and destroyed properties in the pursuit of his inordinate desire to be restored to the Presidency? Did he initially obtain ECOWAS and UN     approval? No! No! No!

xi. Is it not true that President Kabbah killed 24 soldiers in October 1998 after a sham Court Martial? Kabbah also got 69 civilians condemned to death for Treason for serving a Military Junta even though Kabbah himself had served the NPRC military junta as Chief Advisor.

xii. These and many more unsavoury actions on the part of the SLPP are hard to forget. They are the issues that make national reconciliation difficult.

xiii. President Kabbah and the SLPP have given the most inhumane treatment to former President Momoh. This treatment of Momoh is the worst any democratic country has ever given a former President. Rehabilitating Ex-President Momoh who is today a destitute in Guinea will be a big step towards national reconciliation.

xiv. Sierra Leone has been torn apart because of the vices of political administrators in the two political parties in this country - the SLPP and the APC. These vices are most prevalent and inherent in the political prostitutes with alternating allegiances. The likes of Dr. Sama Banya, S. B. Marah, Alex Koroma, Solomon Demby, J. B. Dauda, Harry Williams, Alhaji Daramy Rogers, Francis Conteh, Abu Aiah Koroma, Michael Abdulai and many more are dangerous in the context of national reconciliation.

xv. The APC is under political persecution at the hands of the SLPP. Democracy is threatened by the over bearing ambition of the SLPP to continue breaching the Constitution in a desperate maneuver to hold on to political power even against the wishes of the people.

xvi. National reconciliation cannot be achieved with an SLPP hand picked National Electoral Commission. The APC accepted this commission's conduct of the May 14, 2002 Parliamentary and Presidential elections in the interest of National Peace and National Reconciliation.

xvii. The PEACE we are currently enjoying is a result of the resolve of all Sierra Leoneans to have PEACE. The APC congratulates all Sierra Leoneans for accomplishing this feat.

xviii. The APC denounces all evil elements and over ambitious politicians in the ranks of the SLPP for encouraging and supporting the criminal and ruthless RUF to wage war on and destroy this country.

xix. Can the RUF and the Kamajors - CDF and their collaborators justify cutting off hands and feet of our unfortunate countrymen? The APC is saddened at such heartless inhumane treatment the RUF / Kamajors have left as indelible scars of their unnecessary fratricidal war in the name of a conspiracy to overthrow and remove the APC administration from office. In our quest for national reconciliation, the APC submits that AMPUTEES should be appropriately cared for and compensated.

xx. The APC is proud of her records in office and these records are visible developments all over Sierra Leone. However, politics is not saintly and it becomes dirty with greed., impropriety and undemocratic overtures on the part of the players. As we urge our brothers and sisters in the SLPP to play the game according to the rules, we at the same time extend to them and all our countrymen and women, an open and forgiving heart and a hand of friendship and reconciliation. To all who the APC may have hurt in anyway what so ever, we say SORRY. Please forgive the APC and let us move this country forward.

xxi. For and on behalf of the APC, the Honourable Ernest Bia Koroma, Leader and Head of the All Peoples Congress (APC) extends to every Sierra Leonean his personal sympathy for the sufferings all Sierra Leoneans have been through. At the same time, the APC Leader extends to the entire country, love, friendship and good will.

xxii. In the words of Honourable Ernest Bat Koroma, Minority Leader of the Sierra Leone House of Parliament and Leader of the All Peoples Congress (APC) Party -

"The APC has forgiven the many people who connived to dismantle the APC and in the process, destroyed Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans"

"The APC embraces the 1991 Constitution, an APC gift to Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans"

"I invite Sierra Leoneans, in the democratic spirit, to put country before self and to turn a new page in the politics of this country."

"To all my countrymen and women, please note that a political party is like a soccer team playing a game. The coach and players keep changing and so are the rules governing the game.
The APC blends the old and the new membership and as a party both new and old APC are our valuable assets to play the game of politics.
However, my countrymen and women, be assured that our coach has been changed; our rules of the game are changed within democratic parameters and the current Leadership of this glorious party is an embodiment of change for the betterment of Sierra Leone."

"The All Peoples Congress (APC) is urging the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to exercise its mandate without fear or favour. I believe that only the truth can heal the many wounds inflicted on the people of this country and on both sides of the cultural and political divide."

"Forward Ever, Backward Never. Truth crushed to earth shall rise again."

For and on behalf of the All Peoples Congress (APC);

Hon. Ernest Bai Koroma
Leader and Head of the APC

Hon. Victor Chukuma Johnson
National Chairman – APC

                Osman F. Yansaneh
      National Secretary General - APC



We thank the entire TRC for the chance offered us to give our own version on Governance in Sierra Leone.

From the reigns of Siaka Stevens up to the time of elections 2002, the roles played by the rulers and their counterparts had been oblique.

They played in the fountains of autocracy, dictatorship, and as capitalists.

The RUFP is not interested in pointing fingers on the leaders as they are not targets for the war fought commencing form the wings of the RUFP. We are totally against the former systems and not individuals or a certain group. Of course it is clear that a political party cannot write without linting cupboards of other parties.

RUFP will speak here nothing but the truth. We encouraged the TRC to continue her transparent duties without fear or favour.

Fellow citizens, the slogans that circulates on the walls of the TRC are correct especially the one that vows in the tune the truth hurts. It is true that the war is over, but the RUFP is still indebted to the nation. RUFP needs to entrench all efforts to control and consolidate our ex-combatants and the peace. What makes it viable to consolidate peace? RUFP alone cannot consolidate peace if most of the ex-combatants are not employed after their reintegration by the NCDDR. The Governance should create venues for employments like what the president is doing now by encouraging investors into Sierra Leone, getting professionals in offices, sacking all those found guilty of corruptions, giving full power to legal professionals to perform without bribe and corruptive hands and should encourage youths to make decisions through the leaders, through the youth ministry.

Fellow Citizens, many oppressions are facing the ex-combatants now especially the RUFP. We are driven out of family circles, driven from houses and even banished from our homes by people not wanting to encourage peace. Few months ago, I was ignored by citizen's expert when there was an intervention of the NCDDR through a keynote player Mr. Sullay Sesay. We should now reconcile and forgive for a better future.

Independence for Sierra Leoneans was called for so that the whiteman does not see the ill-practices of the rulers. Sierra Leone is still indebted to independent principles: Like been able to produce by manufacturing our own goods the rich men should have investments. How many ministers are paying 50 Sierra Leoneans monthly from their pockets? How many are donating vehicles to students, how many Sierra Leoneans are personally sending Sierra Leoneans abroad for studies?

Everybody should not rely on Government.  We receive salaries from the Government and give our children scholarships meant for the poor. This is corruption. Independence lacking these factors is not independence but invitations for another neocolonialisms.

Coups and countercoups are not good for Sierra Leoneans. RUFP is pleading to all those hurt by the war to forgive and reconcile as the truth will reveal. RUFP is not ready to bring back wounds but to come up with solutions for good governance.

RUFP waged war on the systems of bad governance, corruptions, nepotisms, ignorance, sectionalisms and Zionism by systems. From the first volume of our footpath to democracy, the anthem never called any name of persons but the president and the APC oriented during the formation of the RUF under Cpl. Foday Saybana Sankoh. The APC Government came into power through bullets, selective sectional bloodshed and other means. Students have been killed by bullets because they demonstrated. RUF feels the only way to have taken such government out of power was through the same bullets.

Why we decided to end the war
After these exercises of the war, we have realised that the governance should be monitored and during the few months of good governance, there are much improvements. As I was seated by my radio, I heard my colleague calling the RUFP a tragedic entity. We are please to inform our friends now that the RUFP is a newly established party different from the RUF. We are obedient, rule abiding and willing to work according to the governing principles of the day.

However, though the governance is partially precipitating, there are still some remnants of corrupt elements of the past. One party or multi-party systems are not our problems in Sierra Leone but what we do to live on our resources?

There are now commissions like Anti Corruption, Anti - illegal Salary Collectors. Why set these commissions and blame the RUF for bringing war when one of the standing accusations has been corruption? Today we have ghosts receiving salaries, swaving of largest diamonds, pronouncements of people charged and convicted of corruptions.

    RUFP has achieved in various forms: RUFP has made Sierra Leoneans to accomplish the first mission in the world to stop war for people to have peace,

- Awareness time has been achieved by all Sierra Leoneans.
- Villages that had few houses are piled with houses
- Compulsory education is now in good swing.  The governance has in the pipe ambition to build houses for Paramount Chiefs, and provide them with mobility.
    Police of today is a force for good, the army is a revised army for Sierra Leone,

- The grassroot system is a good vendor
- If any government in powers praises herself, it is due to the listening of the ruling pilots to the people they rule (masses).

RUFP will not embrace anyone/party to go to war because of bad governance in Sierra Leone because the ideology RUFP brought went through no success. No one won the war.

- Concisely government can avoid violence by avoiding tribalism, nepotism and sectionalism.
- Avoiding and punish all convicts of crimes incompatible to good governance
-    Government should be transparent and accountable
-    Government should take all politicians highlighted by political parties as been underground injectors to bad governance of the former systems out of governance immediately.

Let us set our eyes on the injection of RUFP into AFRC. During that reign, RUFP was still looked at to be vividly responsible for all bad acts. Sierra Leoneas should know that RUF was under a high command, Mr. Johnny Paul. This was in 1997. Any loyal personnel especially in the army takes command without excuse or no no in the army.

RUFP is now a party force, not a fighting force. We will allow only those who will abide by principles of governance and work adhesively with them. Don't ever accept aggravations by anyone to fight against your fellow Sierra Leoneans. RUFP will not fight in bullets any longer but to find solutions for good Sierra Leone. NCDDR is your way forward to good future plans.

We wish to thank the NCDDR family for her positive roles in the reintegration of all ex-combatants. We also express gratitude to other donors like:


Yet fellow compatriots, the reason for any prolongation of war is when the fighters are not reintegrated and employed. The RUFP will appreciate it highly were you to continue using your offices to find good jobs for these men after their various courses of interest. We are calling upon employers that government cannot do all. The criteria set for employments despite ex-combatants are very null. Software has been introduced in Sierra Leone not quite two years. How can an employer call for fifteen years experience?

Let us help.

I thank you.

Mr. Jonathan Kposowa Secretay General - RUFP



RUFP has:
A. To sensitise people on methods of voting and how to bring up the party RUFP that failed in 2002 elections.
- To persuade the people to get more partisans for 2007
- To rebuild some structures of public importance destroyed during the war through centralised contributions and supporters under deep encouragement.
- To lobby in countries adapted to us either by ideology or had helped our political stand out.
RUFP will also defy negatively the notion that the RUF is responsible for atrocities in Sierra Leone, killing massively, destroying economy, raping and amputating citizens.
- To build clinics free for the poor especially for our target groups like the vulnerable, students, old age and below five children.
- To provide at least daily bread for most disabled people and make settlements for them in a form of lodge.
- To provide affordable school system with three session format for morning, afternoon and evening to enable workers pursue further and better education.

B. My work prior to the conflict was professional classroom teaching. I experienced during the conflict that many lives and properties were lost by all warring factions and atrocities were also committed by the factions.

- Finding avenues to get finance for the next 2007 elections, persuade supporters, improve the living conditions of our ex-combatants by encouraging them to go through the NCDDR for a better bench to start in Agriculture, auto-mechanism, computer training, academic and other vocational know how. This method will help our human resources.
- To discuss, and positively suggest to the GOSL issues for better governance.

- To request for our ex-combatants to be employed by NGO, because GOSL cannot host all Sierra Leoneans.
- RUFP has planned to encourage good governance and eradicate corruption partially, the goal for which the war was waged.
- To make sure the masses are listened to for decision-makings in the country - GOSL often listens to the masses. D/E - the RUFP is monitoring the legal, political, and systems including the economy. If any fault is found, we will give in suggestions through the oppositional branch the APC for our voice to be heard faster for a redress.
F. Socially, the GOSL is improving. Artists are encouraged by the openings of clubs, hotels, etc. youths are involved in cleanings willingly, and GOSL is pleading for employments and vocational trainings are gong on by the help of NGOs. The war has been put to a halt, the restructuring of tourist houses by the GOSL like Bintumani, Cape Sierra, Lac, Paddys and so many are functioning.
Notwithstanding the economy of the state is OBLIQUE (not transparent). The constitution calls for the utilization of the resources in the state for the state. We are blessed with bigger diamonds now but they are always not accounted for by those who are responsible for them. Recently, we heard 1,004 carats changed to 104 and the 104 cannot again be found. We need transparency and accountability to boost the moral of Sierra Leone to cage democracy.


The RUFP is pleased to recommend the following reforms and practical resolutions:

- That the parliamentarians pay at least a monthly visit to their areas of representations every three consecutive months to hear, dialog and bring up to Freetown the problems affecting his citizens for a redress. This scenario should not be objected because we believe the GOSL is providing vehicles, which are only driven to places of individual interests.
- The GOSL should try harder to talk to the international community to provide the trust  funds that were to given to each political party (registered parties)
- That all secondary schools encroach three sessions (morning Afternoon and night) for those presently employed. Professionalism should not stop this opinion because seminars can provide most forms five or six students roaming the streets of Sierra Leone to teach better.

Raping - Raping has become the topic for each day though Sierra Leoneans felt it was done by RUF, CDF, SLA, ECOMOG, Etc. RUFP is recommending that anyone who rapes, caught and found guilty under the due process of the law, should be sentenced or serves imprisonment not less than seven years. The prison yard must host a verse area for farming. Our self-sufficiency in Sierra Leone will come faster agriculturally. No negotiations, no bail for convicts.

- That all investors to Sierra Leone should provide electricity, lodge, and good pipe borne water systems for the community in which the investor wants to operate. These dimensions should be preconditions to better investments and benefits.
I thank you.



On March 23 1991 Liberia's two year-old war spilled over the border into neighboring Sierra Leone.  Liberian rebels gave two reasons for this incursion.  Firstly, it was claimed that the Sierra Leone government supported and harboured their adversaries.  Secondly, Sierra Leone was being used as a base for cross border raids.  After almost sixteen months of the incursion, Sierra Leoneans were coming to terms with the scale and effects of rebel activities in almost forty percent of the landmass of the country.

The perplexity of the Sierra Leonean born Revolutionary United Front (RUF) leader Foday Sankoh of leading foreign bandits and murderers in the name of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), and few detractors of the RUF to kill many Sierra Leonean countrymen and desire to know the actual objective of destroying their properties which they have sweated to accumulate over the years is something many people pondered over.

People believed that Mr. Charles Taylor was the chief planner, chief architect, and chief executive official of the rebel war.  Indeed, he was a kind of hub around which everything relating to the war that spilled over into Sierra Leone.  Speculations about his personal ambitions for which the war was waged were abound, but pointers to his real ambition were not conclusively identified.

Prior to the March 23 invasion by the Revolutionary united Front (RUF), Charles Taylor, the leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), had vowed over the BBC report, sometime in October 1991, that he would ensure Sierra Leone taste the bitterness of war.  The reason he advanced for this position was that Sierra Leone had allowed herself to be the base ECOMOG base.  Also that ECOMOG operated not only to bomb his strategic military positions and installations, but also to otherwise prevent him from achieving his objective of capturing the Presidential seat in Monrovia- the Executive Mansion.

At the time of the October 1991 outburst by the NPFL Leader against Sierra Leone, there was no mention of a Foday Sankoh's so-called National Liberation plans.  The March 23 1991 armed attack in Bomaru in kailahun district signaled the beginning of the war.  The attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country could therefore be attributed directly to and be taken to be  in fulfillment of the vow that Taylor had made.
Despite the initial denial by Charles Taylor, it was clear that Foday Sankoh was a mere surrogate to him, and that Taylor was giving all the manpower, equipment and logistical support to Foday Sankoh to destabilze Sierra Leone.

The RUF led by Foday Sankoh claimed it was fighting a war of National Liberation.  If the real cause, as distinct from declared causes, of Foday Sankoh's effort was to liberate and if he had no hidden agenda, then why was the trend of his attacks directed mostly at the PRODUCTIVE AREAS of the country?  And why did he not find a common group with the National Provisional Ruling Council of Sierra Leone, (NPRC), which equally was opposed to the system Sankoh was decrying?

An added reason, advanced later, by  the NPFL Leader for being fiercely in arms against Sierra Leone was the presence of ULIMO, United Liberation Movement for Democracy in Liberia, an ethnic coalition of the late Samuel Doe and the alleged support given to it by Sierra Leone against NPFL.

Despite the foregoing argument against both Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh, the  general socio-economic climate and other circumstances prevailing in J.S. Momoh's Sierra Leone at the time of the invasion, would appear to call for some deep reflection and national introspection to determine whether sufficient “provocation” did not exist to aggravate a rebellion or revolution.  In Sierra Leone, taking all factors into account, including the nature of the startling revelations of the NPRC commissions of enquiry that were held, the answer would be a definite “YES” in favour of the revolution of the NPRC type, if only to make a change from deplorable situations.

Sierra Leone's economy was in ruins and social  and economic life was in shambles.  The poor people were getting poorer, while the few rich were getting richer  at the expense and detriment of the poor.  The ministers of government exploited the people inhumanly. They did not care for the suffering masses and they continued to amass wealth even in times of great economic deprivation for most of the population.  The standard of living dropped and morals were not rejected since people had to find ways and means to at least keep on living.  Embezzlement, prostitution, smuggling became rampant and accepted vices.

Education in Sierra Leone was no longer a right but a previledge.  Only those who  could afford it acquired better education for their children.  Private schools were preoccupied with the sons and daughters of ministers and government officials.  Government schools were totally neglected as they strive to  cater for the under previledged.

Politically, for thirty years, different governments had misruled Sierra Leone.  As is evident in the African setting, political heads act Ultra Vires by manipulating the constitution in order to perpetuate themselves in power.  In the Sierra Leone scenario, the All People's Congress (APC) under the leadership of the Late  Siaka P. Stevens skillfully maneuvered the said document, which kept them in power for nearly three decades.  Sierra Leone was declared a one party state. This process effectively blocked the political participation of other political parties in the political process.  These political parties were compelled under the prevailing circumstances to align themselves with the already powerful APC party.  Others that sought not to affiliate  themselves to the APC backed out of the process and subsequently lost their public profile. 

In the Judiciary, the justices became so conspicuous that Sierra Leoneans were treated as second class citizens.  There was lack of independent judiciary.  Also a lack of independent media and civil society.  There was no  popular participation in political and governance systems.  These acts became the order of the day.  Infact, the judges were remote controlled by the then government officials. Where justice cannot defend  the indefensible, one was definitely not going to seek justice in the court of law.

The problem of unemployed also contributed to the causes of the war in Sierra Leone.  There was social exclusion, which led to the marginalization of whole groups.  That is, groups like the youths, the rural poor and women.  There was total economic decline; declining trends in poverty inflation, access to social welfare.  There was a growing legacy of unresolved conflicts.  Failure to implement dispute resolution mechanisms in any institution in governance therefore these conflicts became deeply embedded in grudges and hatred.  It even became of concern when these preoccupied themselves in ghettos and other places where they could be consoled.  The youths were not empowered adequately, therefore it was not impressed on them the sense of national participation and development.  It became no surprise therefore that, these volatile youths were identified to unleash terror and violence on the opposing forces to the government in power.  The mass poverty and illiteracy gave way to the culture of violence.  Thuggery and victimization became the order of the day.  House breaking and thievery became so rampant that the Police could do little to effect a change or even combat the situation.

The private sector of Sierra Leone was totally disregarded.  The Lebanese people controlled the economy of this country.  The indigenes were not granted  loans to undertake business activities.  The reasons proffered were that they couldn't withstand the competition with the Lebanese who are trustworthy.  Contracts and businesses were awarded on the 'Quota' system.  Because of their access to capital the Lebanese flourished while the indigenous population did the opposite.  Resentment towards them grew.

Amidst all these problems, one would be compelled to say, tribalism, nepotism, corruption to name a few, played an integral part which led to the war in Sierra Leone.  But are these the root causes of the war in  Sierra Leone?  The answer is definitely no.  Thirty years of misrule are the antecedent, which precipitated Sierra Leone into war.  All the problems could be defined in two words: Bad Governance”.  Biblically, it is recorded in  the book of Proverbs chapter 29 verse 2 that, “when the righteous are in authority the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules the people groan”.

