Reparations: Lomé Peace Agreement

ARTICLE XXIX SPECIAL FUND FOR WAR VICTIMS

The Government, with the support of the International Community, shall design and implement a programme for the rehabilitation of war victims. For this purpose, a special fund shall be set up.

Implementation History

1999

No Implementation

Under the Lomé Agreement, the Government was supposed to establish a special fund to support/rehabilitate the war victims. The fund was not established in 1999. 

2000

Minimum Implementation

The Parliament of Sierra Leone approved The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act 2000 on February 10, 2000. This act provided institutional means of establishing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in line with Article XXVI of the Lomé Peace Agreement and to provide for related matters.1 In spite of the Parliamentary ruling, issues remained on the subject of reparations and the establishment of a special fund. 

  • 1. Paul James-Allen, Sheku B. S. Lahai, and Jamie O’Connel, "Sierra Leone’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Special Court: A Citizen’s Handbook," 2003, National Forum for Human Rights and International Centre for Transitional Justice, New York, http://www.ictj.org/images/content/0/9/094.pdf, Accessed October 25, 2010.
2001

Minimum Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2002

Minimum Implementation

In an effort to encourage the Government to take compensation or reparations to war victims seriously, a two-day workshop took place in Makeni on August 2 and 3, 2002. “The workshop ended with many expectations that the TRC would advise government on the need for reparation to become a grassroot issue in our search for truth and reconciliation following the end of the ten-year rebel war."2 Issues remained on questions of reparations and the establishment of a special fund.

During a press briefing held at the TRC headquarters, one commissioner suggested that president Kabbah should promote the TRC at the next UN General Assembly meeting. The move was expected to increase the profile of the TRC in order to raise funds.3 The issue of reparations to victims became so critical that the victims of war (Amputees and War Wounded Association) started to demonstrate.4

  • 2. "Sierra Leone; Consultative Conference Ends With Great Expectation," Africa News, August 7, 2002.
  • 3. "Sierra Leone; President Kabbah to Take Truth and Reconciliation Commission to UN," Africa News, August 9, 2002.
  • 4. "Sierra Leone; A Reparation And the TRC," Africa News, August 23, 2002.
2003

Minimum Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2004

Minimum Implementation

“Following a two-year investigation into atrocities committed during the war, the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission said both Libya and Liberia had played a key role in the West African conflict."5

The report recommended that Libya pay reparations for having trained top rebel military commanders. The Commission recommended measures to control corruption as well as provide free physical and mental healthcare for amputees and rape victims. The TRC also recommended a monthly pension for all war wounded. The money to fund the monthly pension was expected to be provided by the Government, with the hope that the international community would also provide funds.6 International funding was insufficient, however. “[A] recent United Nations inter-agency appeal for funds for Sierra Leone's recovery and rehabilitation had yielded only 10 per cent of the funding goal of $60 million."7

  • 5. "Sierra Leone; Independent Report Calls On Libya to Pay Reparations for Role in Civil War," Africa News, October 6, 2004.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. "Sierra Leone: Truth And Reconciliation Report," Africa News, October 31, 2004.
2005

Minimum Implementation

As recommended by the TRC in its report, victims of war did not receive reparations from the Government. Therefore, the Amputees and War Wounded Association in Sierra Leone threatened to sue the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Government for deliberately failing to respond to their welfare, as was recommended in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report. As recommended by TRC, the victims should be receiving SU$300 as a monthly allowance. The Government was criticized for failing to get international support to establish a permanent fund.7

  • 7. "Sierra Leone; Amputees Threaten to Sue SLPP Government," Africa News, August 31, 2005.
2006

Minimum Implementation

“On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of torture, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Forum of Conscience (FOC) call upon the Government of Sierra Leone to establish with the utmost urgency the Special Fund for War Victims."8

  • 8. "Sierra Leone; International Day in Support of Victims of Torture - Victims of War Remain Without Reparations," Africa News, June 26, 2006.
2007

Minimum Implementation

The special fund for war victims was not established, creating a growing criticism of the Government. On November 5, 2007, Amnesty International asked the newly elected Government of Sierra Leone to commit to ensuring justice and full reparations for the tens of thousands of Sierra Leonean women who were victims of sexual violence during the conflict.9

  • 9. "Sierra Leone; Govt Asked to Compensate Sexually Assaulted," Africa News, November 5, 2007.
2008

Minimum Implementation

“National commission for social action (NaCSA), the institution responsible for the reparation of refugees was experiencing a slow pace with the programme due to delay in accessing the $3USM allocated to them. The said amount was earmarked by the peace building commission to fast track the reparation process in Sierra Leone."10

  • 10. "Sierra Leone: Reparation Process Suffers Setback," All Africa News, October 31, 2008.
2009

The chief of the Human Rights Section of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Lone (UNIPSIL) said, at the official launch of the reparations program by the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), that the lack of political will result in implementation delays.11

The National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), which was running the reparations program, lacked funding to run the program. Of the US$14 million required for 2009-10, NaCSA had less than US $3.5 million for the program. The bulk of the funding for 2009 came from the UN Peacebuilding Fund. Reparations to victims came in the form of housing, skills training, health care, education and agricultural assistance, as well as symbolic activities such as reburials, memorials and remembrance ceremonies.12 Up to 100,000 Sierra Leoneans, among them amputees and other war-wounded, victims of sexual violence, war widows and children who were eligible for post-war reparations, had yet to receive any compensation.13

  • 11. "Sierra Leone; 'Political Will Delays Reparations,'" Africa News, February 5, 2009.
  • 12. "Sierra Leone; Lack of Aid Funds for Amputees, Rape Victims, War Widows," Africa News, February 23, 2009.
  • 13. "Sierra Leone; Special Court Receives Funding Reprieve," Africa News, April 14, 2009.