Sierra Leone: UN Political Office Closes But Post-Conflict Work Undone

Posted by Jeneba Project on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Under: Articles

March 5, 2014 marks the closure of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) and a transition to a standard UN presence through a Country Office. But as we celebrate almost fifteen years of UN commitment to lasting peace in Sierra Leone, it is important to note that many lives could have been saved and perhaps a decade of carnage prevented in the country had the UN intervened earlier. Sierra Leoneans, like we are currently witnessing in Syria, were massacred for nine years before the UN committed itself to an armed mission in the country. An organization founded for the maintenance of international peace and security cannot keep showing up only after more than enough civilians have been raped, mutilated, and massacred.

Sierra Leone has achieved sustainable peace now and it makes sense to concentrate UN resources on development-focused initiatives, but special UN attention should be rendered to the unfinished business of post-conflict justice and reconciliation. Even as the UN is dismantling its political bundle for a developmental portmanteau, many victims of the Sierra Leonean conflict have not received any form of reparation. The most visible victims of our degenerate past do not even receive free medical care as rightly recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Our current president who is in his second term knows a bit about the necessity of reparation to a number of victims in Sierra Leone. On behalf of the amputees, he wrote in his 2003 submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that the “amputees are sad reminders that we must always strive to avoid actions in governance that may cause friction and tragedy. In the quest for reconciliation, the APC submits that amputees should be appropriately cared for and adequately compensated.” As we applaud the UN and honour all peacekeepers whose lives were taken in service to our country, my hope is that the current administration will heed its own admonitions and establish tangible institutions for the welfare of war victims, and the voice of Sir Milton Margai to take all necessary measures to prevent conflicts which may be detrimental to the good of our country.

In : Articles 

Tags: "joseph kaifala" un "united nations" "sierra leone" amputees africa 
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KATEHUN KATEHUN (pronounced Ka-te-hun)-is a Mende word for a symposium or community center where disputes are settled. Everyone is permitted to make his/her case before a presiding chief in an open forum. On this forum, I write primarily for those who stand committed to the Rule of Law in Africa and to the value that our future is better determined by the government of the people, by the people, and in service for the people. To advance the African value of Ubuntu through International Law and the Principles of a United Nations, which propels us towards Life in Larger Freedom.
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