According to this biblical quotation, a good ruler should be able to identify the needs of its people.  When these elements are properly addressed, we can say such a government has a semblance of good governance.  On the contrary, when the elements are neglected, there is a great outcry.  It becomes apparent therefore that, bad governance is prevalent in such a government.

These and many more were the causes and antecedents of the war in Sierra Leone.  The water could no longer hold and a war broke out in Sierra Leone on the 23rd March 1991 in Bomaru in Kailahun district.  Kailahun, Pujehun, Bo and Kenema were the first districts affected; Kono and Bonthe were added at the end of the year.  Eventually, it engulfed the entire nation.

Submitted by
Michael Kakpindi Jamiru
Print Correspondent
Search for Common Ground (SFCG)
Talking Drum Studio-AS Lone
44 Bathurst Street,Freetown





Mr. Chairman, fellow civil society activists, distinguished ladies and gentlemen. The Civil Society Movement-Sierra Leone (CSM-SL) would like to associate itself with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in its endeavor to document events of the ten years rebel war so that the history of this country will be complete.

Civil Society Movement in Sierra Leone and all its membership share the view that sustainable peace can only be attained in this country when the truth is said and root causes of the conflict are identified and addressed.

Mr. Chairman, historical events in this country will be incomplete if civil society as a movement and as groups fail to add their voice to such a history. Our story can best be understood if people are informed about where we are coming from as a movements and what we stand for. Loosely defined, Civil Society Movements are independent and voluntary people's movements/organizations acting collectively to serve a common public purpose.

Civil Societies emerged into the world stage at the end of the cold war, which allowed people's movements; popular participation in public events; and discussion on human rights, and so on. These movements came into the scene as a result of the failure of authoritarian regimes that fostered top-down and centralized models of development. This newly recognized power of people's movement sought to bring about major political and socio-economic changes in the world.

Against this background, Civil Society Movement all the world over are committed to the following:

(a) Resisting corrupt and illegitimate regimes and struggling for a leadership elected by democratic means.

(b) Building foundation and strengthening mechanism for a new socio-economic and political order.

(c) Building up and sustaining mechanisms for preventing and dealing with conflict and the protection of the rights of citizens.

(d) Working to bring about a transformed community and to foster a strong and self-sustaining civil society.

With the above goals in mind, Civil Society Movement in Sierra Leone (CSM-SL) has, since its inception in 1998, made considerable gains in its effort to restore democracy; protect the rights of the citizens of this country, protect the security of the state, and setting up of structures and strengthening them in order to carry out its mandate countrywide.

Mr. Chairman, Civil Society Movement in this country has its membership drawn from commercial Motor Drivers and Transport Owners; Petty Traders Association, the Sierra Leone Teachers Union, Youth Groups, Mine Workers Union, Women's Groups, other labour unions and a number of local Non-Governmental Organizations in the country. We are a constituent member of the Mano River Civil Society Movements through which the three Mano River Union countries (Sierra Leone, the Republic of Guinea and Liberia) are jointly pursuing the restoration of peace and economic stability within the three countries. The first Mano River Union Civil Society Movement Conference was held in Freetown in October 2001 - with CSM-SL as convener and the Second MRUCSM was held in Guinea in May 2002 with CSM-Guinea as the host. The instability in Liberia has not allowed the third MRU-CSM Conference. We are working with other civil society groups within the sub-region in Nigeria, the Gambia and the Republic of Senegal.


Our Vision

The Civil Society Movement-Sierra Leone envisions a Sierra Leone that is free from arms conflict, violence, and a country that is peaceful and that has a culture of human rights, good governance and sustainable growth.

Mission Statement

The Civil Society Movement-Sierra Leone is committed to the promotion and consolidation of the culture of peace, good governance and human rights; designing and facilitating participatory programmes to mobilize the citizenry for positive actions that will transform institutions, communities and individuals for peace, democracy and sustainable development in Sierra Leone.


The Motto of the Movement is "Vox Populi, Vox Dei" (The voice of the people is the Voice of God)

Programme Priorities

The programme priorities of the Movement include the following:

Capacity Building
Citizen Education
Sensitization and Information Dissemination * Advocacy/Lobbying
Peace and Development Initiatives
Development and Humanitarian Affairs
Research and Documentation
International Networking

Mr. Chairman, it has become common knowledge that the major causes of the ten years rebel war are bad governance, mismanagement of public funds, bribery and corruption and the lack of accountability and transparency in public offices, nepotism, tribalism, sectionalism, regionalism which is a divide and rule technique that hinders cohesiveness to address issues of national concerns.

The consequences of the war are also too familiar. Sadly enough, our membership, especially commercial motor drivers, petty traders, women and the youth bore the greatest brunt of the war.

The war came to a point when the Sierra Leone Army and the rebels pitched camps together and turned their guns against defenseless citizens. The high ways all over the country were no longer safe as a result of ambushes. Motor drivers and traders who braved the roads in those dark days stood the risk of being ambushed, goods looted, vehicles burnt down, women abducted and rapped and other persons killed in cold blood. As a result, thousand of civilian lives were lost for no just cause. When our members particularly the petty traders decided to use the waterways and boats, just to earn their daily bread, the high seas and water routes soon became dangerous. There are a lot of instances in which the boats either ran into fatal accidents or were again attacked on the high seas; looted and made to drown.

Mr. Chairman, the Civil Society Movement of Sierra Leone, in its present form, consolidated itself initially as a defense force in December,1998 when the rebels (RUF, SLA) were closing in on Freetown- they had by then been around Waterloo. Two weeks after a mass rally held at the cotton tree in Freetown, the rebels invaded the city on January 6,1999. Prior to the invasion, the Citizen's Security Movement was formed with the initiative coming from the leadership of some civil society groups such as the Civic Development Unit (CDU), the Sierra Leone Labour Congress, the Sierra Leone Teachers Union, and the National Union of Students.

It was on the January 6, 1999 invasion and upon the expulsion of the RUF/AFRC from Freetown by ECOMOG that the leaders of these civic groups reflected on the role of civil society in ensuring sustainable peace, security and the promotion of social justice; human rights and national development. In the light of these considerations the name was changed to Civil Society Movement of Sierra Leone and soon had its structures set up in order to take a national dimension.

Since then, Civil Society in Sierra Leone has continued to impact upon the unfolding social and political developments of the country to the extent that it has earned a name for itself as one of the most vibrant civil society movements in the region.

Following the arrest, disarming and detention of the UN Peace Keepers and other security threats, CSM-SL and Parliament jointly organized a peaceful demonstration match to the residence of Cpl. Foday Sankoh RUF leader in May 8t" 2000 to know his position on the issue and demand the release of the UN Peace Keepers. The reaction of the RUF leader to the intention of the demonstrators was negative which led to the death of 22 civilians. These included:

1. Harding Kallon
2. Kabba Bangura Jr.
3. Foday Brima
4. Abu Bakarr Conteh
5. Alhaji Sesay
6. Peter A. Kargbo
7. Musa Kamara
8. Mariam Gassama
9. Saioma Marrah
10. Ballah Turay
11. David Jusu
12. Kumba Brima
13. Soaman Conteh
14. E.T. Kamara
15. Kemoh Jusu
16. Lamin Massaquoi
17. Lucy Cole
18. Josephus Conteh
19. Manso Sesay
20. Foday Bangura
21. Suliaman Bah
22. Alie Koroma

Ladies and gentlemen let us stand up and observe a minute silence for our brothers and sisters who lost their lives in their cause to liberate the nation and the UN Peace Keepers.

The ugly incident led to the subsequent arrest of Foday Sankoh that placed him behind bars. This urged international attention to involve in the crisis, notably the role of the British forces to help stabilize the situation. The Civil Society Movement, despite the gains made has considerable challenges to grappled with. We shall examine these challenges in detail.

We have been requested to discuss the role of immigrant groups resident in Sierra Leone. This is justifiable because these groups are part of civil society. The role some of them play in national development, peace and security is enormous. The major immigrant communities that have made significant contributions include the Lebanese; the Indian community; the Nigerian, Ghanaian, Gambian, Guinean, Senegalese and Liberian communities resident all over the country, particularly in urban and Diamond Mining concentrations.
Immigrant communities who are mainly involved in commercial activities have had their own share in the atrocities of the ten years rebel war. The story is too familiar to us all. Supermarkets, shops stores and goods belonging to immigrants were looted, vandalized or burnt down and thousands of human lives perished.

In peace time, key immigrant groups such as the Lebanese, the Indians have provided grants to support the education of Sierra Leoneans up to University level; they have supported National and grassroot development schemes such as school construction, promotion of games and sports, construction of roads and public infrastructures. It is worth noting that some of these immigrants played negative role resulting to the wanton destruction of lives and properties

What then is the role-played by civil society groups and immigrant communities in the consolidation of peace and national recovery? Immigrant communities on their part, can only undertake economic activities in sustainable basis if there is peace and stability. Certainly, security can be ensured if immigrant communities comply with immigration regulations of the state; immigrant communities, particularly those involved in commercial activities can enhance economic recovery if they comply with tax regulation as well as curb smuggling. Immigrant communities can help to maintain state security if they assist security and state intelligence personnel by providing vital tip offs on any security threats. Considering the fact that immigrant groups are part of civil society, it is suggested that they be involved by the Civil Society Movement of Sierra Leone in future projects that are of national interest.

The greatest challenge facing CSM-SL is to be more proactive rather than reactive. For example a good number of rallies were organized by civil society movement in the early years of its formation shown to be reactive. Civil Society leaders should reflect upon and analyze political, developmental and state security with the view of forestalling any undesirable consequences.

Furthermore, CSM-SL should intensify its present Programme of educating the people on issues relating to active citizenship of their rights and responsibilities and in preparing them to exercise such rights and responsibility.

CSM-SL is on the right track by its ongoing sensitization project of the population at chiefdom level on the activities of the TRC, the Justice system, Anti-Corruption Commission and the Special Court. This will enable communities to participate more effectively in the activities of these vital institutions.

Civil Society now plays a critical role in matters dealing with security, state stability and socio-economic welfare of Sierra Leone and its people. CSM-SL will continue to play significant roles in this direction.
The present government, in particular the presidency has made it clear that its doors are always open to enter into dialogue with civil society.

Civil Society has a pool of human resources, committed and dedicated to render invaluable services to the movement and the nation.

In concluding, I wish to make it clear that the success of Civil Society Movement in Sierra Leone depends on the collective efforts of all. When civil society speaks, it should speak with one voice, when civil society acts, it should act with one accord. And if civil society should speak with one voice and act with one accord for its voice to be heard and its action to make impact, then civil society must function as a unified force

I thank you for your attention.




This presentation highlights the SLTU perspective of the role of Civil Society and immigrant communities in the drive towards Quality Education For All, the challenges and prospects.

First of all, I would like to briefly consider what is meant by `Civil Society' in regard to our work in the education sector. The term `Civil Society' should be understood as inclusive of all groups and associations that are non-governmental and non-profit in nature. For UNESCO, Civil Society embraces NGOs and Campaign networks, teachers Unions and religious organizations, community associations and research networks, parents associations and professional bodies, students organisations and women's groups.

I am aware that the definition of Civil Society is subject to much debate. Should it include political parties? Should it include the private or corporate sector?

There is a need for greater Clarity regarding who constitutes Civil Society and why? Different concepts and contextual experiences influence our understanding, and these call for further thought and analysis on our part.

However, in the context of governance in general and in social development in particular, we underline the importance for Civil Society to be as inclusive as possible.

Immigrant Communities in Sierra Leone include such influential groups as the Lebanese and Indian communities of non-Sierra Leone nationals.

In Sierra Leone, an attempt at mobilizing Civil Society groups under one umbrella which was necessitated by the civil war Crystallized into the formation of the Civil Society Movement of Sierra Leone (CSM-SL) in 1998 with the SLTU as one of its founder members. CSM seeks to grapple with the task of fully participating in the fledgling democracy, the peace process and nation building in a sustainable manner.

The Sierra Leone Teachers Union is an independent professional Trade Union organization that strives to promote the professional, social and economic interests of its members and sensitise them to work for the development of education, the Sierra Leone Society and the world at large.

The organization provides the means for the cooperation of teachers and the expression of their collective voice on matters affecting the interest of education generally and the teaching profession, in particular.

Our focus area constitutes the whole arena of education with our target group transcending the teacher, to cover also the pupil, the parent and all it takes to ensure effective teaching and learning.

We do not only advocate for improved conditions of service for our members but also improved conditions of learning for the pupils. We see teaching and learning to be intricately intertwined and therefore inseparable.

The Civil conflict in our country seriously devastated the union both materially and in human terms.

Schools and other educational infrastructure were destroyed. Our offices were vandalized, some of our officers and a good number of our members were killed.

In fact, in most cases our identity as teachers was unfortunately a licence for us to be killed, presumably because of our avowed stance against undemocratic and unconstitutional rule. This put us in the firing line of those who cherish rule by the gun rather than by the ballot!

Our clarion call as an organization has always been that EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO DEVELOPMENT and must be given the seriousness it deserves. The union embarked on series of campaigns even before the war about this fact.

We all know that one major contributory factor to our conflict is the high level of illiteracy or the lack of education. Education in its proper sense should be seen as an instrument of peace and progress.

The programme priorities of SLTU include:

Capacity building of our membership
Development initiatives
Human Rights
International networking
Research and documentation

Our work continues to be that of service-providers of education in pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary levels. We have a membership that spans the length and breadth of Sierra Leone which strategically puts us in good stead as information disseminators. This enhances one important role of Civil Society.

Our profession is regarded as noble and our members are so often considered to be `role models' and `change agents'. These are indeed lofty expectations of the teacher in society.

A recent UNESCO publication on conflict refers to teachers as `the quiet peacemakers' because of their immense influence on the young minds of their pupils within the walls of the classroom and even beyond.

The existing shortcomings in the system such as inadequate financing of education and the seeming lack of commitment by government and other partners in education undermine the very goals of education as an instrument of peace and development.

A sample of key constraints facing the education sector also include:

Inadequate teaching and learning materials.

Not enough trained and qualified teachers in the system.

Inadequate salaries, manipulation of the vouchers by some education authorities, late payment or non-payment, unauthorized deductions are all disincentives to teaching.

Pupil/teacher ratio is too high in the classrooms.

Parents are not carrying their load of the responsibility for education of their children. Discipline is a problem and the teachers are not getting the support of the parents and family members.

Lack of proper accountability and transparency for resources given to the mission authorities on behalf of the schools.

Inadequate sensitization and information sharing within the system and adversarial approach to implementation among education stakeholders.

The SLTU believes that Education For All (EFA) will only be achieved if it is rooted in a broad-based societal movement and nourished by viable government/civil society partnerships. Our reasons are based on both principle and realism. The full achievement of the EFA goals requires that the marginalized and excluded are provided with educational opportunities.

Civil Society Organisations are more capable of reaching the unreached and especially in the area of non-formal education, they have devised methods and approaches which are more attuned to the needs and life-conditions of the poor.

Moreover, we must acknowledge that in the majority of developing countries, like Sierra Leone, the public authorities have been unable to satisfy the demand for free and compulsory primary education of good quality for all children. The thousands of school-age children who are out of-school, high rates of repetition and dropout, and the large numbers of adults who are illiterate are evidence of the fact that the size and complexity of the education challenge are too great for governments alone to address, even with the best of intentions and efforts.

Consequently, there is a need to both reinforce the state's responsibilities and complement its role in 'order to ensure quality basic education for all, especially for those who have been ill-served by or left out of mainstream education. Therefore we need partnership drawing on the particular strengths of each partner.
In the tradition of modern democratic nation-states, elected governments are recognized as the legitimate authority to take decisions on national education policy choices, including such key areas as curriculum development, teacher education and system reform.

Many states, including Sierra Leone, have shown great capacity in establishing national public education systems and ensuring, at least in principle, free education for all children and offering training opportunities for youths and adults.

If these youths and adults are not well catered for, they constitute a threat to the peace of society.

Governments manage the national education budget and, in the case of Sierra Leone as a developing country, mobilise and negotiate foreign aid. The public authorities, moreover, provide the framework of legislation, regulation, inspection and monitoring.

It is very certain that Civil Society organisations cannot replace the state in the areas of its core educational responsibilities and authority.

What, then, are the types of roles that Civil Society Organisations including immigrant communities play in regard to education which has a multiplier effect on other development sectors.

In considering this question, it is increasingly apparent that the role of Civil Society Organisation cannot be reduced to that of merely complementing the efforts of the state; moreover, such a narrow conception ill-serves the needs of the Education For All movement.

I now outline some major roles performed by Civil Society Organisations in regard to the Education For All drive. In the first place, as suggested earlier, CSOs often act as alternative service providers where state-provided services are either absent or insufficient. We have witnessed CSOs organising programmes for literacy, skills training and other forms of learning, thereby helping people to improve their livelihoods and living conditions.

In Sierra Leone, CSOs such as SLADEA have shouldered major responsibilities for non-formal education programmes entrusted to them by government and funding agencies. CSOs have the advantage of being more flexible than the state, closer to the grassroots and local cultures and, in many cases, more innovative in approach.

CSOs have emerged as leaders and major actors in the provision of non-formal and alternative education, with experience in linking education to other development sectors and building partnerships at different levels.

CSOs may also perform a second role, within and beyond national boundaries as innovators, as sources of new thinking and new practices, especially concerning the impact of globalisation on education. The EFA vision cannot remain fixed and immutable but must respond to changes and generate new initiatives. As well as the resource gap affecting the achievement of EFA, there is also an `ideas gap' which Civil Society Organisation can help to fill in collaboration with other education partners.

On the basis of the first two roles, CSOs often perform a third role as informed critics and advocates. The last decade witnessed the emergence of new forms of Civil Society expression and policy dialogue on a whole range of development issues. This is where we want to see the Civil Society Movement of Sierra Leone (CSM-SL) being more proactive than ever before; not to wait for a crisis before we respond to it.

According to Martin Luther King (Jr.), "we begin to die the very moment we decide to stay silent on the things that matter".

As informed critics and advocates we must not be seen only as pro-government masqueraders. Of course, if the government does right we must commend them although not as professional sycophants would do. Civil Society must challenge national issues of the day such as the filth in the city, the near total absence of basic amenities such as electricity and clean water, mass hunger and deprivation among our people, the many problems affecting education including the perennial inadequacy of facilities in the schools and colleges and the deplorable conditions under which our teachers continue to work for this nation. There can be no peace without justice!

To move Sierra Leone from last place in the human development index a focus on education is required to ensure resources intended for investment and expenditure in that sector are used efficiently for the target beneficiaries.

Questions must be raised about how to organize a meaningful dialogue with a constituency as large and diverse as Civil Society. Who has the legitimacy to represent the interest and opinion of Civil Society Organisations in dialogue with the government? Who can speak for whom? How does Civil Society's role fit within or alongside established mechanisms of electoral politics and democratic representation? And what is the real capacity at the level of Civil Society to negotiate policy choices in substantive areas of EFA? These and other questions need to be seriously addressed within a perspective committed to increasing Civil Society participation in policy dialogue.

SLTU is convinced that a new culture of policy dialogue for EFA is needed if we are to connect the international political will for Civil Society participation with national and local realities.

In general terms, the new policy culture should be participatory, democratic, open, transparent and accountable. It should transcend hierarchical and institutional barriers and should focus on issues of direct relevance to people's lives.

All education stakeholders should be included in the development of any policy with regard to quality education. Information and communication about these policies and consultation about issues is important from the implementing Ministry. Most importantly CTAs who could play a pivotal role in monitoring and supervision are nor empowered enough through training, information and sensitization to take part.

As far as ownership and proprietorship of schools are concerned, the schools are owned by the missions and the communities feel completely disempowered in that particular relationship. Often they are used to building a school from local materials and the proprietors do not improve on these buildings. The communities want schools in their communities but are sidelined in the pursuance of educational objectives.

Communities need to take an ownership role in the achievement of quality education for all. They need more awareness and education about their own role in the process, the policies, the issues and a place at the table for discussion and implementation.

Basic Education must not only be made free but compulsory and supervised. Education opportunities must be made openly and evenly accessible to all without discrimination. Special incentives for trained and qualified teachers to work in the provinces are essential so that discrimination in quality education is avoided.

When government attempts to remove the payment of tuition fees in primary schools, we do not wish to see in its place the must higher payment of `school charges'. Parents, teachers, community leaders and other education stakeholders believe that poverty is an inhibitor of quality education. Because of extra and illegitimate charges children are being deprived of education.

Government must ensure the prompt payment of fees subsidies needed by school administrators to make the schools operational.
We want to see the incorporation of PEACE EDUCATION into our curricula at school and college levels.

