Powersharing Transitional Government: Lomé Peace Agreement

ARTICLE V: ENABLING THE RUF TO JOIN A BROAD-BASED GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY THROUGH CABINET APPOINTMENTS

1. The Government of Sierra Leone shall accord every opportunity to the RUF to join a broad-based government of national unity through cabinet appointments. To that end:

2. The Chairmanship of the Board of the Commission for the Management of Strategic Resources, National Reconstruction and Development (CMRRD) as provided for in Article VII of the present Agreement shall be offered to the leader of the RUF, Corporal Foday Sankoh. For this purpose he shall enjoy the status of Vice President and shall therefore be answerable only to the President of Sierra Leone.

3. The Government of Sierra Leone shall give ministerial positions to the RUF in a moderately expanded cabinet of 18, bearing in mind that the interests of other political parties and civil society organizations should also be taken into account, as follows:

(i) One of the senior cabinet appointments such as finance, foreign affairs and justice;
(ii) Three other cabinet positions.

4. In addition, the Government of Sierra Leone shall, in the same spirit, make available to the RUF the following senior government positions: Four posts of Deputy Minister.

5. Within a period of fourteen days following the signing of the present Agreement, the necessary steps shall be taken by the Government of Sierra Leone to remove any legal impediments that may prevent RUF members from holding cabinet and other positions.

Implementation History

1999

Full Implementation

As disclosed by a senior aid to the Sierra Leone government on November 6, 1999, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) delivered their list of cabinet appointees to be included in the Government of National Unity. The former military ruler of the ousted military junta, Major Johnny Paul Koroma, and at least three of his ousted executives: Alimamy Paolo Bangura, Sahr Kaiagbanja and Eddie Kanneh, were on the list. Also included in the list of cabinet appointees were the rebels' War Council Chief and chief negotiator of the Lomé Accord, Solomon Rogers, battlefield commanders Sam Bockarie and Denise Mingo, and the rebels’ legal adviser and spokesman, Omrie Golley. Following the presidential approval of the names, the list would go to the parliament for ratification.1 The following positions were allocated to the RUF: the Ministry of Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Land, Housing and Central Planning; the Ministry of Energy and Power; and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Koroma was appointed to head the Commission for the Consolidation of Peace and Sankoh the CMRRD.

On November 21, 1999, the Government of National Unity was announced and it saw the former cabinet being expanded from its original 15-member to 21. The agreed upon cabinet size during the lome negotiation was 18, but Kabbah expanded it to 21. “At least 7 cabinet positions were given to rebels of the Revolutionary United Front, RUF, 3 of which are senior cabinet positions. The RUF are to occupy the ministries of Energy and Works, Lands and the Environment, and Trade and Industry. The rebel's appointees are Mr. Alimamy Pallo Bangura for Energy and Works, Peter Vandy for Lands and the Environment and Mr. Mike Lamin for Trade and Industry. The RUF were also given 3 deputy ministries while a former soldier of the national army was given a deputy minister position.”2

Typical of powersharing arrangements, Binningsbo and Dupuy (2009), who interviewed RUF/AFRC ministers, report that, “the RUF and AFRC representatives in the Cabinet were hindered in influencing high politics and were even excluded from Cabinet meetings.”3

  • 1. "Sierra Leone; Rebel Send List Of Cabinet Appointees," Africa News, August 6, 1999.
  • 2. "Sierra Leone; Government Of National Unity Officially Announced," Africa News, October 21, 1999; Helga Malmin Binningsbø and Kendra Dupuy, "Using Power-Sharing to Win a War: The Implementation of the Lomé Agreement in Sierra Leone," Africa Spectrum 44, no. 3 (2009): 96-7.
  • 3. Ibid., 97.
2000

Minimum Implementation

With the increased violence in May 2000, the government revoked the RUF’s seats in the cabinet and ending the power-sharing arrangement (some of the RUF ministers were even arrested and detained). When the hostilities ceased in November 2000/May 2001, the government refused to re-install the RUF ministers. After mid 2000, there was no longer any power-sharing arrangement between the RUF and the government. The situation was somewhat different with the AFRC. In late 1999, the AFRC had received one post in the government, when Jomo-Jalloh was made Minister of Tourism and Culture. Jomoh-Jalloh was able to retain this position until the May 2002 national elections.

2001

Intermediate Implementation

Power-sharing for RUF ended in May 2000. AFRC retained at least one position.

2002

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2003

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2004

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2005

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2006

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2007

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2008

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.