Prisoner Release: Abidjan Peace Agreement

ARTICLE 19

To foster national reconciliation and ensure the full and unrestricted participation of the RUF/SL in the political process, the RUF/SL shall enjoy:

(i) Freedom of the press and access to the media in order that they may be heard and informed.

(ii) Freedom of association, expression, assembly and the right to mobilize and demonstrate freely, and to communicate politically in order that they may organize effectively and set up appropriate infrastructure. All political prisoners and prisoners of war, if any, shall be released.

Implementation History

1996

No Implementation

No prisoner swaps took place following the accord.1 

  • 1. "Sierra Leone rebels come to capital for talks," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, December 19, 1996.
1997

No Implementation

In January 1997, two months after the peace accord was signed, the SLPP government and Kamajors launched attacks against RUF units in northern Kailahun. This was condemned by the rebels as being unprovoked. Keen argues that the continued actions of the Kamajors (which also included executions of RUF combatants that attempted to resettle in their home villages) was one of the main reasons for why the RUF rejected the 1996 accord and sided with the AFRC in May 1997.2 In May of 1997, Major Johnny Paul Koroma and his soldiers formed an alliance with RUF troops and toppled Sierra Leone's government. President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah fled into Guinea.3

  • 2. Keen, David 2005. Conflict & Collusion in Sierra Leone. Palgrave Macmillan, pp.193-197.
  • 3. "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 1998.4

Coding for this case ceased on December 31, 1998.

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