There should be much greater government financing of education by not only increasing budget allocations but by the judicious management of funds.

Education personnel especially teachers must be well catered for with improved conditions of service befitting the so-called nobility of their profession. Refresher training of Heads of Schools and other teachers through study leave and others, is crucial to keep people motivated. The new-teacher recruitment process needs to be shortened.

The private sector including immigrant communities need to be' encouraged to, make inputs in the financing of education perhaps through legislation.

We believe in the desirability of creating, through dialogue and partnership, an enduring national consensus on the goals, strategies and modalities for achieving Quality Education For All.

The `ideas gap' must be addressed through debate, and dialogue so that the national development agenda moves forward but with a shared vision.

We are optimistic because the seeds for the growth of a new culture of policy dialogue do exist in Sierra Leone. There is no single blueprint suitable for all circumstances but there are ideas, experiences and innovations to learn from. Let us listen and learn together.

Government must nurture the culture of dialogue among partners in policy formulation and implementation. Let us all intensify the clarion call of UNITY, FREEDOM and JUSTICE for sustainable peace and development in our country.

In concluding this paper, I refer to the TEACHERS' MESSAGE which is a post-war lamentation, thus:

"Remember, we suffered because many ignored our message and many more had no opportunity to listen to us. Let's all support free quality education.

Our contributions in promoting EDUCATION, PEACE and DEMOCRACY make us proud to declare this millennium an era of QUALITY EDUCATION, PEACE AND DEMOCRACY.

We remain committed to our motto:
"SERVICE TO THE NATION", so help us God".



May 7, 2003

Mr. Franklyn Bai Kargbo Executive Secretary
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Brookfields Hotel

Dear Sir,


We refer to your letter ref no. TRC/FBK/20 Dated April 23,2003 regarding above matter.

We are enclosing a copy of our presentation to the Commission.

We regret the delay in submission.

Thanking you,
Yours truly,

(Anil Chopra)
Ag. Secretary



From the information available, the first Indian traders came to Sierra Leone in 1882. The numerical growth of Indian business community over the years has been largely from the emergence of businessmen who had previously been employees of the business houses but later on set up their own businesses using their knowledge and experience of the economy and society of Sierra Leone. Normally the Indian community has been concentrated in Freetown and only a few ventured in the major town of up country starting branch offices of their business. The business persons, their staff and families account for 90% of the Indian community in Sierra Leone whilst the remaining 10% consist of professionals and experts of International organizations.

Prior to political conflict in Sierra Leone, the strength of Indian community was around 800, but this number has dwindled down to 450 at present. The principal activity of the Indian community in Sierra Leone has always been importation of general merchandise with subsequent wholesaling and retailing. Some business houses have ventured into the manufacturing sector and this business trend is on the increase, thus contributing to industrialization of the economy and creation of jobs locally.

Indian Mercantile Association is the representative body of the Indian business community in Sierra Leone. The Association was formed in 1966 with the following objectives:

a. To assist the Indian mercantile community in Sierra Leone in trade, industry and other business matters.
b. To promote better understanding between members and all departments of the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
c. To promote social relationships between members and Sierra Leoneans and other communities resident in Sierra Leone.

The Association has also been actively engaged in various charitable activities by contributing financially to needy institutions in Sierra Leone. It regularly awards scholarships to deserving students to promote educational development in the community. Infact the main focus of the Association over the years has been to fulfill the social responsibility of the business community to the host community.

As mentioned above, the main objective of the Association is to act as a liaison body between the Government of Sierra Leone and Indian business community. It informs the members of various business regulations and new legal enactments made by the Government. It also organizes meetings and seminars with officials of various Government departments to inform the members of implications of the business laws to facilitate better implementation. It also represents the views of the business community to Government functionaries

During the political conflict in Sierra Leone, most of the members of Indian business community suffered major financial losses. The shops and manufacturing premises of many members were looted and burnt down. Four members of the community lost their lives. Some community members were forced to close down their businesses for good due to financial losses and relocated elsewhere whilst others had to scale down their operations by closing their branch offices in Freetown and up country.

During the conflict, the Association had to arrange evacuation of members and their families three times to neighbouring countries, at a big financial cost, thus causing major monetary hardship in difficult times. The education of school going children was completely disrupted.

Due to absence of the majority of its members, the working of the Association went into a limbo and it could not engage into any activities to fulfill its objectives.

With the return of normalcy in Sierra Leone, the economic environment has greatly improved and business activities are again gaining ground in Freetown as well as up country. The membership of the Association has though reduced significantly; it has again started charitable and social activities with generous contributions from the members.

The Association mainly works with the Indian business community as is enshrined in its objectives. With the return of political normalcy in Sierra Leone, the improved business environment has given sufficient confidence to members to once again commence commercial activities up country, which definitely is a very positive development. Also many more new trading and manufacturing ventures are being set up, thus bringing in much needed investment in the economy.

The return of democratic set up and absence of any political conflict has been a very positive development after a decade of conflict and has boosted the confidence of the business community. The recent announcement by the Government that a new investment code will shortly be enacted will definitely lead to increased foreign and domestic investment in the business sector.

The Indian business community has always maintained a very cordial and harmonious relationship with the host community and other communities resident in Sierra Leone. The Association has always encouraged its members to be law abiding and contribute positively to the development of the host community thus fulfilling its social obligations.

The conflict in Sierra Leone had a very devastating effect on economic, political and social life of all communities resident in Sierra Leone. But with the return of democratic set up and end of conflict, and the efforts being made by Government of Sierra Leone and other International agencies toward economic rehabilitation, positive developments in social and cultural context will definitely follow.

The main consequences of the conflict have been disruption of economic activities in all sectors like agriculture, mining, manufacturing and trading with concomitant social problems.
The improvement in political and business environment will definitely provide much needed remedies for social problems.

The main lesson learnt from the decade long conflict is that war and confrontation do not provide solutions but only increase the existing problems. It is always easy to destroy, but very difficult to rebuild it again. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, a great Indian leader:

'An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.'

In the present era of economic globalization, economic activities are key word for holistic development of any society. Hence Government and people of Sierra Leone should concentrate on economic rehabilitation to become part of a prosperous global community.


7 Lightfoot Boston Street, P. O. Box 114 Freetown Telephone: 227063/227058 Mobile: 076-614-279 - 076-654 -326

The Executive Secretary
Truth and Reconciliation Commission

15th May, 2003

Dear Sir,

I am enclosing as per the request of the Chairman and Commissioners of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, documents prepared by Mr. Martin E. Michael with regards to the Laws of Sierra Leone on Citizenship, and its application on members of The Lebanese Community who were born in Sierra Leone.

I do hope that this is what the Commission required.

Yours faithfully

Samir K. Hassanyeh
President of the Lebanese Community in Sierra Leone.

Martin E Michael LL.B (HONS) B.L
TEL: -f-+ 232-22-227612 FAX: -F-F 232-22-227130
E-MAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I have been asked by the President of the Lebanese Social and Cultural Association Mr.Samir Hassanyeh to briefly write a short article on the citizenship laws of Sierra Leone and how they affect persons of Lebanese origin born in Sierra Leone with particular reference to the purchase of land. I must at this stage claim full responsibility for the views expressed in this article. As the reader will see I have not assumed any political stance nor do I have any intention of doing so. All I have done is to highlight certain irregularities, which need urgent review.

Historically, the Lebanese came to and have lived in Sierra Leone since the 1890s. There is a big disagreement between the Michael family and the Bamin family as to who was the first to arrive here. However this writer being a Michael claims victory in this debate. Many of these migrants married Sierra Leoneans and many have served this country with distinction. The Lebanese community has on a yearly basis offered scholarships to deserving students and has made vast contributions to the refugees and displaced. Many of the third and fourth generation Lebanese living in Sierra Leone have made here their homes. However the laws relating to citizenship continues to discriminate against them. The 1991 Constitution, the supreme law in Sierra Leone, purports to guarantee and safeguard the rights of all persons regardless of race, colour or place or origin. However, the same Constitution provides that this protection from discrimination does not apply in respect of the citizenship laws. Furthermore the laws of Sierra Leone also discriminate against the Creoles particularly in relation to acquisition of land in the provinces.

The law relating to citizenship is found in The Sierra Leone Citizenship Act 1973 as amended by the Sierra Leone Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1976.The 1973 Act recognises citizenship by birth and citizenship by naturalisation. The 1976 Act amended amongst other things that portion in the 1973 Act that dealt with citizenship by naturalisation.

I am often asked by members of the Community who were born in Sierra Leone why they are not entitled to be called Citizens by birth particularly as many of them were born to parents who are naturalised citizens of Sierra Leone. As unjust as any answer might seem to this question the answer is found in Sections 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 of the 1973 Act.

Basically a person is a citizen by birth if either of his parents are of Negro African descent. If both your parents are of Lebanese descent though you and forefathers were born in Sierra Leone, you will not be regarded as a citizen by birth. Furthermore, if your parents are naturalized Citizens you are still not entitled to be called a citizen by birth. This scenario is even more unbelievable when you take the example of this writer.


My family is regarded as being the very first Lebanese to arrive in Sierra Leone in the 1890s. My great grandfather, grandfather and father were all born in Sierra Leone. I was born in Sierra Leone. My forefathers were all naturalized citizens of Sierra Leone. I am a 4th generation Michael. Our family has been in Sierra Leone for well over 110 years. Yet by virtue of the 1973 Act I am not regarded as a citizen of Sierra Leone. I must instead naturalize under the 1976 Act if I want to become a citizen of Sierra Leone.

I personally find the portion of the 1973 Act that deals with citizenship by birth to be discriminatory repulsive and archaic and should be amended immediately to cure the undoubted injustice it causes to people like myself and many others in Sierra Leone today. The Constitution as I have earlier said protects the rights of all persons regardless of race colour or origin yet that same Constitution provides that such protection from discrimination does not apply to Citizenship Laws. As a first step I would recommend that all those born of naturalized parents should be immediately recognized as citizens by birth.

Secondly I recommend that children born to parents who have lived in Sierra Leone for ten years or more and regardless of their nationality must be regarded as citizens by birth. Citizenship by birth would not extend to those who were born in Sierra Leone to parents who were not citizens by birth, naturalized citizens or had not lived in Sierra Leone for ten years or more.

England for example does not recognize children born in England of foreigners as citizens by birth. But by the same token all children born of parents who had acquired British Citizenship are regarded as citizens by birth. These children do not need to naturalise subsequently as is the procedure in Sierra Leone.

The 1973 Act restricted naturalization to those of Negro African descent or those women who were married to Sierra Leoneans. However this area of the law was amended by the 1976 Act and it allowed any person, neither of whose parents is a person of Negro African descent, who is resident in Sierra Leone and has been continuously so resident for a period of not less than fifteen years be apply for naturalization. The procedure here is to apply to the President for naturalization. After filling out the necessary forms the applicant has to undergo a series of interviews at the Immigration Headquarters the Criminal Investigation Department and the Income Tax. Thereafter the Minister of Foreign Affairs chairs a final interview. The panel is made up of inter alia the Attorney General the Minister of Trade and The Head of Immigration. This committee forwards its recommendation to Cabinet for approval. The President has the final say on the application. The successful applicant swears the oath of allegiance and is issued with a naturalization certificate. It is interesting to point out that the last time any one was naturalised was sometime in 1995.

A naturalised citizen is entitled to own land in Freetown but just like the Creoles he is not entitled to own land in the provinces. In some respects when it comes to ownership of land in the provinces there is absolutely no difference between the Creoles the naturalised citizen and the foreigner. Furthermore a person born in Sierra Leone but who is not a citizen of Sierra Leone is not entitled to own freehold property any where in Sierra Leone. Though he may have lived in Sierra Leone for over fifty years he is not entitled to own freehold property in Freetown yet this same person who is not allowed to invest his income in property in Sierra Leone is condemned when he buys a house in London or Beirut.

However there are restrictions on the naturalized citizen. He cannot hold parliamentary or Ministerial positions or stand for elected office. His citizenship may be withdrawn and he may be expelled. In fact following the return of President Kabbah's Government in 1998 22 Lebanese were deported from Sierra Leone and quite a number of the deportees were naturalized citizens of Sierra Leone. Generally he is not entitled to all the rights enjoyed by a citizen by birth. If one juxtaposes this with the position in England there is a clear difference. In England once you acquire citizenship you acquire all the rights a citizen by birth has including the right to stand for political office.

From the foregoing, it is obvious that the Citizenship laws of Sierra Leone and the laws relating to ownership of property do require some reform. Times have changed. We live in a society which prides itself on 'One Country One People.' Our laws must clearly reflect this. The rights of the individual is now of paramount importance. Discrimination in any form whatsoever can and should no longer be tolerated. The Lebanese Community is now very much a part of the Sierra Leonean Community. There are members of the Lebanese Community whose ties with Sierra Leone are much closer than with Lebanon. This is a hard fact, which must be accepted by all. The laws must reflect such changes and must accommodate those who have genuinely made this their home. Discrimination must not be allowed to overcome common sense. Apart from the Lebanese there are other nationalities in Sierra Leone who find themselves in this same position and any call for change is in their interest as well.

Finally it is an undisputed fact that no one can forget his background or his heritage. The Italians and Irish who live in the States and are American citizens continue to celebrate and embrace Italian and Irish culture, the Africans who have acquired British citizenship continue to embrace African culture and continue to practice their culture in England. The Lebanese are no different. There is no shame in embracing your culture and your heritage even though you may have acquired a new nationality. However having acquired that new citizenship it is imperative morally or otherwise that the individual embraces his new culture and does everything in his capacity to help his fellow citizens and to work for the national development of his new country.


MAY 9TH 2003




Honourable Commissioners, distinguished Ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of the Nigeria National union, Sierra Leone, I submit the following presentations.

The cordial and mutual relationship between the Republic of Sierra Leone and Federal Republic of Nigeria could be dated back to a very long period in history. At least 200 years ago. It is evidently clear that as today, nothing will ever succeed in splitting them apart. The two sister nations remain strongly United in spite of all difficulties and temptations. It is this cordial relationship that led to Nigeria's involvement in ECOWAS sponsored intervention military force (ECOMOG) to restore and upkeep democracy in Sierra Leone.
The Nigerian government has a history of assisting other African countries in their political developments. South Africa, Former Zaire (Now DRC), and Liberia are examples.

When the Nigerian government decided to intervene in the political crisis of Sierra Leone at the request of the Sierra Leonean government, opponents of the government of Sierra Leone diverted their frustration on peaceful and innocent Nigerians living in Sierra Leone; despite the fact that Nigerian civilians living here have no say whatsoever in decisions taken by the Nigerian Government in Abuja.

On a critical analysis, majority of the Nigerian Community resident in this country are legitimate and genuine business people and professionals. They go about their business legally. Their businesses are all registered and licensed. They have all genuine residence permit documents. They pay their taxes accordingly and all goods brought into the country pass through the required channels, thereby paying their proper custom and excise duties as and when due. We can see how Nigerians contribute their own quota to the economic development and the welfare of the country.

Before the advent of war, Nigerians were seen in every nook and cranny of this country doing their legitimate businesses. Their participation in the business activities of this country has helped a lot in boosting the economy. We have been creating and continue to create a wide range of employment opportunities for the citizens of this country.

Today, we continue to contribute in so many areas of human endeavor, making life more comfortable and easily affordable to an average Sierra Leoneans. From all intent and purposes, our presence here is for a good and noble intention to the people of this great country. Our intents are among other things, to reduce the hardship and business difficulties of an average Sierra Leonean.

Let us examine just few areas that the impact of Nigerian contribution are greatly and seriously being felt.



Not all Nigerians in this country are businessmen, as most people tend to believe. There are many Nigerians in the teaching profession right from the primary school to tertiary institution. There are Nigerian doctors here; Judges, lawyers, and many more. They are all imparting valuable and lasting knowledge into their Sierra Leonean brothers and sisters.


Two distinct and fast improving Banks are presently located in Freetown. They compete favourably with other banks (including government owned banks) in the country. They have added immensely to the employment creation efforts. These banks give loans to Sierra Leoneans without any prejudice.


Petroleum Scarcity is very rare in this country. All other types petroleum products are in regular supply. Nigerians as it concerns this particular resource always make this constant availability and ease in our quality of life possible here.


The cost of flight from Lungi to Aberdeen by Helicopter was reduced because a Nigerians tycoon got involved in the industry. Now that he is no longer in the business, the Aberdeen-Lungi has gone up again.
The other Airline that links Freetown with the entire West Coast is operated and owned by Nigerians. Even in times of war, they still remained on the route and did not abandon the country - A sign of special regard, the airline - Bellview has its head office in Sierra Leone even though it is owned and operated by Nigerians


Now to the business of buying and selling: Nigerians are well known world wide as business people. It is clearly observable that in every sector of our business life, that progress is reported, a Nigerians is involved as a 'closer look. In all areas of genuine business activities ranging from motor spare parts, Electronics, Electrical Communication, Stationeries to General goods and clothing's, Nigerians are involved in all. Our participation in these fields has brought similes to the faces of many Sierra Leoneans. Let's consider some few years ago, when spare parts, Electronics like Video, VCD, Television and radio/cassette tapes were very expensive. Most homes could not afford them. What about generators? These were all luxury for greater percentage of our people here. But today, with Nigerian involvement, their prices are reduced to highly affordable rates. Almost all families here can now boast of these goods. They now become essential Commodities, which every home must have just because of their highly reduced prices even at the same reasonable quality. Nigerians introduced majority of Sierra Leonean young men and women who are in business today into the trade. And almost all of them are successful. They are living witnesses. The services of Nigerian Importers are now being extended directly into Sierra Leone like most other countries in Africa, hence the drastic decrease in prices and great afford ability to every average citizen. The good changes in the average business and economic activities here today are made possible by Nigerian participation. Otherwise if still left under the hands of some specially selected few, prices will be highly outrageous and the consuming masses will suffer the subsequent inflationary costs.

In spite of these contributions and even more, some Sierra Leoneans don't find anything good in any Nigerian. Our experiences ever remained that of the proverbial fowl used for sacrifices in all occasions. The parties to the conflict on every occasion see us as enemies. We always bear the brunt of all clashes in the country. We were forced to begin to review our decisions and rethink our stand with worries on our mind. What we have actually committed as offences or wrongs to follow Sierra Leoneans. The involvement of our home Government in the political conflicts here were at their own level, not ours. There were no consultations whatsoever, on us by our Government before their actions. We were not there and we have no say when Nigeria's foreign policy decisions are taken. Nothing concerns us all about Nigeria's role in Sierra Leone. We are not soldiers, we had never fought before. We have been living peacefully here without problem. Some of us have spent more years of their life here than in Nigeria. Yet we are seen as harmful enemies. After all, it was not only Nigeria that was involved in the problems here, some other countries are, but also we are singled out as targets. Even on the Streets, in the buses/taxis in Sports arena, markets, Schools, residential areas, what we hear of Nigeria is incredible and unimaginable. People don't ever say any good thing about Nigeria. I don't know if those good Sierra Leoneans who value our activities and appreciate good things are afraid of speaking out. The voices of our detractors always overshadow that of our admirers (if any). All our genuine goodwill is turned into bad and evil.
We were visited with lots of heartless punishments. Let's review them on the scale, times and cases of their occurrences:

MAY 1997:

This was the period our fate became hopeless, hapless and helpless simply because Nigeria soldiers were among the leading opposition to the Military coup of May 25 1997.

Our shops, business premises and even our residences were vandalized and destroyed. Our women were raped, our Sierra Leonean wives were humiliated on the streets, and many of our people were killed. Some were maimed and rendered destitute. Some lost their properties and everything they possessed to the hoodlums. Some managed to escape into the bush where they lived miserable lives until 1998. Only the Almighty God, on whose mercies we relied, saved us and ensured our inexplicable survival. We lost less than 100 Nigerians within this period. Among many other pathetic and unforgettable experiences, the one at Mammy Yoko Hotel on the morning of June 2nd 1997 stood out.

On that day, nearly all the Nigerian citizens in Freetown sought refuge at the hotel awaiting evacuation to Guinea. The only help the Nigerian government could render was for those who could make it to Guinea.

On this day, AFRC/RUF forces attacked the hotel from the sea and land, launching heavy military artillery at the building with hundreds of Nigerians in there. A Nigerian army detachment (NANTAG) was then lodged at the Mammy Yoko hotel. They put up a fight and the heavy firing went on till evening when the Nigerian Army surrendered after mediation by the RED CROSS, because of the consideration about the possibility of heavy civilian casualties.

