Electoral/Political Party Reform: Abidjan Peace Agreement

ARTICLE 13

The Parties agree that immediately following the signing of the present Peace Agreement, the RUF/SL shall commence to function as a political movement with the rights, privileges and duties provided by law; and that within thirty days, following that, the necessary conditions shall be created to enable the RUF/SL to register as a political movement according to law.

ARTICLE 18 The Parties agree to the principle of reforming the present electoral process in Sierra Leone. There shall, in that regard, be the full participation of citizens and their organizations in formulating electoral reforms. The independence and integrity of the National Electoral Commission shall be guaranteed to ensure fair and acceptable electoral exercise.

In reconstituting the National Electoral Commission, the President shall consult all political parties and movements including the RUF/SL to determine the membership and terms of reference of that Commission, paying particular attention to the need for a level playing field in the nation's electoral politics.

Both the Government and the RUF/SL shall, together with other political parties, nominate men and women of professionalism, integrity and objectivity to the National Electoral Commission, not later than three months after the signing of the present Peace Agreement.

It is hereby agreed that no member of the National Electoral Commission shall be eligible for appointment to a political office by any government formed as a result of an election they were mandated to conduct.

Implementation History

1996

No Implementation

The accord called for the legalization of RUF as a political party and the formation of a National Electoral Commission to reform the country's electoral processes. There were no reports of these developments beginning in 1996 as fighting quickly renewed and demobilization was delayed. 

1997

No Implementation

As of March 15, 1997, demobilization of the RUF had not begun.1 On May 26, 1997, Major Johnny Paul Koroma and his soldiers joined with RUF and toppled Sierra Leone's government. President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah fled into Guinea.2

  • 1. "Sierra Leone. Sliding back to war?," The Economist, March 15, 1997, 43.
  • 2. "Sierra Leone coup leader claims power," The Independent (London), May 26, 1997, 13.
1998

No Implementation

In 1998, the former government ousted the RUF/AFRC government. RUF and the former government returned to full scale civil war in 1998.3

Coding for this case ceased on December 31, 1998.

  • 3. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program," Uppsala University Department of Peace and Conflict Research, accessed June 3, 2011, www.ucdp.uu.se/database.