Natural Resource Management: Lomé Peace Agreement

ARTICLE VII COMMISSION FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF STRATEGIC RESOURCES, NATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

1. Given the emergency situation facing the country, the parties agree that the Government shall exercise full control over the exploitation of gold, diamonds and other resources, for the benefit of the people of Sierra Leone. Accordingly, a Commission for the Management of Strategic Resources, National Reconstruction and Development (hereinafter termed the CMRRD) shall be established and charged with the responsibility of securing and monitoring the legitimate exploitation of Sierra Leones gold and diamonds, and other resources that are determined to be of strategic importance for national security and welfare as well as cater for post-war rehabilitation and reconstruction, as provided for under Article XXVIII of the present Agreement.

2. The Government shall take the necessary legal action within a period not exceeding two weeks from the signing of the present Agreement to the effect that all exploitation, sale, export, or any other transaction of gold and diamonds shall be forbidden except those sanctioned by the CMRRD. All previous concessions shall be null and void.

3. The CMRRD shall authorize licensing of artisanal production of diamonds and gold, in accordance with prevailing laws and regulations. All gold and diamonds extracted or otherwise sources from any Sierra Leonean territory shall be sold to the Government.

4. The CMRRD shall ensure, through the appropriate authorities, the security of the areas covered under this Article, and shall take all necessary measures against unauthorized exploitation.

5. For the export or local resale of gold and diamonds by the Government, the CMRRD shall authorize a buying and selling agreement with one or more reputable international and specialized mineral companies. All exports of Sierra Leonean gold and diamonds shall be transacted by the Government, under these agreements.

6. The proceeds from the transactions of gold and diamonds shall be public monies which shall enter a special Treasury account to be spent exclusively on the development of the people of Sierra Leone, with appropriations for public education, public health, infrastructural development, and compensation for incapacitated war victims as well as post-war rehabilitation and reconstruction. Priority spending shall go to rural areas.

7. The Government shall, if necessary, seek the assistance and cooperation of other governments and their instruments of law enforcement to detect and facilitate the prosecution of violations of this Article.

8. The management of other natural resources shall be reviewed by the CMRRD to determine if their regulation is a matter of national security and welfare, and recommend appropriate policy to the Government.

9. The functions of the Ministry of Mines shall continued to be carried out by the current authorized ministry. However, in respect of strategic mineral resources, the CMRRD shall be an autonomous body in carrying out its duties concerning the regulation of Sierra Leones strategic natural resources.

10. All agreements and transactions referred to in this Article shall be subject to full public disclosure and records of all correspondence, negotiations, business transactions and any other matters related to exploitation, management, local or international marketing, and any other matter shall be public documents.

11. The Commission shall issue monthly reports, including the details of all the transactions related to gold and diamonds, and other licenses or concessions of natural resources, and its own administrative costs.

12. The Commission shall be governed by a Board whose Chairmanship shall be offered to the Leader of the RUF, Corporal Foday Sankoh. The Board shall also comprise:
(i) Two representatives of the Government appointed by the President;
(ii) Two representatives of the political party to be formed by the RUF;
(iii) Three representatives of the civil society; and
(iv) Two representatives of other political parties appointed by Parliament.

13. The Government shall take the required administrative actions to implement the commitments made in the present Agreement; and in the case of enabling legislation, it shall draft and submit to Parliament within thirty days of the signature of the present Agreement, the relevant bills for their enactment into law.

14. The Government commits itself to propose and support an amendment to the Constitution to make the exploitation of gold and diamonds the legitimate domain of the people of Sierra Leone, and to determine that the proceeds be used for the development of Sierra Leone, particularly public education, public health, infrastructure development, and compensation of incapacitated war victims as well as post-war reconstruction and development.

Implementation History

1999

Minimum Implementation

The purpose of the CMRRD was to regulate and control the mining of gold and diamonds in SL. On October 23, 1999, the President of Sierra Leone confirmed that the Revolutionary United Front leader, Corporal Foday Sankoh, would become the Chairman of the Commission for the Management of Strategic Resources, National Reconstruction and Development (CMRRD), as agreed in the Lomé agreement. The position holds the protocol rank of vice president.1

“On paper, the CMRRD was to be an autonomous body, whose head was responsible only to the president. Amidst such confusion, the CMRRD was never really constituted and Sankoh simply ignored his appointment and continued to fund his military and political programmes through mining proceeds from RUF activities in Kono District."2

2000

Minimum Implementation

Sankoh was arrested in May 2000. The CMRRD was disbanded once Sankoh was arrested.  

2001

Minimum Implementation

No further developments observed.

2002

Minimum Implementation

No further developments observed.

2003

Minimum Implementation

No further developments observed.

2004

Minimum Implementation

No further developments observed.

2005

Minimum Implementation

No further developments observed.

2006

Minimum Implementation

No further developments observed.

2007

Minimum Implementation

No further developments observed.

2008

Minimum Implementation

No further developments observed.

2009

No further developments observed.