Civilians were then allowed to board an American helicopter on standby nearby. As the civilians (mostly Nigerians) left the hotel, they were stripped of virtually all they owned all their lives by AFRC/RUF fighters. Cash, jewelries and other priceless items were forcibly taken from Nigerians fleeing the country. Some were taken to Military headquarters for detention and to be used as human shield in case of a Nigeria-led attack on the military base.

JAN. 6 1999:

When we were passing through the ordeals of 1997, little did we know that the worst was awaiting us. The Freetown invasion of January 1999, it was like the end of Nigerian Community in Sierra Leone had come. The invading forces actually did everything within their powers to wipe off our existence but all as, the Almighty God, our Holy Saviour is ever living. Nobody on earth would have stopped them but God, as we were entirely at their mercies. They went about searching all houses of Nigerians, killing and maiming any one on sight. Houses were burnt to ashes, just because a Nigerian is suspected to be living there. Even Civilian nationals were fishing out Nigerians and handing over to the rebels to (in their own words) " finish him up" Women were heartlessly raped to death. We don't talk about shops, residential houses and our entire properties any longer. Those ones were preys to the bandits. Unlike 1997, when some of our people were captured, tortured and later released to tell the story, 1999 case was quite different. Nobody on rebels' sight was ever spared once you are an identified Nigerian. Some Sierra Leoneans were killed just because they were mistaken for Nigerians. These rebels completely forgot that we are not soldiers and that we are wholly harmless and innocent. We knew nothing about the war.

In fact, it was like hell to us during this period. A period we will never forget in hurry. A period we will continue to remember in shivers. The rebels did the Massacre of Nigerians in jubilation. Each time a Nigerian is being slaughtered, they were full of joy, fun, singing, dancing, jubilation and satisfaction. We have numerous numbers of horrible stories to tell of this period. Most other foreign nationals were not touched, disturbed and some even moved about on the streets. Some Nigerians had their arms chopped off, while some had their bodies half burnt with petrol and fire, are still living today as testimonies. There is a case of a Nigerian young man whose two hands were mercilessly cut off by the rebels and his front view (between the chest to stomach and laps) was burnt. His picture is with us presently but he is now in Nigeria languishing in poverty, hopeless, helpless and miserable condition. His poor parents are now begging for aid to keep him alive.
At the end of the January 1999 brief occupation of Freetown by the rebels. We counted about five hundred Nigerians who died at their hands mainly for the simple fact that they were Nigerians.
If we can trace back a little to the Sierra Leone Nigeria relationship, our intermarriage did not start today. The bulk of Krios are Nigerians. Many Sierra Leonean today have Nigeria origin and Nigerian names. E.g., Kashope, Bodurie, Ajibola, Olayinka and many more.
Also, Some towns and villages here are the names of Nigerians who came and settled here in early times such name like Calaba Town, reflect the Calabar people in Nigeria. You have the Ibo Town at Waterloo. History has it that an Ibo from Nigeria came and settled there hence the name today. Let's see the Fireborn, off eastern police; it was the Yoruba of western part of Nigeria that settled there. Most names we answer here today are a reflection of one Nigeria language. A good example is some krio languages, which contains many Yoruba words.

Today, some prominent Sierra Leoneans are in top positions of Nigeria Civil service. We have a Major General in Nigeria Army who is sierra Leonean. There is very Senior Director of Nigeria Airways who is a Sierra Leonean. Come to the judiciary, you find some Sierra Leonean lawyers, judges and Senior advocates. The medical profession has quite a reasonable number of Sierra Leonean as Doctor. Some are into politics and broadcasting.

A very prominent and senior broadcaster in Nigeria with the Nigeria Television Authority Cyril Stober is a Sierra Leonean.
In Nigeria, you hardly distinguish between a Nigerian and a Sierra Leonean. Many don't obtain resident documents any longer. They are assumed to be Nigerians. Anybody here today who has been to Nigeria will surely testify to this case. The numerical strength of Sierra Leoneans in Nigeria almost double that of Nigerians in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leoneans who live or have been to Nigeria can testify to these; and the fact that Nigerians did not take and would NEVER take any action that would even suggest revenge for what we went through here.

Nigerians were tortured, brutalized and humiliated. A reasonable number lost their properties. Some were rendered destitute. We were forced to leave the Country without any of our hard earned money or property. We returned home to face the realities of life. Caring for our families were almost impossible. Our ordeals then were numerous. These unimaginable acts were meted out to us simply because we are Nigerians.

The various atrocities, commercial losses and number of lives lost cannot be compensated for in monetary terms. For instance, the estimated cost of property and other merchandise lost by Nigerians in Freetown alone between May 25 1997 and January 30 1999 alone is about $5,550,000 (Five million, Five hundred and fifty thousand USD).

As a community, and in the spirit of reconciliation, we are prepared to forgive all those who have aggrieved us and continue to work for the development of Sierra Leone and the friendship between Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

We ask for reparation from the United Nations and other necessary organizations. We should be assisted and compensated to put back our lives on track. If assistance could be rendered to internally displaced persons, refugees and all war-affected people of this country, why not us the Nigerians?

We have some of our people today who live on begging as a result of their conditions. Some have nothing to go back to business. We are ready to respond accordingly if when called upon for more details.

We also ask for consideration for the widows and children of Nigerians who were married to Sierra Leoneans before their untimely and painful deaths.

We need assistance to save contain souls as a matter of great necessity and urgent importance. These are people who suffered because just because they are Nigerians living in Sierra Leone.
Kindly save some pitiful souls. May God Almighty bless you all, the government and people of Republic of Sierra Leone land Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thank you for your time.




Freetown, June 2003
Lansana Gberie, Partnership Africa Canada

The Heart of the Matter

Sierra Leone has just gone through a decade of brutal conflict in which tens of thousands of people were killed, almost all its limited infrastructure destroyed, and millions of its citizens displaced and brutalized in a systematic campaign of terror almost beyond belief. It is therefore necessary to take an accounting of this conflict, to try and understand why it happened, and, out of this cathartic process,-to make sure it does not happen again. This is why Partnership Africa Canada (PAC), which has played a role in investigating the dynamics of the conflict and drawing international attention to it, fully endorses the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

One of the truly paralyzing facts about the just-ended conflict was its absolutely crass nature. This was not a war about political disputes, about ethnicity or religion, about ideological differences. There was nothing marginally nationalistic about the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), which spearheaded the conflict. And there certainly was no evidence of a reformist tendency among its leadership or rank and file. This was a war of pillage and destruction, a war driven by a quest for loot and power. It was a war that became preoccupied with the illegal exploitation and smuggling of Sierra Leone's diamond resources, much of it directed by outsiders, in particular President Charles Taylor of Liberia.

The Heart of the Matter: Sierra Leone, Diamonds anti Human Security, Published by Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) in January 2000, recounted the corrupting of Sierra Leone's diamond industry, from peak exports of two million carats a year in the 1960s. to less than 50,000 carats by 1988. Other PAC reports have estimated that as much as one-fi(1h of the world's rough diamond trade may be `illicit' in nature, characterized by theft tax evasion and money laundering. Local and international aspects of the diamond industry are important issues for postwar Sierra Leone. Given the secretive and unregulated nature of the international diamond trade, it was a very simple matter for the RUF and its Liberian backers to move millions of' dollars worth of diamonds into the legitimate trade, and to use the proceeds to buy weapons. Without adequate local and international regulation of the diamond industry, the potential for future diamond-related conflict will persist.

The PAC report made wide-ranging recommendations, including the establishment of a `Permanent Independent Diamond Standards Commission' under UN auspices 'in order to establish and monitor codes of conduct on governmental and corporate responsibility in the global diamond industry.' It recommended the deployment of `Special long-term UN security forces' in all the major diamond producing areas of the country, and it recommended a UN Security Council ban on trade in diamonds said to be of Liberian origin. Following the Lome Agreement, the UN deployed its largest military force in the world in Sierra Leone, and the Security Council appointed a Panel of Experts which in December 2000 produced a report amplifying the PAC findings. Like the PAC report, it blamed Liberia's President Charles Taylor as the RUF lifeline, with pillage a bigger objective than politics. The UN report estimated the RUF's diamond trade at something between $25 million and $125 million a year.' Targeted sanctions were soon after imposed on Liberia and the RUF; similar sanctions were imposed on Sierra Leone's diamonds until a UN monitored certification system was introduced in September 2000. A ban was maintained on Sierra Leone diamonds not accompanied by a government diamond certificate until June 5, 2003 - in deciding not to renew the ban, the UN cited the Government of Sierra Leone's increased efforts to control its diamond mining areas and industry and its full participation in the Kimberley Process.

The dissolution of the RUF does not mean that threats to Sierra Leone's long-term stability_ have disappeared. Hundreds of ex-RUF and ex-CDF combatants have been hired by both Charles Taylor and his rebel opponents, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), to fight in Liberia's intensifying civil war and across the border in Cote d'Ivoire. This is mercenarism, with many ex-combatants in Sierra Leone remaining unemployed and disillusioned by the absence of jobs and reintegration benefits. This bodes ill for Sierra Leone. Since Taylor launched his war in Liberia, in 1989, Sierra Leone's fortunes have been intimately tied to those of Liberia, and Sierra Leone's decade-long war was a derivative of Liberia's. There is no evidence that Charles Taylor has renounced his long-standing economic and political ambitions in the region.

Conditions in the Diamond Areas
The conditions under which tens of thousands of artisanal miners work have always been harsh, and successive governments in Sierra Leone have been largely neglectful. That conditions got immeasurably worse when the RUF captured these areas, comprehensively destroying towns and reducing miners to abject servitude, is beyond dispute. Under the RUF's brutal command, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of diamonds were mined and smuggled out through Liberia.

Past attempts to redress the situation have always been feeble. They have included the restriction of artisanal miners' and agents' licenses to Sierra Leonean nationals, and the banning of non nationals from traveling to actual mining areas. In fact, however, many non-indigenous Sierra Leoneans, particularly Lebanese and Maraka traders f'rom other ECOWAS countries, have acquired Sierra Leonean passports which allow them to travel in mining areas and to participate directly in the extraction of the minerals. As a manger of the country's diamond, the Ministry of Mineral Resources has been a neglected institution. It has few, if any vehicles. Officials, particularly Mines Monitors and Wardens, are poorly paid, and in the absence of strong oversight and security in the mining areas, the incentive for corruption is overwhelming.

The Lebanese Factor
Lebanese entrepreneurs have been the primary buyers and exporters of Sierra Leone's diamonds over the past two decades, since the nationalization and corruption of the formal diamond mining industry in the 1980s. Given the almost complete collapse of official diamond exports through the 1980s and 1990s, it can only be surmised that most of the production was being smuggled out - with tacit official connivance- by the primary traders.

This has led to other complications. The Lebanese in West Africa, even those born here, have remained and continue to remain intensely aware of events in Lebanon. The more successful have property and other investments in the middle east. This is a source of mistrust throughout the region, for many have never fully integrated into the countries in which they live. Some of the wealthiest businessmen in the Middle East are Lebanese who made their money in West Africa. In Lebanon they are referred to as `Africans', and many have made regular contributions to factions in that region's never-ending conflicts.

There is now considerable evidence linking the RUF with the al Qaeda network. The Washington Post stated that al Qaeda `reaped millions of dollars in the past three years from the illicit sale of diamonds mined by [RUF] rebels in Sierra Leone,' and that one of the RUF's senior officials, Ibrahim Bah, who had Senegalese and Burkina Faso origins, acted as `a conduit between senior RUF commanders and the buyers from both al Qaeda and Ifezbollah, a Shiite Muslim organization linked to Lebanese activists who have kidnapped numerous Americans. hijacked airplanes and carried out bomb attacks on US installations in Beirut. The links between Lebanese diamond traders and the RUF, and between West Africa's Lebanese diaspora and global terror networks is the work of a few individuals only. But both cases are supported by generations of shady business practice, and by the strong interest of some Lebanese in the toxic politics of the Middle East.

Foreign Investment
In 2000, The Heart of the Matter described the dubious role of junior mining firms in Sierra Leone. `Juniors' are small prospecting and exploration companies which work on the edge of tile industry, looking for new diamond fields, generating funds on international stock markets, sometimes mining diamonds but more often than not eventually selling out to larger companies if2 'AI Qaeda Cash Tied to Diamond Trade', Washington Post. 2 November 2001. Many more details of the RUF-al Qaeda connection are provided in For a Few Dollars Mom. How al-Qaeda Into the Diamond Trade, Global Witness, London, April 2003

Presentation - Partnership Africa Canada

They are successful. Many are registered on Canadian stock exchanges, and in the case of Sierra Leone, two of them became the subject of widespread interest because of their apparent connections during the 1990s with two major international security firms, Executive Outcomes and Sandline.

Dubious investors are the best that countries with poor governance and unstable conditions can attract. The diamond industry is riddled with such companies. Sierra Leone will only attract and keep good corporate investors if it makes them welcome, and if it has an effective regulatory framework that benefits and protects both Sierra Leoneans and investors.

International Regulation: The Kimberley Process

The `Kimberley Process' was initiated by the Government of South Africa in May 2000, in an effort to grapple with the problem of conflict diamonds. Concerned about how diamond-fueled wars in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo might affect the legitimate trade in other producing countries, more than 35 countries have met, along with NGOs and diamond industry leaders, on a regular basis to develop an international certification system for rough diamonds. Sierra Leone was one of the first countries to participate fully. The system came into effect on January 1, 2003, and some 70 countries are now participating, using a certification model that was pioneered in Sierra Leone.

Provisions for regular independent monitoring of national control mechanisms have not, however, been agreed, and remain an item of serious contention for those concerned about the system's credibility and effectiveness.

Diamonds in the region have been implicated in terrible wars, and have compounded the corruption and misrule that have had such corrosive effects. The UN Panels of Experts on Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have demonstrated authoritatively that in the conflicts that ripped these four African states apart, diamonds were an overriding factor. Reform of the diamond sector is not simply a matter of convenience, to demonstrate compliance with international agreements. It is an important security, developmental and nation-building consideration. The regulation of diamonds is, therefore, a matter of sound economies.

Recommendation 1: Security in the Diamond Areas: President Kabbah has stated that his government will now concentrate on agriculture rather than diamond mining `which has caused so much devastation in this country.' The reality, however, is that Sierra Leone will rely on its extractive sector, especially diamond mining, for its foreign exchange earnings for the time being. And regardless of government policies, the external demand for high quality gem diamonds, like those found in Sierra Leone, will continue. It is therefore important and a matter of urgency to ensure that the diamond industry is made secure.

Individual security operations managed by each mining firm, however, will be costly and inefficient. They could also become anarchic and lead to human rights abuse.

It would be unrealistic - and undesirable - to expect the UN to provide protection for foreign commercial firms. The use of Sierra Leone government forces, which are already overstretched, would also be undesirable. Historically, diamonds have been the primary corruption of law enforcement and military personnel, and this is the last thing post-war Sierra Leone can afford.

The TRC should consider supporting the call for an integrated private security force. It should be well-armed and well-equipped, and should be established to provide security to all mining operations in Sierra Leone. The force should have a clear and transparent mandate, with joint oversight provided by the Sierra Leone government and the UN for at least 10 years. While the primary emphasis would be on the diamond areas, the cost should be pro-rated across all mining operations: Insecurity in the diamond areas affects all mining operations.

Recommendation 2: The UN Security Council: The TRC should urge the UN Security Council to continue its ban on weapons imports to, and diamond exports from Liberia until there is credible evidence that Liberia has stopped sheltering and arming dissidents from neighbouring countries. The UN Security Council should take a wider view of Liberia's role in regional destabilization, focusing on the government's use of timber revenues to fund its military activities and money laundering, as well as continuing weapons imports and the role played by diamonds.

Recommendation 3: The Kimberley Process: The Kimberley Process international certification scheme for rough diamonds came into effect on January I, 2003. Given the huge discrepancies between known production capacities in Ghana, Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire and what is said to be imported from these countries into Belgium and other countries, it is imperative that credible, independent reviews be undertaken of these countries' ability to comply with Kimberley Process minimum standards, as soon as possible. The TRC could provide important assistance by recommending that the Kimberley Process institute a regular system of independent monitoring of all national control mechanisms. Without this, it will have little meaning in countries where a long-corrupted diamond trade simply ignores borders and regulations.

Another, perhaps more important argument in favour of an effective Kimberley Process is usually understated. Many diamond-producing nations in Africa are very weak, and are unable to provide the kind of regulation that would make international oversight and monitoring unnecessary. The industry in Africa is thus extremely vulnerable to criminal predators, foreign as well as local. What the past decade has demonstrated beyond dispute, is that such predation has grave human security implications: it has fed to war and terror and banditry on a vast scale.

Recommendation 4: The Lebanese Community: Corruption among diamond traders in Sierra Leone, especially Lebanese diamond traders, needs to be curbed dramatically. The Lebanese community itself should make a strong effort at self-reform. Many were born in the country and a large number are third or fourth generation Sierra Leoneans. They have much to lose if things do not change. The highly respected President of the Lebanese Community in Sierra Leone has often called on the Lebanese to contribute more towards nation-building in Sierra Leone. He should speak out more often against corruption. A mechanism of `naming and shaming' should be introduced, aimed at isolation and/or prosecution.

Recommendation 5: Foreign Investment: The private sector and donor governments repeatedly emphasize the importance of foreign investment to the long-term development of Africa. The Government of Sierra Leone welcomes foreign investors. Unfortunately, however, the problems of the past and those that remain act as a disincentive for large reputable mining firms. The TRC should recommend that bilateral donor agencies work with the Government of Sierra Leone to devise ways in which dependable and meaningful long-term investment can he attracted to Sierra Leone.

Recommendation 6: Investments in Justice, Economic Development and Peace: The international community and Sierra Leoneans themselves have invested heavily to ensure that peace finally prevails in this troubled country. There is a real opportunity now for this to occur, and the opportunity should not be squandered. But peace is not just the absence of fighting. Peace, like democracy, is a positive attribute. It entails justice, economic improvement, and the opportunity to better oneself in an atmosphere of fairness, openness and freedom. These are only possible, in any measure that really counts, in the context of genuine economic development. (n Sierra Leone this will depend, at least for the short run, on proper management of its extractive sector, in which diamonds will continue to play a prominent role.

In The Heart Of the Matter two and a half years ago, we included a paragraph which is as valid today as it was then: In addition to the diamond-specific recommendations in this report, the development of sustainable peace in Sierra Leone will require major investment by the government of Sierra Leone and by donors in long-term basic human development and the creation of democratic institutions. Diamond-specific initiatives must be integrated into wider programs aimed at building fundamental human security and democracy, involving parliamentarians, journalists, teachers and a broad cross-section of civil society.

Thank you.
Presentation - Partnership Africa Canada June 2003

Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission




MAY, 2003

Mr. Chairman, Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), distinguished ladies and gentlemen. May I on behalf of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) extend our appreciation to the TRC for inviting us to their thematic presentations. We at the Anti-Corruption Commission share the view that if the causes that led to the decade long war in this country are not shared and addressed; there is a possibility that society may slide back to where it was in the past. These thematic institutional hearings are therefore very important so that we could all learn from our mistakes and work actively towards a concerted solution.

Before I proceed, may I state that this presentation is limited in terms of our work, to the period after the war as the Commission only started operations in the year 2000 when the Act was promulgated. My presentation will also be limited to the issues of corruption, with a minimum interference on the management of mineral resources as the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2000 does not make provision for economic crimes except where they relate to bribery, tax evasion and other corruption related matters.


Sierra Leone in the recent past has suffered many cruelties from armed conflict, injustice, human rights abuses and deprivation due to bad governance. Perhaps a cardinal factor to the decade long war in this country is corruption, perpetuated by politicians and entrenched by a weak judiciary. Corruption has given rise to a very low standard of living of our people, and the poorest nation in the world-"UNDP Development Index 2002".

Corruption, either grand (the looting of state funds by those in public trust, the illegal trading in diamonds) or petty (the charge demanded by a low ranking official for a service that should be free), remains endemic in Sierra Leone. Society has come to accept, and even expect corruption. As always, the poorest suffer most, and the poorest of the poor most of all. This same view was shared by the former Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt. Hon Clare Short MP, in her speech on Corruption and Governance, at the British Council Auditorium in Freetown on 27t" February 2002.

Poor people are denied access to education, health care and medicine because they cannot afford to make the extra payments demanded by corrupt officials.

