Reintegration: Lomé Peace Agreement

ARTICLE XVI

ENCAMPMENT, DISARMAMENT, DEMOBILIZATION AND REINTEGRATION

1. A neutral peace keeping force comprising UNOMSIL and ECOMOG shall disarm all combatants of the RUF, CDF, SLA and paramilitary groups. The encampment, disarmament and demobilization process shall commence within six weeks of the signing of the present Agreement in line with the deployment of the neutral peace keeping force.

2. The present SLA shall be restricted to the barracks and their arms in the armoury and their ammunitions in the magazines and placed under constant surveillance by the neutral peacekeeping force during the process of disarmament and demobilization.

3. UNOMSIL shall be present in all disarmament and demobilization locations to monitor the process and provide security guarantees to all ex-combatants.

4. Upon the signing of the present Agreement, the Government of Sierra Leone shall immediately request the International Community to assist with the provision of the necessary financial and technical resources needed for the adaptation and extension of the existing Encampment, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Programme in Sierra Leone, including payment of retirement benefits and other emoluments due to former members of the SLA.

ARTICLE XXX

CHILD COMBATANTS

The Government shall accord particular attention to the issue of child soldiers. It shall, accordingly, mobilize resources, both within the country and from the International Community, and especially through the Office of the UN Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, UNICEF and other agencies, to address the special needs of these children in the existing disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes.

Implementation History

1999

Intermediate Implementation

The DDR process started in October 1998 and was run by UNASMIL in coordination with NCDDR. The process was comprised of four different phases: (1) Phase I- September – December 1998; (2) Phase II- October 1999-April 2000; (3) Interim Phase - May 2000-May 17, 2001; (4) Phase III- May 18, 2001-January 2002.1

According to the eighth report of Secretary General on UNOMSIL, “the Government of Sierra Leone, working in close cooperation with the World Bank, the United Kingdom and UNOMSIL, developed an operational plan for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration into society of an estimated 45,000 fighters in Sierra Leone.”2 “The strength of the RUF is estimated at some 15,000, approximately the same size as the Civil Defence Force. The AFRC comprises some 6,000 men, slightly fewer than the current armed forces of Sierra Leone, which have a nominal roll of 7,000. Some 2,000 fighters are thought to belong to various paramilitary groups. UNICEF estimates that about 12 per cent of all combatants are children."3 

During the first phase, pre-discharge orientation, held between September and December 1998, combatants would receive basic necessities. They would also receive an allowance before being returned to their communities. The process was expected to take 90 days.4 The implementation was designed to take place in phases (see above).

The demobilization program officially started on October 20, 1999, and the second phase of the DDR began on November 4, 1999 with the opening of demobilization centers at Port Loko (center for RUF/AFRC and CDF), Daru (RUF/AFRC), Kenema (CDF), and at the camp in Lungi.

As of November 30, 1999, out of an estimated 45,000 combatants, only 4,217 ex-combatants were registered.5 The weapon to surrender ratio was about 1:4. 

  • 1. Thokozani Thusi and Sarah Meek, “Disarmament and Demobilization," 2003, In eds. Mark Malan, Sarah Meek, Thokozani Thusi, Jeremy Ginifer, Patrick Coker, "Sierra Leone: Building the Road to Recovery," Institute for Security Studies, Monograph 80, http://www.iss.co.za/pubs/monographs/No80/content.html, pp. 24-25.
  • 2. "Eighth Report of the Secretary General on UNOMSIL," S/1999/1003, September 28, 1999, p.6.
  • 3. S/1999/1003, p. 7.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. "Report of the Secretary General on UNOMSIL," S/1999/1223, December 6, 1999, p. 4.
2000

Minimum Implementation

The DDR process was disrupted by the outbreak of violent conflict in May and June. Once the parties to the conflict reached a ceasefire agreement, on November 10, 2000, the DDR process resumed. “[T]he Executive Secretary of the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, in cooperation with UNAMSIL and other key partners, has developed a draft revised joint operation plan for phase III of the programme, which was introduced to the Technical Coordination Committee of the Commission on 8 December (2001)."6

  • 6. "Secretary General’s Report on UNAMSIL," S/2000/1199, December 15, 2000, p. 5.
2001

Intermediate Implementation

In keeping with the decision taken at the meeting of the joint committee on May 15, 2001, the DDR program was re-launched on May 18, 2001. In the meeting, the parties agreed to set up additional DDR camps, including UNAMSIL’s mobile disarmament unit. It was agreed that the RUF ex-combatants would be encamped for a period of up to four weeks, while CDF ex-combatants would stay for a shorter period. They would receive orientation briefings, as well as learn about opportunities available to them during the reintegration stage. The process was monitored by a mechanism that included CDF and RUF representatives.

