Internally Displaced Persons: Lomé Peace Agreement

ARTICLE XXII REFUGEES AND DISPLACED PERSONS

The Parties through the National Commission for Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction agree to seek funding from and the involvement of the UN and other agencies, including friendly countries, in order to design and implement a plan for voluntary repatriation and reintegration of Sierra Leonean refugees and internally displaced persons, including non-combatants, in conformity with international conventions, norms and practices.

ARTICLE XXIII GUARANTEE OF THE SECURITY OF DISPLACED PERSONS AND REFUGEES

As a reaffirmation of their commitment to the observation of the conventions and principles of human rights and the status of refugees, the Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures to ensure that the right of Sierra Leoneans to asylum is fully respected and that no camps or dwellings of refugees or displaced persons are violated.

Implementation History

1999

Minimum Implementation

The specific date of the establishment of National Commission for Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (NCRRR) is not available. However, the Ministry of National Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction was created in April 1996 and it ran a program on Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction to address, “the short-term needs of demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, resettlement of displaced people and refugees, and restoration of basic social services, as well as the medium-term reconstruction necessary to lay the foundation for long-term growth and development."1

According to the Secretary General’s September 1999 report on UNAMSIL, there were about one half million refugees in neighboring countries and repatriation had not commenced as of September 1999. The UNHCR was unable to reach many areas of origin of refugees and IDPs to assess whether conditions were good enough to their return.2

  • 1. "Secretary General’s Report on Sierra Leone," S/1997/80, January 26, 1997, p. 7.
  • 2. "Secretary General’s Report on UNAMSIL," S/1999/1003, September 28, 1999.
2000

Minimum Implementation

The resettlement situation for IDPs gradually improved. The Government, with support from UN agencies, started planning for the resettlement of IDPs to the areas of government control. The Government began with 52,000 IDPS residing in nine camps in the western area.3

  • 3. "Secretary General’s Report on UNAMSIL," S/2000/186, March 7, 2000.
2001

Minimum Implementation

The repatriation of refugees and resettlement of IDPs gained momentum in 2001. According to Secretary General’s Report on UNAMSIL, there were an estimated 510,000 refugees, 200,000 of which were in Guinea and Liberia. There were also 247,590 IDPs within Sierra Leone.4

  • 4. "Secretary General’s Report on UNAMSIL," S/2001/1195, December 13, 2001.
2002

Full Implementation

As of January 2002, 204,000 IDPs were registered and being assisted by UN agencies. The resettlement program was carried out in phases. In the first phase, which began in December 2001, 4,000 IDPs and 13,000 returnees resettled in Port Loko District.5

“A central aspect of the recovery process is the facilitation of the resettlement of internally displaced persons and returning refugees. They are returning to areas that are among the poorest and most devastated, and where concentrations of ex-combatants are high. The third phase of the national resettlement programme commenced on 28 March and ran through 30 April, at which point operations were suspended for the election period. Some 120,000 internally displaced persons were resettled in the newly accessible areas during this phase."6

 

The final phase of resettlement of IDPs was completed in early December. Since the program began, approximately 220,000 IDPs were resettled.7

  • 5. "Secretary General’s Report on UNAMSIL," S/2002/267, March 14, 2002.
  • 6. "Secretary General’s Report on UNAMSIL," S/2002/679, June 19, 2002, p. 6.
  • 7. "Secretary General’s Report on UNAMSIL," S/2002/1417, December 24, 2002.
2003

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2004

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

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.