They are denied justice when bribery and nepotism twist the legal system. And they suffer when corruption diverts scarce resources away from development or deters essential domestic and international investment. The system for prosecuting those found out to be corrupt, is it self corrupted by inertia, and the failure to punish those responsible.

Too many people entering politics and the public service in Sierra Leone do so in order to line their pockets. Personal gain or loyalty to family, tribe or party is put before national interest. The consequent effect of this is that the society was plunged into a civil conflict that is considered as one of the most brutal in human history. For the first time, Sierra Leoneans, with the help of some aliens, took up arms against their own brothers. Some as a means of seeking redress for their pent up resentments against the system, while others was for their own selfish reasons. Our natural resources which could have been used for the development of our country were transformed into fuel for destruction. Our diamonds and other resources were taken to rogue states in exchange for arms and ammunition. What was supposed to be a blessing became a curse.

By the end of the war and the reinstatement of the government of Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabba that was ousted by the AFRC in 1997, the Government of Sierra Leone with the help of the British Government saw that it was necessary for the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission. The aim was to address the impunity perpetuated by corrupt individuals or groups so as not to allow our society to slide back to where it was, and to foster speedy economic recovery and development.

It is important to note that several attempts have been made in the past to deal with corruption and other economic crimes, through various commissions of enquiry but the problem still persists and is escalating. From voucher gate when the quantum of money involved was in the thousands, to squander gate when it was in the hundreds of thousands, and then to the million gate involving millions of the Leone. Now we are talking about billion gates. We can see that corruption is pervasive and is not restricted to position or individuals.
The failure in the past has been greatly due to the lack of an effective punishment system and the absence of a well structured public service that is corruption resistant. If a corrupt individual is removed from a position of authority but the system that allows him to be corrupt is not removed, then someone else might come to that same position and be corrupted, perhaps more than his predecessor.

Also in the past, those found out to be corrupt were fined a minimal amount and set free. The next thing you will hear of them is that they are driving luxurious cars and building mansions at the expense of state funds. Some went back to their former jobs while others were given new appointments as if to compensate them for the wrongs they have committed. With time, Sierra Leoneans became proud of stealing large sums of money from state funds and go unpunished. Those who had their children in the public service incited them to grab their own share of the loot.

Hence, to address this problem of corruption which has become so endemic in our society, the Anti-Corruption Commission was established by an Act of Parliament on 3rd February 2000 with a specific mandate to provide for the prevention of corrupt practices;

• By taking necessary measures for the prevention of corruption in Government Ministries/Departments and other public bodies including instructing, advising and assisting any person or authority on ways in which corrupt practices can be reduced or eliminated

• By educating the public away from involvement in corrupt practices and by soliciting public support in the fight against corruption

• By investigating instances of alleged or suspected corrupt practices referred to it by any person or authority or which comes to its attention by way of complaint or otherwise.

The Commission hopes to achieve this through our values for quality service delivery, personal and professional conduct, constitutional and legal principles and coalition building.


The Commission is organised in accordance with the following structure:

1. The Commission: Comprising the office of the Commissioner and the office of the Deputy Commissioner

2. The Directorate: Comprising the Corruption Prevention Department, Community Relations Department, Investigations Department and the Research and Development Department.

3. Support Services: Namely Administration and Accounts.

The Commission uses three-pronged approach in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. These approaches are Community Education, Corruption Prevention and Corruption Investigation
Community Education: The Anti-Corruption Act makes provision under section 5 (2) (c) & (d) to: (c) Educate the public against the evils of corruption; and (d) Enlist and foster public support in combating corruption.

In other words we should educate and enlist the support of the public. That is, get them to change their perceptions and attitude in the interest of combating corruption. However, what we expected to be a sprint became a marathon, as the attitude of the people, especially those in government offices continue to be resistant to change.

Since its inception, the Commission has undertaken many sensitisation meetings, community theatre, workshops and seminars towards this drive. Radio and Television discussions as well as soap operas have also been undertaken to sensitize the public about the evils of corruption and the benefits of a corrupt free society. The print media was also not left out in this campaign. In addition, we also publish our quarterly newsletter called "The Eye" to further educate and inform the public about issues of corruption and also to entertain our readers. At the end of every year, an annual report is presented to the President on our activities for the year under review.

Further to this, the Commission has also to some extent succeeded in enlisting the support of the public in combating corruption through the establishment of a coalition with Civil Society groups, Non Governmental Organisations (NGO's) and other governmental institutions.

Corruption Prevention:

The Commission also has a corruption prevention Department whose strategic objective is to promote and enhance best practices and service delivery across all public sector institutions, through the examination of systems and procedures of clients in order to eradicate or minimise corruption opportunities. It also has the mandate to instruct and advise where necessary. This is contained in Section 5 (2) (a) and (b) of the anti-Corruption Act 2000.

A number of government institutions have been targeted based on a public perception survey that was conducted by Dr. Joe Lappia on the most corrupt institutions in the country. In that report, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology was ranked the most corrupt, followed by the Ministry of Health and Agriculture. Since then, our focus had been these ministries, and we have worked intensively with them in reviewing their service delivery and revenue collection. I am sure if another survey is conducted today, this trend must have changed in terms of the magnitude of corruption. The Prevention Department has also been looking at the activities of NGO's in order to ascertain whether their activities are consistent with their mission statements, if any. Other Departments we have looked at are; the customs and Excise Department, Sierra Leone Ports Authority and the Births and Deaths. Good practice guides on the operations of these agencies are underway. The Department has also provided support to various institutions needing our assistance.

In addition to these functions the Prevention Department also receives complaints from the Report Centre sent to it by the public on corruption related matters for intervention. These cases are examined by officers and a report of findings and recommendations presented for the attention of Senior Management of the Commission. When approved, the final report is sent to the complainant and the accused. Where it becomes apparent that a corrupt practice is perpetuated, the matter is then referred to the Investigation Department for further investigation and prosecution.

Corruption Investigation:

The Anti-Corruption Act makes provision for the investigation of corrupt practices under section 5(1) which states that the object for which the commission is established is to investigate instances of alleged or suspected corruption referred to it by any person or authority or which has come to its attention, whether by complaint or otherwise and to take such steps as may be necessary for the eradication or suppression of corrupt practices.

Many attempts have been made by the Investigation Department to investigate instances of alleged corrupt practices. Some of the reports received however do not fall within the purview of the Commission but bother on fraud, maladministration and other criminal activities. Those that fall within our purview are investigated and sent to the office of the Attorney Genera) and Minister of Justice for Prosecution.

The ACC Act is forward looking and do not seek to criminalize anybody for offences committed before the 3"d of February, 2000 when the Act was promulgated.

Research and Development:

This Department does the information gathering, processing and storage for the Commission. It also provides useful data to other Departments when required about individuals in society and institutions in general. The Department maintains a report Centre that received reports in the form of complainants from the public and with the advice of Senior Management, makes referrals to the various agencies concerned.

For the year ending 2002, about 1,062 reports were received by the Commission through the Report Centre and distributed to the following agencies in and out the Commission.

Investigations - 144
Prevention - 33
Research and Development - 217
Other Agencies (e.g. Police, Public Sector etc) - 668

Reports sent to other Agencies are those which in the opinion of the Commissioner do not constitute a corrupt practice and are sent to the respective institution for their action.

Most of our cases are now in court while others are awaiting prosecution. Many however have been put on hold for lack of evidential material.


In spite of the many strides made by the Commission to stamp out corruption, there are many problems which seem to beset us.

1. The low remuneration of public sector workers which appears to be a motivation for corruption in this country.

2. The lack of a special prosecutor to advise and prosecute our cases in court and where possible a Special Court for Anti-Corruption cases.

3. Slow judicial system that causes delay in our matters in court.

4. The apathy to change and the lack of compliance sanctions on preventive recommendations.

5. The absence of our physical presence in the provinces.
The Commission has been widely criticized for its inability to produce tangible result in the exercise of its duties mainly as a result of the above mentioned problems.

In addition, the Anti-Corruption Act 2000 only makes provision for corrupt practices and not economic crimes. In effect, the Commission has not been able to successfully intervene in the diamond industry, except however in cases where taxes on the sale of such diamonds are evaded. The case against a now Member of Parliament Hon. Momoh Pujeh is still lingering in the courts.

In countries like Botswana, Honkong, Australia etc where similar Commissions have been successful, economic crime is also part of their Commission's activities. This is not the case for us in Sierra Leone. Our scope is narrow.

I would like to conclude with the words of the Commissioner in the Anti-Corruption Commission Newsletter of December, 2002;

"Much continue to be written and spoken about the activities of the ACC with expressions of a wider range of views and opinions on the increase. I see this as an increasing positive trend. The ACC will continue to lend an attentive ear, taking into good part all that is being said and written by our partners in the fight against corruption. This trend will no doubt continue greatly in helping this young organization map out future strategies that will enhance the Commission's work and its relentless drive to live up to the expectations of you the public.

At this time when the year 2002 has just passed us by, ushering us into the New Year, we at the ACC have made it our collective resolve to do all that is humanly possible to carry on with the sacred mission to fight corruption in all its manifestations and help make Sierra Leone a better place in the interest of the common good"


Submitted please.

Shollay Davies (Mr.)
Prevention Officer Anti-Corruption Commission

2nd Floor, Bank of Sierra Leone Building, Siaka Stevens Street, Po Box 30, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Telephone: 226501 Ext 118 226000. Fax 2299064. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Government Gold and Diamond Office came into being in 1985 in pursuance of Government's avowed policy to remedy the acute shortage of foreign exchange in the country.

The functions of the Government Gold and Diamond Office (GGDO) as set out in Sierra Leone Gazette Vol. cxvll No 100 of Tuesday 17th December 1985 are as follows:

1 To buy Gold and Diamond at competitive prices

2 Examine, assort, value, parcel, market, and export Gold and Diamond

3 The export proceeds of the goods shipped by GGDO shall accrue as income to the whole nation

4 Put the marketing of Gold and Diamond on an organized and sound basis, thereby increasing the free flow of foreign currency through the local banking system.

5 Institute more effective measures in the marketing of Gold and Diamond by ensuring that valuation is done with the highest standard of efficiency, professional competence and integrity.

6 To provide a strong credible basis for government to raise external loans using its stock of Gold and Diamond if necessary.

From the inception of GGDO the following functions were carried out:

1. Purchase and sale of Diamonds.
2. Valuation of Diamond and Gold
3. Collection of Income tax on behalf of government.

The GGDO did not succeed in stockpiling diamonds to be used as collateral if necessary for government to raise external loans. The GGDO never bought or sold gold and only started assaying gold in 1993 and stopped when GGDO lost all Gold assaying equipment as a result of the fire that burnt all the assaying equipment in May 1997. The buying and selling of diamonds had to cease because of lack of adequate funds. Nevertheless GGDO conducts tenders on behalf of private individuals in special cases.


The GGDO is managed by a management team headed by the General Manager. Management is responsible to a Board of Directors comprising of eight members.

• Mr. D.B. Quee - Chairman
• Alhaji M.S. Mustapha - Permanent Secretary Ministry of Mineral
Resources (statutory) Member
(mi) Alhaji A.R. Kabba Members
(mii) Mr. S. C. Lansana Member
(miii) Mr. S.P. French Member
(miv) Dr. K.B. Sannoh Member
(mv) Mr. M Sahid Kamara Member
(mvi) Mr. L. Ndola-Myer General Manager Member

GGDO at present has a staff complement of 23 comprising

  • 3 Executive Staff
  • 5 Management Staff
  • 2 Senior Staff
  • 2 Juror
  • 11 Support Staff


GGDO initially derived its revenue from 1.5% of exports and profits from sale of diamonds. In 1990, with the advent of DO as consultants with the responsibility of administering the GGDO, the revenue from exports was reduced to 1 % and in 1993 the buying arm was closed so GGDO could not make any money from the sale of diamonds.

GGDO was able to survive on the 1 % revenue from the export of diamonds because of reserves accumulated from the profits made form the sale of diamonds. Then came the fire of 26th May 1997, which burnt a11 our properties in our offices on the 7th floor, West Wing, Bank of Sierra Leone, Siaka Stevens Street. At the time when we resumed operations in 1998 we had huge arrears of salaries and allowances to pay to employees and Board Member and we also had creditors whom we had to pay. These creditors included the Government and corporate bodies. Our income could not measure up to our expenses so we had to lay off some staff and suspend our medical scheme and overseas trips for the General and Deputy General Manager. There was also the ban on export of diamonds, which compounded our financial problems. We are now operating permanently on a huge deficit. Our financial situation was exacerbated in January 2001 when our income from exports was reduced to 0.75%.

In anticipation of the Certification regime GGDO had to buy valuation equipment, computers and furniture to meet the requirements for certification of all diamond exports. In this regard we have to thank HRD for helping us out by providing us with a data base computer and a digital camera, which ushered us into digitisaiton. HRD also provided us with some other equipment and not only that but they sent an expert who came to our office and installed the computer and put our staff through on its use. GGDO on its own bought a computer, scanner, a digital camera and coloured printer together with furniture for the office.

GGDO paid Le 19 million (Nineteen Million Leones), on 8th August 2002 and Le 17 million (Seventeen Million Leones) on 15th October 2002 to the Bank of Sierra Leone being arrears of rent and current rent respectively. GGDO had to sell the only utility vehicle it had to reduce its expenditure, as the vehicle was over ten years old. We have been able to buy one vehicle for the General Manager. GGDO moved into the East Wing of the Second Floor, Main Bank Building on 28th October 2002. A conservative estimate for furnishing our new offices is Le 80,000,000.00 (Eighty Million Leones).


1. The exporter must have a Licence.

2. `The exporter should present the goods for valuation together with a copy of a Schedule "B" form (already filled up to the Government Valuer).

3. Valuation will be done in the presence of a Senior Mines Monitoring Agent, the Customs Officer and the exporter before the parcel is sealed.

4. Obligations of exporter:

1 Consolidated Revenue 0.75%
2 GGDO Operation Costs 0.75%
3 Mining Community Development Fund 0.75%
4 Independent Valuator Fees 0.40%
5 Mines Monitoring Fees

5. All payments will be made in US Dollars for which receipts will be issued to The Exporter. The Government Valuer will make sure that every exporter presents a Bank Guarantee that the value of goods exported will be repatriated to Sierra Leone.

6. The Government Valuer will cause the particulars of the package (Electronic Date about Certificate of Origin in Excel data-file and photos) to be sent to Belgium.

7. On the compilation of all formalities and payments having been made, the Exporter will be handed his parcel sealed for export.


In pursuance of UN Resolution 1306 the Government of Sierra Leone with the help of the Diamond High Council (HRD) of Belgium has put in place a system wherein every diamond exported by the government is accompanied by a Certificate of Origin. This is aimed at ensuring the export of conflict free diamonds. It is also aimed at minimizing smuggling (Global Certification). It is also intended to help major diamond importing countries like Belgium to keep an accurate statistics of legitimate exports from Sierra Leone.

There is now a direct electronic data base link between GGDO and the Department of Economic Affairs of Belgium that is expected to report back findings of both the valuation and other related mishaps. At the end of every export procedure in GGDO every data of the export including photographs of diamonds, certificate, diamond parcel, is transmitted to Belgium immediately by Email.

So far the system is working. All major dealers and exporters in Sierra Leone have cooperated with impressive results so far. All are anxious to be considered as above Board. It has become evident that some exporters are exporting far larger figures now than before. This could be seen in the large increases in exports in 2000 as compared to the past two years (1998 and 1999).


The year 2003 started on a very optimistic note and has registered sustained growth throughout the past months. The first quarter of this year recorded a total export of 108,032.62 carats of diamond, which were valued for US$ 16,526.536.98. As at 19th May the figures stand at 179,791.43 carats valued at US$ 27,652,544.76. This gives an average monthly export figure of 36,000 carats at US# 5.53M. Continuing at this pace for the rest of the year will meet the target of US$ 60M as was forecasted earlier this year. However with the Kimberly mining operation now in progress, expectations are high that the monthly average will soon rise to a more significant level, which will be way above the present.

The driving force behind the rapid growth in exports seems to be the Certification Systems. In October 2000, when the National Certification System was implemented, exports volume quickly rose from a level of US$0.39M a month to US$2.18M, in a space of three months. Though it could be said that those figures included stockpiles, the growth still continued. In 2001 exports rose to about 160% (US$ 26,022,492.27) more than 2000, giving a monthly average export of about US$ 2.17M. In 2002, the performance was exemplary. The first time in the history of GGDO or the diamond industry as a whole, the yearly export figure rose above a US$ 41M mark - a 60% increase in 2001.

The bloody nature of African Civil Wars especially that which occurred in Sierra Leone and Angola and the callous use of diamond ("Conflict Diamonds") to fund and perpetuate the wars, brought these countries to the attention of the International Community. As Gay Ralfe of DeBeers put it '`Although the trade in conflict diamond is unquestionably small, just one diamond dealt with in such a way is one too many''. A concerted effort by the International Community to stem the source of funding for rebels to continue their wars led to the implementation of the Global Certification Scheme that has come to be known as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. An important difference between the KPCS and the National Certification System of Sierra Leone is, in the case of KPCS, diamonds are exported to or imported form only participating countries. In the latter the GGDO had no power over the destination of exports. This has now changed.

Since the implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in January 2003, export have soared to unprecedented levels, as at 19 May 2003 a total of 179,791.43 carats of diamonds valued at US$ 27,652,544.76 have been exported. This gives a monthly average export of 36,000 carats for US$ 5.53M. The chart below shows just how events have turned for the better.

It is believed that increase in official exports brings about a corresponding decrease in smuggling and a corresponding positive change in fortune for the members of diamond industry and the nation as a whole. It is therefore of vital importance to all to support the Kimberley Certification System. The participation of both diamond producing and importing countries have been very encouraging. Below is a list of countries, which joined the K.P.C.S. on January 1, 2003:
Burkina Faso  
Central Africa Rep. 
Democratic Rep. Of Congo
Ivory Coast
Korea (S)
EC-United Kingdom
People's Rep. Of China
Hong Kong
Russian Federation
Unite Arab Emirates
Sierra Leone
South Africa
United States of America
More countries have promised to join at a later date.

It is the desire of the Ministry of Mineral Resources, the Board and Management to:

1 Acquire land for the purpose of putting up a building to be called Diamond House, to house GGDO and other related offices

2 Set up office in Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Kono for the purpose of assisting diamond miners and other persons involved in the diamond and gold business indisposing of and buying diamond and gold at prices as close as possible to prices in the world market which is in consonance with the purpose for which GGDO was set up.

3 Train valuers and assayers initially and to cater for further training for valuers and assayers overseas.

4 Cater for the well being of GGDO staff by increasing their salaries and allowances in order to encourage them to be transparent, accountable and efficient.

5 Following our participant in the certification system period October 2000 to now.


























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2000-2003 AS OF 9TH JUNE 2003


































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Minister of Mineral Resources
St' Floor
Youyi Building

12th May, 2003.

The Chairman,
Block A, Brookfield Hotel
Jomo Kenyatta Rd

Dear Mr Chairman,


I acknowledge receipt of your letter on the above subject and note that the Commission is willing to grant a one day extension so that I could make my presentation on Wednesday, 21t May, 2003, in the afternoon. I appreciate this consideration on the part of the Commission, especially the afternoon appearance, as Wednesdays are normally Cabinet days.

I also note that the Commission is quite concerned about the limited cooperation it has received from government institutions. I cannot speak for other government institutions, but for my part the only correspondence I have received from the commission was the letter of invitation, to which I reacted promptly by a phone call to the Chief in Information Management. He claimed that he had despatched a number of letters to my Ministry. The same may apply to other government institutions none of which was received. The mailing system should therefore be examined.

I forward a copy of my presentation with attachments and look forward to meeting you on the appointed date.

Yours Sincerely

Alh. M.S. Deen
Minister of Mineral Resources



Formal mining started in Sierra Leone in the early 1930s with iron ore mining by the Sierra Leone Development Company Ltd. (DELCO) in the Marampa Chiefdom, Port Loko District, chromite mining by the Sierra Leone Chrome Mines Ltd. (SLCM) in the Nongowa chiefdom, Kenema District, and diamond mining by the Sierra Leone Selection Trust Ltd. (SLST).

The chrome mines closed down in the early 1960s after independence when the subsidy on the transportation by rail was lifted, and the depleted ore reserves could not support higher transportation costs.

