Peace Agreements

Peace Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and RUF/SL

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Parties: Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone; Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone (RUF/SL)

Type: Intra-state

Peace Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the RUF/SL (Abidjan Peace Agreement)

30 November 1996

The Parties to the Abidjan Peace Agreement agreed on the need for genuine national unity and reconciliation to end the fratricidal war in Sierra Leone, popular participation in governance and full respect for human rights and humanitarian laws. The Parties agreed to cease hostilities, to ensure the establishment and consolidation of a just peace.

The Parties agreed to establish a Commission for the Consolidation of Peace, comprising Government and RUF/SL representatives and responsible for supervising and monitoring the implementation of the Agreement, including through establishing the following bodies: Socio-Economic Forum; Citizens’ Consultative Conferences; Multipartisan Council; Trust Fund for the Consolidation of Peace; Demobilisations and Resettlement Committee; and National Budget and Debt Committee. The Parties undertook to comply with the conclusions of the Commission, which it may issue publicly. The Commission would have the power to prepare the preliminary legislative drafts necessary for the implementation and development of the provisions contained in the Agreement.

The Parties agreed that Citizens’ Consultative Conferences would be organised once a year, to ensure truly fair and representative political processes. The Parties agreed to DDR of combatants, through a Demobilisation and Resettlement Committee. The Commission would make recommendations on the restructuring and reorientation of the military as well as its leadership, and RUF/SL members may become part of the new unified armed forces. The Parties agreed that immediately following the signing of the Agreement, the RUF/SL would commence to function as a political movement with the rights, privileges and duties provided by law. To consolidate the peace and promote the cause of national reconciliation, the Government would ensure that no official or judicial action is taken against any member of the RUF/SL in respect of anything done by them in pursuit of their objectives as members of that organisation up to the time of the signing of this Agreement.

The mandate and membership of the existing National Unity and Reconciliation Commission would be expanded in consultation with the Commission for the Consolidation of Peace to enable it to undertake a sustained and effective campaign of civic education aimed at enhancing national unity and reconciliation, taking into account the imperative need to heal the wounds of the conflict. The Parties agreed that the standards of accountability, integrity and probity in the public services would be raised, and agreed to reform the electoral process, including through reconstituting the National Electoral Commission. All civil and political liberties were recognised, including freedom of the press and media and freedom of association by the RUF/SL. The Parties agreed to establish an independent National Commission on Human Rights to monitor human rights compliance and promote human rights education.

The Parties agreed that in the reconstruction, rehabilitation and socio-economic development of Sierra Leone, as a matter of the utmost priority, special attention would be given to rural and urban poor areas, war victims, disabled persons and other vulnerable groups. The Parties agreed that the independence of the Judiciary, as well as the Police Force would be strengthened. The Parties agreed to review the Socio-Economic Policy of the country with enhanced grassroots participation, equal opportunities to all and the provision of socio-economic services to all. The Parties also agreed to undertake a nationwide sensitisation programme, including on the need for reconciliation and lasting peace.

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