Regional Peacekeeping Force: Lomé Peace Agreement

ARTICLE XIII TRANSFORMATION AND NEW MANDATE OF ECOMOG 1. Immediately upon the signing of the present Agreement, the parties shall request ECOWAS to revise the mandate of ECOMOG in Sierra Leone as follows:

(i) Peacekeeping;
(ii) Security of the State of Sierra Leone;
i. Protection of UNOMSIL.
i. Protection of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration personnel.

2. The Government shall, immediately upon the signing of the present Agreement,
request ECOWAS for troop contributions from at least two additional countries. The additional contingents shall be deployed not later than 30 days from the date of signature of the present Agreement. The Security Council shall be requested to provide assistance in support of ECOMOG.

3. The Parties agree to develop a timetable for the phased withdrawal of ECOMOG, including measures for securing all of the territory of Sierra Leone by the restructured armed forces. The phased withdrawal of ECOMOG will be linked to the phased creation and deployment of the restructured armed forces.

Implementation History

1999

Intermediate Implementation

As provided for in the Lomé Agreement, there was a new six-point mandate for ECOMOG operations in Sierra Leone, set forth by the Federal Government of Nigeria on July 8, 1999. The six points of the mandate are: reconstruction; disarmament; demobilization; integration of the citizenry; training of the Sierra Leonean Armed Forces; and a provision of security for VIPs in the post- war country.1

However, ECOMOG troops were withdrawn from Sierra Leone in September 1999.2 The first batch of 498 Nigerian troops was withdrawn on September 2, 1999.3

The West African Peacekeeping Force (ECOMOG) in Sierra Leone stopped the withdrawal of troops following renewed tensions between the former military junta leader, Johnny Paul Koroma, and rebel leader, Foday Sankoh. “A senior ECOMOG official said in Freetown on Saturday that they suspended the pullout of Nigerian forces, the backbone of the peacekeepers, following an appeal by Sierra Leone's President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and the United Nations. Some 2,000 Nigerian troops have already left the country."4

  • 1. "Sierra Leone; ECOMOG's new role revealed in Nigeria," Africa News, July 9, 1999.
  • 2. "Sierra Leone; Kabbah, Obasanjo discuss Ecomog withdrawal," Africa News, September 3, 1999.
  • 3. "NIGERIA: FIRST BATCH OF ECOMOG CONTINGENT RETURNS FROM SIERRA LEONE," BBC Monitoring Africa – Political, September 3, 1999.
  • 4. "ECOMOG halts withdrawal of troops from Sierra Leone," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, September 4, 1999.
2000

Intermediate Implementation

On January 13, 2000, the Foreign Secretary of Nigeria wrote a letter to the Secretary General of the UN offering to suspend the withdrawal of Nigerian troops that were part of ECOMOG for 90 days. To prevent a potential security vacuum, however, it was agreed that two Nigerian infantry battalions and one tank company would be incorporated for 90 days (S/2000/186, March 7, 2000).

ECOWAS played an important role facilitating the peace process, especially related to security issues.

On May 9, 2000, ECOWAS leaders agreed to consider re-deploying the West African Intervention Force, (ECOMOG), to Sierra Leone. “They also nominated Liberian President, Charles Taylor, to negotiate the release of hundreds of UN peacekeepers held hostage in Sierra Leone. The leaders warned in a statement that they would use military force to stop any attempt to grab power undemocratically in Sierra Leone."5 On May 12, 2000, the Organization of African Union supported the ECOWAS resolution on Sierra Leone.6

In May 2000, ECOWAS leaders endorsed the deployment of 3,000 additional troops to Sierra Leone to help shore up the faltering peace process. The deployment was intended to reinforce the 11,000 UNAMSIL troops supervising the DDR process under the Lomé agreement.7

Efforts to mediate a ceasefire between the RUF and the Sierra Leone Government were not effective due to Liberian support to the RUF. In order to protect the border areas, ECOWAS deployed an interposition force of 1,796 troops. The troops were situated along the Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea borders. “The proposed mandate of the force would include monitoring the border areas; neutralizing irregular armed groups; facilitating the movement of persons, goods and services; ensuring the security of refugees and displace persons; and creating a conducive environment for humanitarian assistance” (S/2001/228, March 14, 2001, page 4). ECOWAS continuously tried to revamp the role of UNAMSIL. 

  • 5. "Sierra Leone; ECOWAS Leaders May Re-deploy ECOMOG to S/Leone," Africa News, May 10, 2000.
  • 6. "Sierra Leone; OAU Supports ECOWAS Resolutions On Sierra Leone," Africa News, May 13, 2000.
  • 7. "Sierra Leone; ECOWAS To Send Troops To Sierra Leone," Africa News, May 29, 2000.
2001

Full Implementation

Germany would reportedly contribute 250,000 dollars in logistical support for the deployment of an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) military force along Guinea's volatile border with Sierra Leone and Liberia.8

ECOWAS continued its presence and verification role in Sierra Leone as mandated in the Lomé Agreement. 

  • 8. "Sierra Leone: Germany to give 250,000 dollars in support for ECOWAS deployment," BBC Monitoring Africa – Political, February 6, 2001.
2002

Full Implementation

The date ECOWAS ended ECOMOG activities in Sierra Leone is not clear. Nevertheless, ECOWAS appointed a 30-member delegation to monitor Sierra Leone’s May 14, 2002 parliamentary and presidential elections. Following the post-conflict elections, the regional peacekeeping force can be coded as ended or withdrawn. 

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.

2009

No further developments observed.