The mining policy of 1969/70 which mandated that government could take majority shares in any mining company forced DELCO to close down prematurely in 1975 to escape the perceived problems of operating a mine with majority government shareholding.

Government actually acquired 51% shares in SLST to form NDMC (National Diamond Mining company) Ltd. In 1970, which turned out to be a disastrous decision for this company and the mining industry in general. SLST was already paying 70% corporate tax to government, and with 51% of the remaining 30% profit (about 16%) as dividend the government total take was about 86% of profit. Because government could not pay for its shares up front it was allowed to pay from dividends, which meant that the company was forced to pay dividend every year until 1980 when the accounts showed a loss for the first time since 1933. Because dividends were paid every year, there were no reserves to purchase essential spares and to replace worn out equipment. The demise and collapse of the company was therefore imminent even before the rebels attacked the mine in October 1992.

Exploration and mine development came to virtual halt because of the 1970 mining policy. Rutile and bauxite mining started in the 1970s and eventually compensated for the loss in revenue from iron ore and formal diamond mining activities. Before the rebel war intensified in 1994/95 the mining industry contributed 20% to GDP, 70% foreign exchange earnings and 15% government revenue. The bauxite and rutile mines were operating 16 miles apart and both mines were attacked by the RUF rebels in the same week in January 1995, and up till now there has been no formal mining operations (large scale operations), only the artisanal diamond mining has been providing foreign exchange earnings from diamond exports.

It is the function of my Ministry to adopt appropriate policies to attract investment capital and promote the mining industry to take a lead in kick-starting the economy of Sierra Leone which has been battered by the rebel war.

In this regard, government is lending $25 million Euro obtained from the EU as a grant to the rutile mine for resumption of operations. In addition to the repayment of the principal, an interest of 8% will be charged. The company is due to restart operations in the second half of 2004 with about 1000 jobs for Sierra Leoneans and over $15 million revenue to government per annum.

The bauxite mine is expected to start operations next door in July 2004 with over 300 jobs for Sierra Leoneans and over $5 million per annum in revenue to government.

In Kono the Kimberlite diamond mining is expected to start production in August/September this year with over 200 jobs for Sierra Leoneans and about $5 million per annum in revenue to government.

The global capital investment in exploration and mining is dwindling every year with only 5% coming to Africa; 3% of this 5% goes to Southern Africa and the remaining 2% goes to the rest of Africa. The competition is rather keen, therefore, with every country fighting to have a slice of this tiny cake.

With Sierra Leone coming out of a devastating war my Ministry is engage in a promotion campaign, and our first effort is a supplement of the leading mining magazine - the MINING JOURNAL in February 2003. I attach a copy to this presentation.

Because of our experience with the 1970 disastrous mining policy - the majority shareholding policy, in our 1995 and 1998 policies the emphasis shifted towards a private sector enterprise where the government would not take any shares in any mining company; rather, government's role is to adopt a policy of facilitation and providing the appropriate business climate for investors in the mining sector.

The management of the artisanal and small scale diamond mining has presented considerable difficulties to succeeding governments since the colonial times. Sir Morris Dorman had cause to expel a certain group of foreign africans in 1950s for persistent illicit diamond mining (IDM) and diamond smuggling. This government is facing the same problems today. But three recent events have combined to ease the problem somehow.

The first is that government has introduced a scheme whereby a certain amount from the export fees collected from diamond exports is disbursed to the diamond mining chiefdoms to finance a project which will benefit the entire chiefdom - a court barri, a clinic, school, bridge, any infrastructural project that will benefit the chiefdom people, and not an individual. This is called the Diamond Mining Area Community Development Fund (DMACDF). The amount is distributed in proportion to the number of diamond mining licences operating in the Chiefdom. This creates some amount of competition among the chiefdoms with each aiming to maximise its share from the Fund. The scheme is very popular with the chiefdom authorities, this is the first time that any government has considered the interest of the diamond areas with all the damage that diamond mining operation causes to good farming land, the authorities therefore pledge to help in the fight against IDM in their chiefdoms.

The second event is the appointment of chiefdom mining committees to allocate land for diamond mining with the Paramount Chief as Chairman, and four (4) others; two elders and two youths, male and female each. This is mainly in Kono, Tongo and Kailahun where the rebels occupied and controlled mining for extended periods when the local people had no access to their land for mining and farming. This scheme has returned the rights and ownership of the land to the chiefs and local authorities and is very welcome. They therefore help to arrest IDM in areas that are not allocated by the committee.

The third event is certification scheme introduced by the United Nations Security Council resolution 1306 (2002) of July 2000 with prohibits the import of diamonds from Sierra Leone without a certificate issued by the government of Sierra Leone to show that the diamond were exported under the authority of the Sierra Leone Government. The object of this resolution was to deny the RUF rebels the access to world market with illicit diamonds which they sold and purchased weapons to prolong the conflict, hence the term conflict diamonds.

In addition to this UNSC resolution Sierra Leone is also a founder member of the global certification scheme known as the KIMBERLY PROCESS CERTIFICATION SCHEME. This scheme, because of its global application, covers an even wider area.

Diamond exports have increased considerably since the UNSC resolution was introduced in October 2000. I attach the export records from October 200 to April 2003.

The issue of corruption in the diamond mining and marketing sector derives from the very nature of a diamond; easy to conceal, high value and in great demand worldwide. From the foregoing it can be seen that government has adopted a number of schemes and policies to minimise corruption in the artisanal diamond sector and laws have been introduced to provide deterrent to corrupt practices, but the law enforcement officers, mines officers, the police, the army, foreign and national court officials, have all fallen short of expectation and yielded to the attraction of the perceived wealth created by the DIAMOND. The Government and everybody, citizens and foreigners owe it to this country to fight corruption in any and every circumstance.

I thank you for your attention.



I believe I should first and foremost thank the commission for giving me this opportunity to make my own submission on the background of some frivolous allegations levied against me in previous submissions not too long ago.

I wish to inform the TRC that I have been dealing in diamonds for the best part of my life; ever since I was in my early thirties to date. and if you take a look at me it is quite easy to discern I'm already living in my bronze age. that, I'm sure gives you an indication of my wealth of experience in the diamond sector.

I first started as a diamond dealer that was sometime back in 1970 and gradually rose to the present status of diamond exporter. I should hurry to pronounce that all transactions effected under these licences were legitimate and in full compliance with the Mines and Minerals policy i.e. receipts were issued for all the diamonds which were bought by me and such transactions were duly recorded in rough and uncut minerals record book supplied to me by the Ministry of Mineral Resources.

Alongside the marketing of diamonds, I ventured into the mining aspect of the product which led me to incorporate my own mining company in the late seventies. the name of the company was K.B. Mining Company with mixed shareholders -partly Lebanese and partly indigenous Sierra Leoneans.

The company, like many other mining companies also became a victim of the civil conflict. All its equipment and machines were vandalized, burnt down or stolen. and we had plenty of mining machinery and equipment ranging from vehicles, earthmoving machines to treatment plants, jigs, pumps, dredges, and electric generating units.

Coming back to the issue of the conflict, like I previously informed you I am a businessman perched in my diamond office and expecting to do business with the public i.e. people who come up with the product and wish to make a deal with me. Sometime, if you're lucky you know that these person or group of persons in front of you are licensed and offering a diamond stone for sale, which is your focus as a businessman, you are therefore enticed to entertain that person or group. In the process you primarily determine the weight of the stone, next you take a close look at the stone with the use of a loop (magnifying glass) to examine for cracks and possible inclusions. After all this you then begin to haggle over the price being offered until, you arrive at an agreeable amount. Documentation of the transaction then follows and which includes preparing a receipt in accordance with the approved format by the Ministry of Mineral Resources. This involves providing very useful information about the name of the seller, the type of licence under which the diamond is sold, the weight of the stone and the amount received as proceeds. Such data are crucial in tracking the product in the event of disputes and also ensure that the product is not eventually smuggled out. Indeed, inspite of the effort of the Ministry of Mineral Resources in combating smuggling through policy review and the enactment of stringent penalties as a deterrent, it is an open secret that smuggling was the order of the day. However, the establishment of the Certificate of Origin scheme for the exportation of diamonds and now Kimberley process has dramatically diminished the smuggling of our precious minerals. This is evident in the current volume of diamonds being legally exported through G.G.D.O. at this juncture, I wish to appeal to the' government not to relent in supporting the Kimberley process and also recommend the continuation of the present policy relating to precious mineral exportation.

I can remember vividly that in 1995 and 1996 consecutively, I was classed the number one diamond exporter in Sierra Leone i.e. in terms of the volume and value of diamonds which were exported through G.G.D.O. also in the year 2001, my business house came first and the following year 2002 was rated second to another successful buying office.

Well, successes often come with opportunities and alongside these opportunities there are threats that accompany such success. My successes in the diamond business often come with more threats than opportunities; particularly during the period of 1997 to the end of 1999.- for example, on the day of the AFRC coup, which I can still remember was a Sunday, soldiers suddenly started raiding my residence. Some came requesting for money others to loot and commandeer vehicles while some groups did both. This harassment continued until I had to hide away my family from my residence. Actually, what finally precipitated my moving out of the house was when I narrowly escaped being shot by a group of soldiers obviously mixed with some RUF rebels. One of them brandished a pistol and threatened to shoot me in the leg; stubbornly repeating his desire to leave a scar on me. I only succeeded in dissuading him by allowing them to take a way the carton of money I had in the house and which was meant for the Kono branch diamond office. Another instance I wish to site was that while I was in hiding I got a telephone call reliably informing me that some RUF personnel in Kono were planning to kidnap my son Jihad together with my daughter and son-inlaw. They were the ones responsible for the running of my diamond office in Kono. On hearing this I immediately linked up with Jihad who confirmed that infact the RUF made a futile attempt the previous day to capture them, but thanks to the assistance they got from some good neighbours who risked their lives to hide them. Jihad further informed me that he had already sent a runner to the Executive Outcomes at the D.O. barracks to request for assistance in moving them out of the town. I later learnt that one Major Yan did heed to their request and got them out of their hiding place in a military convoy and took them over to their camp. They passed the night peacefully with the South Africans and the following day were airlifted to Freetown to join the rest of the family.

In Freetown, we suffered embarrassment and because of the social unease coupled with the unpredictable nature of the happenings of the time, I finally decided to send my family over to Lebanon in June 1997 then one week later I followed suite. I had to slightly delay my departure in order to officially close down my establishment before leaving.

In respect of interaction, I think I enjoy quite a warm and cordial relationship with every sector of the communities where I have an establishment.

As a diamond businessman, having a healthy public relations is always a priority. and because of that I am always ready to contribute when called upon to community development programmes. Also of importance is the fact that I coincidentally held the office of chairman, Lebanese Community and subsequently provided liaison between the Lebanese community and others with a view to creating social, economic and cultural harmony for the wider community.

May I at this stage thank you all for your indulgence in listening to my submission. and wish to emphasize that this is my true story and all that which has been previously reported is totally false and was maliciously designed to smear my reputation and defame me.

Thanks so much








Sierra Leone we all agree is a country beset with a series of unfortunate paradoxes: e.g. fertile soil and good weather conditions all year round, but we import most of our staple food (rice); possess diverse minerals yet so poor; the list goes on.

Amongst the many reasons proffered to account for our demise, inappropriate policies as outlined in the June 7, 1996 Presidential address stands out clearly to be the critical factor.

Although the long-term economic future of Sierra Leone lies in productive agriculture, the bridge to link us with the future is in today's mining. The truth is that mineral wealth is needed as a driving force for our economic emancipation, more so now and the foreseeable future.

Sierra Leone has a fairly bit of history in mining; household names like Sierra Leone Selection Trust (SLST) for diamonds, DELCO for Iron Ore, SIEROMCO (bauxite), SIERRA RUTILE (Tio2), contributed meaningfully to the socio-economic and political stability of our nation. However, with the exception of SIERRA RUTILE which was decimated by rebel activity, most of these companies collapsed due to negative political interference and institutionalized corruption.

A case in point is the diamond mining company SLST. It first came into existence in the 1930's, which later metamorphosed into a formidable partnership between a British Consortium and the Sierra Leone Government in the SLPP days. It provided, in addition to the much-needed foreign exchange, meaningful employment and educational and technical training for our Human resource base.

With the advent of the APC, SLST was virtually nationalized and baptised National Diamond Mining Company Ltd (NDMC). Political appointees under the guise of Government Representatives interfered with every aspect of the company and sat right in the Diamond Separator houses, siphoning gems for their political masters and self, thereby depriving Mother Sierra Leone of her rightful share. Profits evaporated and the company descended into a convulsion of loss making.

The final nail in the coffin occurred when the BP shares was grabbed by PMMC, a local company that was a puppet for the APC. NDMC was liquidated and buried.


The SLPP strongly believe that a comprehensive policy outline is the critical pathway to the full realization of our economic potential in the mining industry. In this respect the SLPP applauds the Tejan Kabbah SLPP Government in producing the new policy which is structured to enhance the aims and objectives of two previous policies (1995 and 1998) which was to create an enabling environment for much needed foreign and local investments in the mining sector. In addition, this policy also enhances the social and economic benefits to the country, mining community as well as the investors and importantly addresses the vexing questions of security of Tenure for Licences and Leases and the Environment.


Mining as we all know has been going on for a long time and it should be expected that well known minerals like alluvial diamonds, bauxite (aluminum) etc. to be depleted for economic large-scale production. The saving grace however is in our mineral diversity and the possible exploitation of the sources of known minerals like Kimberlite diamonds and LODE GOLD.

Sierra Leone is known more for diamonds than any other mineral. The future however is dependent on the successful exploitation of other solid minerals, gas, and petroleum.

South Africa's position as the number one in Africa is due to their exploitation of Gold, diamond, platinum etc. Guinea's third position again is due to her exploitation of other minerals as well as diamonds.

1. Iron Ore: It is pleasing to note a company is about to re-start mining operations.

2. Rutile: Sierra Ruble needs to come on stream within the next few months as is now expected.

3. Gold: Apart from mining of alluvial gold (subsistence mining) no lode production has been recorded. As an information, the country has one medium-sized Achaean greenstone belt (source of Gold) about 80 miles long and ten miles wide and several smaller ones. One of such small ones at Baomahun that was at an advanced exploration stage by BAOMAHUN GOLD MINES, before the rebels struck, showed a reserve of one million plus ounces and that in financial terms is well over US$350 million dollars. Baomahun and other areas probably more endowed should be exploited as early as possible.

4. PLATINUM: is more expensive than gold probably due to its rarity. The Freetown Peninsula has evidence of platinum and it is heartening to note that Government had attracted investors who have undertaken exploration exercises for this precious mineral. (Resource Finance Ltd and Resource Securities Ltd).

5. DIMENSION STONES: A novelty in building and cemetery design is another mineral that needs exploitation. The SLPP Government granted a mining lease to Olympus Mining Limited, a wholly owned South African Company in 1997.

6. PETROLEUM: This is yet the ultimate in mineral wealth. In the early 1980's when the APC was at its Zenith, Amoco and mobile sunk two drill holes (wildcatting) after a few seismic studies. These holes showed some indications of hydrocarbon (petroleum) in the sediments. However these international oil companies abruptly left due to alleged undue demands by the then powers-that-be. Infact the expectations of personal aggrandizement was so high in the APC government circles that a senior Minister resigned his Ministerial post to enable him to be perfectly positioned to take over the top job of running a National Petroleum Company that was to be set up. Needless to say when the Amoco and mobile left the National Petroleum Company remained a mirage.

However with the advent of H.E. Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and his SLPP Government, an internationally renowned company TGS NOPEC was invited with no request for kickbacks to do an extensive seismic survey. The result has attracted credible international investors to bid for exploration blocks. Hopefully the opening of the bids by July will signal the beginning of the successful exploration of our Petroleum Potential.


Depending on the source, our country can boast of two types of diamonds, alluvial and kimberlite.

Alluvial diamonds are scattered all over the country but concentrated mainly in the south and east. Incidentally, we have well over one million Sierra Leoneans directly involved in alluvial diamond mining, who therefore are generally self-employed. Government should leave this area purely to the Sierra Leoneans and limit herself to playing supporting roles. One such area is for Government to hire equipment at reasonable rates to groups of miners/cooperatives. This will break the cyclical Shylock-type economic dependence on foreigner support thereby increasing the earning power of the indigenes whilst retaining self-esteem. Also Government could be visible in monitoring the movement of diamonds against smuggling.


Kimberlite Diamonds: These are diamonds which are embedded in solid rocks, mostly deep in the earth crust. They are the source of all alluvial diamonds. They were first discovered in Kimberly, South Africa, hence the name KIMBERLITE DIAMONDS.

Kimberlite mining is highly technical and capital intensive, well beyond the reach of the individual miner or small companies. These Kimberlite dykes and pipes tend to be highly localized about some meters in length and breadth. These features augur well for monitoring purposes as in the case of Botswana; they have only Kimberlite diamonds which certain political opponents naively compare with our alluvial diamonds which is scattered all over the country and is nigh impossible to monitor 100%.

Up to date Kimberlite dykes and pipes have been identified in Kono and Tongo Fields, all in the east. Two of such pipes in Kono are currently being bulk-sampled for possible mine development by Branch Energy Ltd.

The Tongo dyke system has given rise to 40-carat stones but these diamonds though essentially clean are smaller than the Kono diamonds (which gave up 973 carat, star of Sierra Leone).

It is firmly believed that there is a multitude of sources of other rich pipes and dykes yet to be discovered, that accounts for isolated alluvial deposits in areas like, Jojoima, Mateu (east), Pujehun (south), Koinadugu, Kambia, and Bombali (North).

It is therefore of priority for the Kono and Tongo Kimberlites to be developed into mines within the shortest possible time. Added to that, credible investors are needed with modern exploration expertise to locate these sources especially those for the very fine colour stones that command a premium on the market found in the Makpele area (south). The SLPP is of the view that the future with regards to diamonds, is in the successful exploration of Kimberlites. The Tongo dyke alone under Rex Mining was estimated to be around US$4 billion (courtesy Reuters).


The global economic trend is yet firmly tilted towards the Open Market economy. One of the pillars is that Government divulges itself form doing business. The government is then expected to formulate and implement policies and acts as a collector of taxes. The vogue although had some measure of universal acceptance might not adequately address our present unique circumstances.

Time and again diamonds from alluvial source have only been subjected to about 3% tax of its value and only when exported. Government should endeavour to form partnerships with investors with the wherewithal. The operation to be monitored by government and the profit shared on perhaps 50/50% basis. The arrangement will be the government providing the land and the investor the capital. The new mining policy is also embracing this.


It is established fact that no mining industry can realize its full potential without an active and vigorous prospecting and exploration sector. When the SLPP took over in 1996, the Mines Ministry can only boast of one prospecting licence for dimension stones, held by Olympus Mining Ltd. The SLPP Government immediately set to work to create the necessary enabling environment i.e. Publicity of our good geological potential, instituting good policy measures chief amongst them, the security of tenure etc. This attracted investor confidence in our mining sector as exemplified by the number of prospecting and exploration licenses which stood at sixty-five just before the coup d'etat in 1997. The income in terms of licence fees alone was slightly over Le500,000,000, with an average employment possibility of 13,000, and as a source of social and economic benefit for other ancillary business ventures and surrounding towns/villages.

It is heart warming to note that the government has reactivated this important sector thereby attracting old and new investors. Infact, recently at Hastings airport, H.E. Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah commissioned an aeroplane loaded with sophisticated machinery for the purpose of aeromagnetic survey. The plane is owned by a Canadian company, which has lease rights to transverse the North-East part of Sierra Leone to accumulate data which will hopefully indicate reserves of known mineral and identify yet to-be-discovered minerals. Such data can then strengthening the bargaining position of government in situations where mining rights are given amongst other possible scenarios.

However, experience has it that the mining field should not be left solely to foreign players. The Ministry should play the leading role through the Geological Department in the search for minerals.


For too long some `investors' have been in the habit of acquiring prospecting/exploration licenses, `sit' on it for several months or years without doing anything to the Land. In the end they either simply disappear in thin air or sell the prospect at an astronomical price and disappear with the loot. The country in the end loses economically and otherwise. The SLPP is of the view that all holders of such licences should be required first to have put together visible measures to start up dates operation within three months and expected to start proper within six months. Failure to adhere to the above should lead to the withdrawal of the licence, exempting unavoidable circumstances like force Majeure etc.