During the May 15, 2001 meeting, the RUF declared that it had a total of 10,000 combatants. The CDF declared a total of 15,000 combatants, a number that could increase up to 20,000, as many are not listed as combatants.7

The disarmed and demobilized combatants received their initial payments. As of the December 9, 2001 report of the Secretary General on UNAMSIL, 36,741 combatants were demobilized and disarmed (12,087 RUF, 24,456 CDF and 196 AFRC/Ex-SLA).8 A total of 13,500 weapons and 2.8 million of assorted pieces of ammunition were collected during the process. The demobilization and disarmament process was completed in the Kambia, Port Loko, Kono, Bonthe, Bombali, Moyamba, Koinadugu, Tonkolili, Bo and Pujehun districts, as well as in the western area. In the remaining two districts, Kailahun and Kenema, the process was expected to begin during the last DDR phase. 

  • 7. "Secretary General’s Report on UNAMSIL," S/2001/627, June 25, 2001.
  • 8. "Secretary General's Report on UNAMSIL," S/2001/1195, December 13, 2001.
2002

Intermediate Implementation

The reintegration program continued to experience a shortage of resources. Nevertheless, disarmed and demobilized combatants received their initial payments. As of the March 14, 2002 report of the Secretary General on UNAMSIL, “17,951 ex-combatants have been absorbed in various short-term reintegration projects.9 These include 4,552 in agriculture, 5,331 in vocational training, 3,871 in formal education, 3,240 in apprenticeships in various trades, 589 in public works and 368 in child reintegration projects” (page 3).

The number of ex-combatants participating in reintegration projects increased to 20,628 by the June 19, 2002 report of Secretary General on UNAMSIL.10

By September 2002, approximately 55,000 ex-combatants were registered for reintegration. Of those, 31,000 were already participating in projects. The remaining 24,000 waited for projects, a process that was hindered due to financial limitations.11 The reintegration project later received multi donor funding managed by the World Bank ($36.5 Million) as well as from USA ($5.7 Million) and Japan ($3 Million).12 This funding helped to accelerate the reintegration process. By December 2002, 38,850 ex-combatants were benefitting from the programs.13

 

A good number of ex-combatants, however, did not receive reintegration assistance. Some were excluded from participating in the DDR program – or only received parts of the reinsertion money they were entitled to - due to corrupt commanders or DDR officials. Yet others (especially in eastern Sierra Leone) did not receive the tool-kits they had been promised, and had to wait several months before they were given access to vocational training. See Nilsson, Anders. 2008. Dangerous Liaisons: Why Ex-Combatants Return to Violence. Doctoral Dissertation, Uppsala University. 

  • 9. "Secretary General's Report on UNAMSIL," S/2002/267, March 14, 2002.
  • 10. "Secretary General's Report on UNAMSIL," S/2002/679, June 19, 2002.
  • 11. "Secretary General's Report on UNAMSIL," S/2002/987, September 5, 2002.
  • 12. "Sierra Leone," Aecid, http://escolapau.uab.cat/img/programas/desarme/mapa/sierrai.pdf, accessed October 28, 2010.
  • 13. "Secretary General’s Report on UNAMSIL," S/2002/1417, December 24, 2002.
2003

Intermediate Implementation

According to the Secretary General’s December 2003 Report on UNAMSIL, 56,751 ex-combatants had registered for reintegration programs. Among those registered, “32,892 had completed their training and 15,322 were still in programmes. Of the other 8,537, the National Committed estimated the remaining caseload to be 4,500."14 With the DDR program drawing to a close, the National Committee planned to complete its work by March 2004.15

  • 14. "Secretary General’s Report on UNAMSIL," S/2003/1201, December 23, 2003, p. 6.
  • 15. Ibid.
2004

Full Implementation

According to the Secretary General’s July 2004 Report on UNAMSIL, a total of 54,000 ex-combatants have received reintegration benefits over the past four years.16 The Liberian and Sierra Leone governments, UNAMSIL, and UN mission in Liberia agreed, in principle, to demobilize, disarm and reintegrate ex-combatants from Sierra Leone in Liberia, who might number between 500 and 2,000.17

 

The number of ex-combatants to be reintegrated back to their communities that was cited by the Secretary General’s report is significantly lower than the progress report from World Bank on the Multi Donor Trust Fund. According to the World Bank report, “Of the 72,490 combatants who were disarmed, 95 percent or 69,000 were demobilized and 56,751 or 81 percent registered with NCDDR for reintegration training. As of mid-September of 2003, 48,240 or 85 percent of the registered ex-combatants had benefited from reintegration services."18

  • 16. "Secretary General’s Report on UNAMSIL," S/2004/536, July 6, 2004.
  • 17. Ibid.
  • 18. "Community Reintegration and Rehabilitation, Implementation Completion Report," World Bank, 2003, Report No. 27263, p. 9.
2005

Full Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2006

Full Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2007

Full Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2008

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.