The SLPP holds the view that the issuance of prospecting/exploration licences should be dependent on the provision of basic amenities like schools, clinics, markets, court `Barras', good drinking water etc. This will be expected to go concurrently with the prospecting and exploration activity. This procedure has the added benefit of easily separating the bogus from genuine companies. Finally, Mining Companies with long mining leases will be expected to put together far more comprehensive development projects.

In this regard the SLPP would like to congratulate the President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and his government for instituting a novel idea whereby certain percentage from mining chiefdoms are returned to the said chiefdoms to undertake developmental projects of their choice. This strategy has had the added benefit of reducing illegal mining since the Quantum of money any chiefdom will get increases arithmetically in relation to the number of licences obtained in the Chiefdom. In essence the chiefdom authorities have joined hands with government to police the mining fields.


Mining as outlined earlier has contributed to national development in Sierra Leone. Accordingly, prior to closure, Sierra Rutile alone contributed about 6% to the country's GDP, 49% (US$71 million) to the total foreign exchange earnings and 11% to the national wage earnings in 1991 (SLR - Environmental Assessment, March 1997). Mining operations, however, cause diverse environmental impacts. Chief amongst them has been the loss of traditional agricultural activity through loss of land. Since the days of household names like SLST (NDMC), DELCO, SIEROMCO etc there have never been any credible environmental plan to implement for the much-needed rehabilitation of mined-out lands for agricultural land and/or social purposes. The average miner, small companies and partnerships have also contributed in no small way to cause untold damage to the environment.

The present world environmental awareness coupled with the frightening fact that minerals are non-renewable assets compels us to institute urgent policies to rehabilitate the environment (land etc.).

At this juncture, the SLPP applauds the Government's policy to ensure that medium to large-scale mining industry mine in a safe and environmentally responsible manner in accordance with approved environmental management plan. At a lower level, a rehabilitation fund has been set-up for small-scale rehabilitation and land reclamation.


Just as prospecting/exploration is vital for the expansion of mining, monitoring is extremely important for the realization of the benefits of mining. It is been said that prior to the assumption of power by the SLPP-Government, smuggling of our precious minerals (Gold and Diamonds) was put at 80%. Although there is a popularly held belief that smuggling cannot be eradicated completely, the SLPP Government has put a lot of effort to reduce smuggling. One such strategy is the appointment of over 100 Mines Monitoring Officers. In the main, they have scored notable successes in tracking potential smugglers. Their effectiveness is however hampered by the lack of adequate logistics in terms of mobility and detection techniques, the legal teeth to enhance arrest and the limited number of field personnel taken on board the national spread of mining activity. In addition the initial reporting mechanism of the monitors to report directly to the Minister should be re-considered. After all, one of the roles as envisaged of the Mines Monitors is to report on any unholy alliance or activity of Government officials and other players like Miners, Dealers, Exporters etc.

The other telling strategy that has been employed by the SLPP Government which has gained currency the world over is the Kimberley Process. This a process whereby, diamonds for export are parcelled and their details are electronically transmitted to the receiving country. This includes such details as colour, clarity, cut and caratage commonly called the 4Cs. Remember there are up to a thousand characteristics of a diamond but only visible to the connoisseur's eyes. Any tampering with such a sample distorts the overall characteristics of the sample which renders the parcel for confiscation and any attendant penalty. Also countries using the Kimberly process will not touch any diamond outside the said process. The sum total of this all is that diamond exports have dramatically risen.


The oxygen on which any organisation or establishment thrives is publicity. Our immediate past blurred our image on the international mining map. The situation is compounded further by the fact that we are competing with other African countries with similar or better geological potential for available investment funds which stands at a dismal rate of about 5% of the world's total. South Africa alone attracts half of the available 5%, the rest of Africa including Sierra Leone is competing for the remaining 2.5%.

The SLPP urges the Government to continue making presentations at international conferences to sell our geological potential and investor-friendly policies through speeches, newsletters, exhibitions etc at most conferences held on each of the following Continents - USA/Canada Africa, Europe, Asia. For as the view holds that certain Conferences attract similar delegates, the location of Conferences also have a distinct bearing on the composition of delegates. The SLPP therefore wishes to applaud the Government for producing a well-thought mining brochure in 1997 and a newsletter a few months ago.


There is a current paucity of training personnel in the Ministry, which is undermining the credibility of the Ministry. Although Sierra Leone has a long history of mining activity, our technical institutes and colleges cannot boast of a Department excepting Geology, capable of producing any of the various graduates necessary to take our mining industry into the unknown future; notable examples are mining engineers, mineral economists etc. This unfortunate paradox should not be allowed to continue much longer. Before May 25, steps were at any advanced stage for the establishment of a Mining Department at Fourah Bay College. Upon request the Institute of Public Administration and Management had already devised a short-term programme for mines monitoring officers to enable them to be effective. It is expected that similar programmes will be prepared covering all levels in the Ministry which could have necessitated a training school, to produce new and update appropriate technical staff.


It is common knowledge that third world countries like ours are not paid fully for their products. This is because apart from political and market forces we have mainly concerned us to producers of raw materials and have hardly ventured into the lucrative area of processing. In order for us to start realizing fully from our mineral wealth, certain stages if not all, in processing of minerals should be encouraged to take place on our soil. Examples of these include Gold Smelting, Diamond Polishing, Iron Ore Palletising and Jewellery factories etc. Again before May 25, a licence for the establishment of a Diamond Polishing Factory had already been granted to an American-owned company and an Iron Ore Palletising Factory was established at Pepel by a Dutch Company that was recently issued an Iron Ore prospecting licence and inquiries were received from prospective investors thinking of setting up a Gold Smelter.


The initial role of GGDO was to buy at competitive prices, assort, value, parcel, market and export both gold and diamonds. However, the dictates of the market economy prevents economic entities like GGDO from being both player and referee. The office therefore concerns itself only with the valuation aspect and collecting on behalf of Government the prescribed 3% export tax on gold and diamond.
In order to attain the highest standard of efficiency, professional competence and integrity and to build confidence in the exporters to shy away from smuggling, consultant valuers are hired for a fee eg. Diamond, Counsellor International (DCI) of Valuz Lichstenstein was one such consulting group. The SLPP believes this system should be maintained until a better system evolves.

Suffice to remind that in the earlier SLPP era DICORWAF (Diamond Corporation of West Africa) representing De Beers paid very good prices for our diamonds. In addition, the company trained Sierra Leoneans for highly specialised and rewarding skills like diamond polishing thereby creating jobs. Here again the APC debilitating policies drove them away.


Nigeria has now been recognised as a champion for the restoration of democracy in the sub-region. She is also known for her supportive role in bringing together her nationals and foreign investors to create successful partnership. Whilst benefiting from their diplomatic stance, it is but proper that we copy with certain modifications their positive approach in enabling its citizens to control the business sector.
Short of any legislature, Government should encourage investors (companies) to go into partnerships and/or employ Sierra Leoneans for all levels of manpower excepting professions that we lack the requisite expertise. Prior to May 25 1997, a lot of diamond dealers/exporters had positively responded to this clarion by employing local people and teaching them the trade. For by such association is one sure way of effectively replacing the foreigners.


As the sayings go "one swallow doesn't make a summer" and "unity is strength", the Ministry should endeavour to collaborate with counterpart Ministries within the subregion on all mining matters. These will range from exchanging information on defaulters (like smugglers) to putting together joint-venture projects.


The SLPP Government have re-instituted the policy whereby the custodians of land in the provinces (the chiefs) play a significant role in issuing mining licences. This has helped stem down the usual conflicts between land-owners and investors wherein only Ministry officials were involved in the issuance of licences.

In the past APC days, land was leased to investors or taken over by the Party apparatchiks without reference to the chief and/or the owners.

In the NPRC days the whole of Kono including Koidu Town was leased to different investors, most of them absentee landlords, by the Minister sitting in Freetown without any consultation with the local populace including the chiefs. Most of the new landlords were touting these leases on the international stock exchange markets without actually mining the land. Infact most of these leases became the breeding ground for illicit mining and hence smuggling. Needles to say that with the advent of the SLPP Government those lands were returned to the Kono people and a committee comprising Chiefs, Ministry officials and notable personalities in the localities was set up and charged with the responsibility of issuing licences.

In Tongo the NPRC devised a ticket system to fund the so-called war-effort. A small plot was given to anyone for about Le50,000 a month to mine. The proceeds were not monitored which encouraged wide-scale smuggling.

This ticket system yielded close to 1 billion a month but only about a third was actually reported to the treasury.


Corruption, a noun, as defined by the new Oxford Dictionary is dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

As the definition clearly shows, corruption thrives in the absence of honesty. And we all know that honesty is an elusive criterion. As a collary, everyone has a price or is it? These truisms and many more have given rise to the belief that corruption can never be completely eradicated in any society. In that regard progressive societies have been able to put together policies that have reduced corruption to a level that would not adversely destroy the social fabric of their country. Can we call it negligible corruption?

In the Hey days of then omnipotent APC, corruption was legalised and institutionalized and therefore admired. Today Sierra Leone is paying the price, it will take a whole generation, perhaps, to completely reverse the trend to the old SLPP days of transparency, accountability, probity and prudence in the state machinery.

Under the current leadership of our noble President, Alhaji Dr Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, the SLPP is maintaining Zero Tolerance to corruption at any level. The SLPP have no Sacred Cows or Sacrificial Lambs with regards corruption. Let me just take the liberty to name a few instance to give credence to our stance against corruption, unpalatable through they might seem:

First, a judge has been convicted and jailed by the courts.

Second, a Senior Minister has been convicted for corruption but has appealed against the judgement. It is his constitutional right to do so.
Third, two Parliamentarians (one an SLPP man and other APC) have both been arraigned before the courts on corruptive practices. Infact the APC Man's charges are more serious then the SLPP-Man's but it seems no one seems to notice it or even recognised that an APC Parliamentarians is also in court.

That besides, I would like to raise certain issues for clarification purposes.

In the first instance our political rivals had frowned at the penalty rendered to the Minster, failing to recognised that there are specific charges for most crimes and in certain cases the degree and type of punishment is left to the discretion of the Presiding Judge.
As for the case of the SLPP Parliamentarian the same group of people are bellowing for instant justice, jungle-style, forgetting that our legal system presumes everyone innocent until proved guilty beyond all reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Anyone, including the President, attempting to interfere into the court's jurisdiction will be committing a criminal offence. Let's remember that the judiciary is an independent arm of Government. Remember Bill Clinton who was impeached for such attempts.

The SLPP Government, we must admit, has been forthright in dealing with corruption. We have openly admitted that our society is laced with corruption. In this regard we have taken the Bull by the Horn, so to speak, by creating the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) staffed by men and women of impeccable character. This is a notable first in Africa and in the greater part of the world. Of course the ACC has suffered certain teething problems as you will expect in all new ventures of that type but glad to say that such problems has not eroded the credibility or effective functioning of the commission. Quite the reverse! Infact to expedite procedures within an environment of impartiality, the Government has asked for and is therefore expecting from the Commonwealth a Judge ands two investigators.

To round-up I wish to mention corruption in mining and how to minimise it. I have already mentioned the Kimberley process and the report mechanism of the Mines Monitoring Officers amongst others.

It is an undeniable fact that very large sums of money are always circulating in the diamond world, and therefore capable of undermining any well-intended policy.

The 40% value of confiscated minerals to the "arresting " personnel is a laudable venture to help reduce smuggling. The process of disbursing such payments should be speeded up.

Next, official licences fees should be publicly known in all languages in the mining localities to help put a stop to corrupt officials asking for more. In the same vein extra field allowance should be made available to such field workers to eliminate the tendency to charge extra fees for their journeys.

More Mines Monitoring Officers should be hired to monitor the diamonds from the point of processing at the mines until exported.

The salary scale for the operators in the field should be made realistic to make them more corruption resistant.

Another incentive system is to give national awards to take full cognisance of other important players in the mining industry. Best Miner, Dealer, Exporter etc. Through this means it is possible Government might appeal to the conscience of the majority to be patriotic and for foreigners to identify themselves with our developmental aspirations.

Mr Chairman, Commissioners, Ladies and Gentlemen I must admit all these measures will come to naught if the individual is not patriotic. The SLPP is urging Government to relentlessly pursue sensitisation programmes to imbibe the culture of patriotism. The SLPP Government should continue to maintain the Sacrosanct stance of Zero Tolerance for Corruption. Through those means we have the tangible chance of lifting this once SLPP -induced prosperous nation from the APC - induced economic Abyss. So that we can once more be called the paradise of West Africa, to say the least.





Fellow Citizens:

- Again we in the RUFP chamber wish to embrace the TRC for her farsighted views on the economy of Sierra Leone.

- Without been superfluous (bush beating), RUFP is here to speak nothing but the truth. The ultimate objective of the TRC is to make sure the truth prevails for and everlasting reconciliation.

However the 10 copies of any production of the topics to be spoken on might not be computerized as our equipment since vandalized May 11, 2002 had not been replaced adequately.

Many thanks to UNAMSIL for their advanced assistance.
Considering the Topic, Management and issues of corruption on Mineral Resources, the whole warring factions: RUFCDF-SLA-ECOMOG-EXECUTIVE OUTCOME - AND the civilians fall within the files of this topic.

Each group was indebted to a commander. The commanders received quotas for the government they were entitled to - called government property or due.

1. Who was the Government during the time of quota collections?

2. Who was entitled to give a quota to Government?

3. How much to each account now?

• Where is the account?
• Who is responsible for the mismanagement (not management again) and the issues of corruptions?

If no account at this time is presented to the central government, then all the parties named have mismanaged and corrupted.

Let us concentrate on, Kono where everybody is crying for as if Kono was the only place for diamond in Sierra Leone. The citizens of Kono mined during the war. RUF is not here to pinpoint.

According to the constitution of Sierra Leone, the natural resources are to be utilized for the betterment of Sierra Leoneans. We hope better policies will be made for good managements. I am personally saying that if the main objective of the mineral resources in Sierra Leone is not shaped positively, then we are all (factions) indebted to good management and the eradication of corruption.

His excellency, the President cannot buy all the diamonds in this country neither Chief Norman nor Mr. Issa Sesay. People cry with these names because they are commanders. Everyday, we read papers on corruption. There is corruption in Sierra Leone. This is why the GOSL has formed an Anti-Corruption.


The GOSL should stop these people from corrupting or else teachers will sell supplied stationeries while health workers will sell medicines and equipment under mismanagement and corruption. Salaries must be paid at appropriate times. Reconciliation starts from the mind. I thank you.

Jonathan Kposowa.


Presentation for and on behalf of Campaign for Good Governance by Mrs. Jamesina King, LLM International Legal Studies, Leadership Advocacy For Women in Africa Fellow, Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program, Georgetown University Law Center U.S.A., Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court in Sierra Leone

Theme - "The situation of Women and Girls in the Pre-conflict, Conflict and Post Conflict Sierra Leone."

Political and legal status of women - a historical perspective

The Sierra Leone Women's Movement (SLWM) was established in 1951. Its goals were to improve the status of all Sierra Leonean women whether born in the Colony or in the Protectorate, to seek female representation on government bodies concerned with education, social welfare and the economy. Inspite of the success of SLWM in its goals to improve the status of women in education and their contribution to the economy, it did not achieve much success in obtaining representation of women in government. In the 1957 elections, the Sierra Leone People's Party nominated Patience Richards and Constance Cummings John as its candidates for Freetown. Both women won the elections but election petitions were entered against them; they did not succeed in gaining membership in parliament. In 1930 the women in Freetown were granted the right to vote provided they met the property or income qualification. There was no representation by women in the executive and legislature during colonial rule until 1957 when Paramount Chief Madam Ella Koblo Gulama was elected to one of the twelve seats reserved for Paramount Chiefs in parliament.

On 16th March 1960 on the eve of independence, SLVVM leaders published a petition presenting their stands on constitutional talks scheduled between the British and the Sierra Leoneans. They declared that the Government had deliberately overlooked the fact that they formed 50% of the population and demanded that the new constitution should clearly define the status of women, establish safeguard for their political, economic and social rights, and reform marriage and property laws which discriminated against women. Long-standing provisions on matrimonial and inheritance law derived from English common law, and adopted in 1960, had a decidedly negative impact on the property rights of women. In addition, customary law practised in certain communities, which was and is still largely unwritten, clearly discriminated against the interests of women in certain areas such as marriage, property rights and political participation. These laws that the women protested against in 1960 have not been reformed and still apply today. In April 1961 Sierra Leone gained its independence from Britain and adopted a new constitution. The women's demands for their status to be defined in the constitution were not met. Even though they participated and obtained support for the party that won the elections their efforts were not rewarded notwithstanding that they were qualified and prepared to take up decision-making positions in government. In September 1961 Sierra Leone joined the international community and became the one-hundredth member of the United Nations.

Women continued to be marginalized politically and economically after independence with only a handful of women some of who were Paramount Chiefs that participated in Government. Women's involvement in politics was limited to voluntary labour, organising catering, entertainment, raising and collection of funds and providing moral support. Independence was followed by many years of bad governance, poverty, lack of development especially in the rural areas, economic and political repression of the people by an insensitive political elite and a decline in the national economy. A breakdown of democratic institutions, coupled with military coups and political instability created an environment in which conflict became inevitable. As a result of the eleven-year rebel war many women lost their husbands or were killed. Women, were abducted, raped, had their limbs amputated and forced to be sex slaves or combatants.

The RUF Forces perpetrated systematic, organised and widespread sexual violence against girls and women including individual and gang rape. The widespread rape arid killing led to a sharp increase in single mothers and women-headed households. Forced migration led to overcrowding in the major urban towns in the country and an overburdening and complete deterioration of health and residential facilities. Unemployment and homelessness increased as victims of the war who were previously small farmers became internally displaced or refugees. Women and children have become psychologically traumatized affecting their health and general well being. The economic hardship and unemployment has increased women's risk of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Sexual and gender based violence

A culture of silence and impunity existed prior to the conflict and reports on sexual and gender based violence was hardly -reported and seldom prosecuted. Laws relating to sexual and gender based violence are nonexistent or grossly inadequate. Law enforcement officers and judicial personnel lacked the necessary experience, skills or logistics to investigate and prosecute sexual and gender based violence as it was considered to be a domestic, family or private matter to be settled amicably or ignored. In the recent past there was only one police doctor to service the entire western area. This attitude discouraged women from pursuing their remedies and the culture of violence against women thrived. Furthermore very little advocacy existed on sexual and gender based violence, and because majority of the women and girls were economically and socially marginalized or dependent on some of the ~ offenders, they had very little incentive to report and prosecute offenders.

During the conflict

The widespread acts of brutal and horrific forms of sexual violence committed against women during the conflict were a direct consequence of the culture of impunity and silence that existed prior to the conflict. Women and girls were ruthlessly robbed of their human dignity and lived in constant fear of been attacked. In addition to the general killing and amputation of limbs which the general populace, including women and children suffered, women and girls were targeted, raped, captured and used as sex slaves or combatants. Even pregnant women were not spared of these atrocious experiences. Women also had to witness their children and husbands been killed. Not surprisingly many women are still battling to overcome the trauma of their experiences. Today, the laws have not changed regarding sexual violence and even though there has been an unprecedented increase in reporting and prosecuting offenders, yet Government has a lot more to do to address the problem.

Social and cultural consideration

The unequal power relations among men and women generally, and particularly in the traditional customary setting puts women and children in a vulnerable position and susceptible to be abused. Girls are forced into marriage without their consent. The spouses of these girls are old enough to be their grand fathers and out of fear, they succumb to the traditional rule of obeying their husbands, brothers and even sons. Polygamy is also prevalent in the society and men are free to marry and abandon as many wives as they can. In traditional customary setting the women have no rights in the home and may sometimes be regarded as a chattel to be inherited. Inheritance rights within the various legal systems discriminate against women. Absence of affordable and accessible quality health care in the community is responsible for the high incidence of maternal and infant mortality.

Economic considerations

Women find it difficult to move way from a home where they experience domestic and sexual abuse as they are economically and financially dependent on their husbands even though they will be responsible for all the labour that brings finances to the home. The maintenance laws for the children of both the married and unmarried woman are grossly inadequate and not implemented as the sums awarded under the laws are ridiculously low. Divorce laws under the various systems that discriminate against women should be repealed. The daily struggle of women within and outside the home towards sustaining their families is often overlooked and given monetary value during divorce proceedings.


(a) Sexual and gender based violence

The rules of procedure and the rules of evidence applicable in rape cases and other sexual offences, which require corroborative evidence, perpetuate a culture of violence against women as offenders go free when the evidence does not meet the stringent criteria of proof required. Rape and other sexual crimes should be reviewed so that offenders will be adequately punished and the culture of impunity addressed. Procedures adopted during the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences, including the attitude of law enforcement and judicial personnel which discourages women to report violation of their rights and perpetuating the culture of silence among victims should be regularly reviewed, assessed and amended.

Government should enact legislation regarding witness protection measures, shelters for victims of domestic violence and psychological and medical support for victims. Government should enact and enforce legislation with appropriately severe penalties against the perpetrators of acts of violence against women including rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and sexual harassment. The proposed legislation should be comprehensive, providing for sexual offences to cover prosecution of rape, incest, trafficking, sexual assault, sexual harassment and other forms of sexual abuse. This legislation should also provide the rules of procedure and rules of evidence to be adopted in the prosecution of such crimes.

(b) Constitutional provisions

The Constitution should be amended or a new Constitution should be enacted to include provisions for the protection of the rights of women and girls including measures to ensure that they are free from violence. These provisions should have supremacy over customary or religious laws that may require practices that violate the -rights of women and children. Section 27(4)(d) of the 1991 Constitution which allows the enforcement of discriminatory laws which particularly affects women should be immediately repealed. The Constitution should be amended to incorporate CEDAW, which has been ratified by Government. The Constitution should guarantee to women and men equal rights upon entry into marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(c) Marriage and family law

Government should adopt 18 as the minimum age of marriage for both men and women, which should be a uniform statutory law applicable to all marriages. Government should enact legislation prohibiting the marriage of children below the age of 18. Government, should enact and enforce laws prohibiting violence within the family. Government should enact legislation that will prohibit marriage made without the free consent of both intending spouse. Government should enact and enforce laws that will give and protect women's property and inheritance rights. Provisions should also be made for the rights of cohabiting couples who are unmarried. Inheritance rights of children whose parents are unmarried should be recognized and enforced. Customary marriages should be registered similarly as Christians, civil and Mohammedan marriage and Government should enact a customary marriage Act that will govern customary law marriage. Divorce laws should be reviewed to give women equal rights at the dissolution of marriage. Such laws should have gender neutral provisions and the daily struggle of women' within the home, in the formal and informal sector should be considered and given monetary value when property rights are determined during divorce proceedings.

(d) Adolescents

Government should enact laws to make primary school attendance mandatory for both sexes and encourage education for girls through the secondary and tertiary level. Government's policy on AIDS should include specific programs and education campaigns specifically aimed at adolescents because of their vulnerability to AIDS. The schools must include in their curriculum a comprehensive and age appropriate sex education and counselling. Government should initiate and encourage programs to sensitise the community, including health care providers and law enforcement officials regarding the need to protect the girl child and adolescents against all forms of sexual violence, including rape, incest, and harmful traditional practices like child marriage, FGM and trafficking. In addressing the high infant and maternal mortality rate, the government should enact laws and pursue policies that will give access to an effective and affordable reproductive health care including safe pregnancy.
(e) Women's rights and HIV/AIDS

The status of women in the society particularly in the rural area denies women the power to insist on safe and responsible safe sex practices. They have little access to information and services prevention and treatment. Women and girls are at a higher risk of HIV infection due to' the prevalence of polygamy, sexual abuse, the practice of female genital mutilation and other harmful traditional practices. The problem is further compounded by the lack of an effective health care service. There, is an urgent need for the Government to increase public awareness of the risk of HIV infection and AIDS, with special attention to the rights, and needs of women and children, to the factors relating to the reproductive role of women in the society which make them especially vulnerable to HIV infection. Discriminatory laws denying women the right to own property should be repealed to prevent women living with AIDS from been forced out of their homes by their family.

Laws preventing discrimination and attack directly towards people living with AIDS particularly women should be enacted so that they can enjoy their basic human right. Infected people who reveal their HIV status should be protected from violence, stigmatisation and other negative consequences. The Government must as a necessity vigorously provide programmes which Will provide an effective health care centre that are obligated to provide guidance counselling, information and education regarding HIV/AIDS. Laws should be put in place to ensure that persons living with AIDS are not discriminated against in employment, housing, education and health care. Legislation combating practices that increase women's susceptibility to the HIV infection should be enacted and enforced. Government should provide and increase financial and institutional support for an effective and affordable access to drug treatment, including anti-retroviral drugs.

(f) Economic empowerment of women

Land distribution and inheritance rights

Land ownership is needed to enable women to achieve economic empowerment. Land is needed not only for agriculture where women make up a majority of the workforce, but also to be used as collateral for loans. In view of the present increase of single mothers and women headed households, government should adopt affirmative measures to ensure that these women are provided with the opportunity to own land. This measure will redress the grievances of widows who have been forced out of farm land owned by their late husbands. This problem is more acute in the rural area where land held by the Chiefdom Council in trust for their community is allocated mainly to male family heads. Reform of all policies and laws relating to land and land settlement schemes must give women more access and control over land to address the historical imbalance of ownership in land. Women's economic empowerment will serve as a catalyst for an increase in participation in politics.


Government must review, assess and review all laws and policies to ensure that they are gender sensitive. NGO's have a major role to partner with the government and civil society groups in order to achieve this goal. Particular attention must be paid to women access to higher education, safe drinking water, affordable health facilities, women's role in the military and peace building. The employment of women in both the formal and informal sector should be closely monitored to ensure that they are accorded equal rights before, during and on the termination of their employment. Government should as a matter of urgency enact legislation to incorporate the major international conventions relating to human rights particularly CEDAW and CRC and ensure that they are effectively implemented and enforced.

Truth & Reconciliation Commission
Presentation At Thematic Event-Specific And Institutional Hearings

By Christiana Thorpe,

Founding Chair Forum For African Women Educationalists - FAWE Sierra Leone Chapter - Thursday 22nd May 2003

Presentation at Thematic, Event-Specific and Institutional Hearings - By Christiana Thorpe, Founding Chair Forum for African Women Educationalists - FA WE Sierra Leone Chapter - Thursday 22nd May 2003.


Introductory Section

Mr./Madam Chairperson, on behalf of my Organisation Forum for African Women Educationalists - FAWE Sierra Leone Chapter I want to express our thanks to the Chairman and Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the invitation to FAWE to share its experiences on this platform with you and the nation.

Organisation and Structure

FAWE Sierra Leone is one of 33 FAWE National Chapters throughout Africa with headquarters in Nairobi Kenya. FAWE Sierra Leone is registered with the Ministry of Development and Economic Planning as a local Non-governmental Organisation DODEP/D3/471 - September 1995 - NGO/060.

Established by me on 23rd March 1995, FAWE-Sierra Leone continues to focus on its mandate of "Supporting girls and women to acquire education for development." The Chapter has a total full membership of 501 women from all walks of life in seventeen branches nationwide at:

Freetown - Western Urban Area
Waterloo - Western Rural District Gbangbatoke & Moyamba in the Moyamba District
Mattru Jong and Mogbwema in the Bonthe District
Gobaru - Pujehun District
Bo Town - Bo District
Kenema Town - Kenema District
Daru - Kailahun District
Koidu - Kono District
Makeni - Bombali District
Magburaka - Tonkolili District

Lunsar, Port Loko and Lungi in the Port Loko District
Kambia Town - Kambia District

There are three other categories of membership, Associate members, Honorary members and Friends of FAWE. The Organisation is governed by the National Executive Committee and an Advisory Board. Both bodies have a two-year term of office that is renewable once. The Chapter's National Secretariat is situated at No. 4 Hill Street, Freetown.
FAWE works in collaboration with three line ministries, Ministry of Education Science and Technology. Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs and Ministry of Development and Economic Planning, as well as UN Agencies, International, National and Local NGOs, CBOs and local communities.

The Chapter implements all its activities through its Branches, monitored by the National Secretariat. Most of our funding is obtained through project partnership with International NGO's and other Donors, membership dues and donations from benefactors.

As FAWE Sierra Leone was born in the middle of the Conflict period in 1995, all its activities up to December 2002 had hinged on establishing coping mechanisms in conflict situations especially for our women and girls".

Our activities therefore fall into two categories: Regular programmes and Emergency programmes.

Regular programmes include:

a. Education Programmes: Pre-primary, formal and non-formal primary education, vocational skills training centers for pregnant girls/girl mothers, Adult literacy.

b. Scholarship Programmes: For deserving and needy girls in Primary Junior Secondary, Senior Secondary, Vocational Training Centers.

c. Training Programmes: Training local communities in mediating skills through Education for A Culture of Peace. Training of Facilitators in remote areas in methodology for non-formal Primary Education.

d. Counselling Programmes - Vocational, Psychosocial, Marital Group and Individual Counselling Sessions in schools, clubs, Institutions, homes and communities.

e. Research Advocacy and Awareness Raising Programmes - Our Resource Center gives assistance to Secondary, Vocational and Tertiary institution researching on girls education and women empowerment, and the impact of the war on the Development of Sierra Leone. Our Branches also identify school age girls that are out of school for admission into Educational Institutions in their locality and collaborate with local FM Stations for awareness raising and sensitisation programmes.

Emergency Programmes:

As stated earlier FAWE - Sierra Leone was born during the war, so developing coping mechanisms in conflict situations was vital to our very survival as well as that of our beneficiaries.

FAWE made three major emergency interventions during the conflict period to help redress violations of basic human rights of our children, young people and women.

The first two interventions were Educational. One in country and one in exile, to ensure that the right to Basic Education of our children and young people are addressed.

A. Emergency Camp School Programme - SLPMB compound
Wellington - May- September 1995

Barely two months after it was officially launched, FAWE - Sierra Leone had to address the issue of thousands of school children, displaced from the East and Southern provinces, especially Kailahun and Pujehun Districts who were roaming the streets of Freetown.

With collaboration from Plan International, U.N. agencies and European Union the poultry shed of SLPMB compound in Wellington was rehabilitated and a primary and JSS school programme was conducted by our members for four thousand, five hundred children between the ages of 6 - 18 years.

The European Union constructed ten new five-classroom block buildings against September 1995 to absorb these students into regular school programmes, in collaboration with the school proprietors.

It was during the registration for this Emergency programme that FAWE first observed that girls as young as eleven and twelve had been subjected to rape and were pregnant. Since these girls could not be placed into normal schools like the others, FAWE started the Skills Training Center for pregnant girl/girl mothers at Grafton in 1996 to help them continue their education. This center has served as a prototype for all ten Skills Training Centers that FAWE now run in the country.

B. Training programme for Externally Displaced Sierra Leonean children and youths - Resident in Conakry.
December 1997 - March 1998.

The aftermath of the coup d'etat of 25th May 1997, saw a mass exodus of Sierra Leone families into countries of the sub-region. The educational, social, political and economic sectors of Sierra Leone had been forced to a halt. The security of lives and properties especially of vulnerable groups like women, children and the elderly was greatly threatened. There was blatant abuse of basic human rights by members of the military junta and their collaborators.

The Republic of Guinea being the most accessible in terms of proximity and cost became the haven of most Sierra Leoneans seeking asylum. Those who stayed in Conakry were not officially regarded as refugees but as externally displaced Sierra Leoneans resident in Conakry. On arrival, they were faced with a major language barrier; having fled from home without financial support and forced under deplorable conditions to live in exile, parents and guardians lacked the necessary logistics for the inclusion of their children and wards into the regular Guinea Educational System. Many became destitute, frustrated and lost all hopes for the continuation of their children and ward's education.

Ten members of FAWE Sierra Leone Chapter were among this group, including our beloved Late First Lady - Mrs. Patricia Kabbah. Little did we realise at the end of our first emergency intervention in 1995 that two and a half years later, FAWE would be falling back on the experience gained for a similar but more daunting exercise outside of Sierra Leone.

With assistance from FAWE-Guinea we embarked on a programme with the primary aim of positively occupying our children and young people in Conakry during the period in order to minimise the risk of them clashing with Guinean law enforcement agencies. The programme sponsored mainly by UNDP and FAWE Nairobi, was officially opened by an official of the Guinean Ministry of Education, while the Late first lady, Mrs. Patricia Kabba gave the keynote address.
In all three thousand one hundred and fifty two children and young people benefited from the twelve weeks programme.

Achievements of the Programme
The programme succeeded in achieving its primary aim of positively occupying displaced children and youths for a period of twelve weeks. In addition the following achievements also surfaced.

(i) Games and Sports Programme

Games and Sports did not only serve to keep sound minds in the bodies of our trainees. They were also useful in developing friendly relationship with Guinean school children through a series of competition such as football, volleyball and basketball between the Sierra Leonean and Guinean school children. Games and sports also served to dissipate, negative use of energy, bottled up from frustration, anger and disorientation, which was causing our young people to be in constant clash with law enforcement agencies in Conakry.

Mr. Chairperson, FAWE believes that the culture of violence that our young people exhibit today has a direct correlation to their repressed but unexpressed emotions experienced during the conflict. We therefore welcome the creation of a separate Ministry of Youths and Sports by His Excellency the President to address the needs of our young people. This Ministry deserves the support of every parent, especially those who attribute the misdemeanours of their children to so called "bad companions."

(ii) Drama Programme

The Drama programme helped to detraumatised the younger children as it encouraged them to vent out some of their repressions through speech, actions, songs and poems. This reduced their level of stress tremendously towards the end of the programme.

(iii) Trauma Healing/Peace Education Sessions

This aspect was by far the most successful unplanned outcome of the programme. Volunteer trainers gained a lot from the programme. The exchange of ideas and experiences among staff yielded much dividend. It helped a great deal in exposing each person to worse stories of situation than theirs. This was therefore a place or venue where all could come with various shades of problems to meet and spend the day in consolation and emotional healing of each other. It was through these interactive sessions that the idea of developing Training Module for Education for a Culture of Peace emerged. We see the need for Trauma Addressing units manned by trained personnel to be established in all Institutions across the country.

Mr. Chairperson, Sierra Leoneans are still traumatised. The positive outcome of these sessions encourages FAWE to recommend that Trauma-Addressing Units, manned by trained personnel be established in all Offices, Schools and Institutions across the country. The frequency of the sessions will gradually decrease as participants become healed of their trauma.

FAWE would be willing to share its expertise in this area with government and other interested groups.


Our third and perhaps major emergency intervention which is still going on came from our determination to restore dignity to our women and girls, through our programme of Assistance to victims of gender-based violence in Internally Displaced camps, areas of settlement in host communities, to returnees and juveniles in Domestic settings. For this programme our major funding partners included M.S.F. Holland, UNHCR and CordAid - Netherlands and IRC.

In February 1999 immediately after the ECOMOG regained control of Freetown from the rebels some of our displaced students from both the primary school at Fort Street and the Skills Center at Grafton reported being raped while the rebels were retreating. As some of these victims were already subjected to rape from their areas of origin, FAWE decided to address the issue of rape once and for all, break the silence and create a culture that says `no' to violence against women.

The invasion of January 6 necessitated an intervention, which included medical and counselling services for abducted girls and later boys too. FAWE's mandate of helping the girl-child to be educated to her full potential compelled the intervention. After deliberations with other agencies, the Raped Victims Programme was started. The initial collaborating agencies were FAWE, SLAUW, MSWGCA and MSF - Holland. Each local partner contributed counsellors while MSF (H) conducted counselling workshops to help improve skills. Later in the programme UNICEF also became a strong partner.

The first step of the intervention was public sensitisation on radio and television. During the first three months, April to June 1999, the programme was supported by FAWE International with MSF - Holland providing the drugs. By the end of June over one hundred and twenty-nine (129) victims had been treated medically and counselled.

The need to continue the programme became evident as abductees escaped or were released in batches. After consultations with MSF Holland, FAWE was able to get additional support from them in the form of funding for the whole programme.

In collaboration with other agencies the rape victims programme started. We then set up the following teams - Sensitisation team, medical team, counselling team, skills training team and co-ordinating team.

The reporting session was held fortnightly for a period of three months, then monthly as the programme stabilized and other agencies began to address the issue as well.

Sensitisation Programme

To begin with, it could be said, that the sensitisation work of FAWE together with SLAUW (Sierra Leone Association of University Women) was very successful, as most of the counsellors report, that a big part of their clients were informed about the programme by radio-and TV-announcements. Since March 99, FAWE got a media-campaign started, providing information about the rebel atrocities as well as the situation of rape victims, and radio-and TV programmes in local languages (Krio, mende, limba, in planning stage: temne and others) were broadcast on average once a week.

The messages were meant to break the taboo of rape, increase the responsibility of the communities to care for rape victims and above all give information about the services of FAWE.

AS FAWE's entry point to their work is education, they sought together with SLAUW to minimise the adverse effect on girls' education. A joint committee visited secondary schools and informed pupils and teachers about the rape and abduction issue and the available assistance. A collaboration of School Guidance Counsellors (SGC), and the Parents Teacher Associations (PTA) was initiated as an effective way to reach the communities, and a sub-committee of School Guidance Counsellors for rape victims was formed.

This sensitisation through schools into the communities obviously reached its goal, as community-members started bringing children to FAWE.

Leaflets, handouts and posters were distributed in schools, public places, supermarkets, hospitals and pubs to sensitise different target groups.


When the victims report, they were registered and given initial counselling and then referred to an appropriate doctor on the team. The doctors assessed and treated them until they are certified fit. Records were kept of clients. For those girls/women who were pregnant, the services of the doctor were available until their confinement. They also benefited from post-natal care by the doctors, - Marie Stopes and ICRC.

Clients both male and female, ranging from six to sixty years were seen once a week individually. Counsellors did one to three-house sessions twice a week according to their pre-arranged schedule. When it was evident that a client was beginning to be less stressed-out and gaining confidence, they were asked to visit on alternate weeks. A few clients of those victims who came after July had to have two sessions regularly and benefited from the healing process. Group experience sharing was undertaken; and clients who were very particular about confidentiality felt relaxed to recount some of their experiences, which initially they were reluctant to share.

Usually, the sessions included prayers (Muslim/Christian), a discussion of educational activities, family members or self before the invasion. Clients were also encouraged to talk about their aspirations during which times it became evident that the programme as it was, was only a beginning. They requested needs such as shelter, clothing, food, educational support and seed money to restart business. As a number of the under-eighteen were pregnant they were worried about the possibility of continuing their education, provision for their babies or what to do with them. Their fears were usually allayed.

On the whole over 2000 victims were counselled, both at the FAWE secretariat and the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children's Affairs (MSWGCA).


1. All of the girl-mothers counselled were able to accept their babies and decided to keep them. Those who could went back to school willingly without fear of castigation.

2. More than 100 school-going victims went back to school, including some who have had their babies. Some have also benefited from scholarships for a year.

3. Baby kits were provided for the mothers.

4. Some of the non-school going clients began to rebuild their lives. A lot got engaged in petty trading.

5. Girls who only met during counselling sessions became friends.

6. Clients became advocates for the programme, and began sending or bringing fellow victims to benefit from the services.

7. Seven Doctors, thirty Counsellors a Drama group twenty six awareness raisers including a drama group and ten skills trainers participated in the programme.

8. As reflected in the doctor's reports, surgical operations were successfully carried out. Antenatal and post-natal services were also successfully undertaken.

9. 2,110 abductees benefited from this programme in the Western Area of whom 1,168 were raped victims.

Provincial Interventions
Provincial interventions were made in collaboration with UNHCR and IRC at the following locations:

  • Gerehun Displaced camp
  • Gondoma Displaced camp
  • Badajuma Displaced camp
  • Displaced camp
  • Bard settlement
  • Lokko Massama settlement
  • Daru Town
  • Koidu Town Kenema Town

The sensitisation, medical, counselling and skills training methods were used and over seven thousand raped victims were assisted between 1999-2002.

A Research was conducted to assess the rate of exposure to sexual violence by Displaced women and the Data was analysed as follows:

Analysis Of DATA Collection Conducted To Assess The Rate Of Exposure To Sexual Violence By Returnees At One Provincial Displaced Camp In May 2001
100 respondents within the campsite were interviewed.



















All of the 4 years - 56 years age ranges interviewed stated that the main reason for fleeing to the Republic of Guinea was to avoid persecutions by the RUF rebels.

The responses to question 2 differ not only according to age group range but also with the occupation of the women at the time they fled from the area. Below is a tabulation of their status at the time of the rebel attack.








Attending school.



Engaged in farming.



Engaged in petty trading 4 years



old - not going to school.






Engaged in petty trading






Small scale business









Engaged in farming



Small scale business



Engaged in gardening.



Traditional birth









Small scale business