Sierra Leone. During the year, Sierra Leone continued to
try to put the 1990s civil war behind it. In February, the
disarmament of the armed movements was completed. According
CountryAAH, the total population in Sierra Leone is 7,976,994 people in 2020.
72,500 people, including almost 7,000 children, have given
up arms and been offered education. In July, the UNHCR said
that all the more than half a million people who fled the
war could return home.
In June, the trials began at the UN-supported Special
Court for War Crimes. Three members each of the rebel
movement RUF (Revolutionary United Front), the military
junta who ruled 1997-98 and the government-affiliated Civil
Defense Forces (Kama Jormilis) were brought to trial.
However, the importance of the court has been diminished by
the fact that the two top RUF leaders are dead, the military
junta leader disappeared and perhaps dead, and that
Liberia's former president Charles Taylor, who is accused of
sparking the war, has not been extradited from Nigeria where
he lives in exile.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission presented its
final report in October. Following hearings from those
responsible, victims and eyewitnesses, the Commission
concluded that the war and its bestial atrocities were
rooted in the corruption, misconduct and disregard of human
rights of previous regimes. Once the elite had plundered
their own land and the youth lacked all hope for the future,
opportunists could easily revive violence. Among the
Commission's recommendations was that the provinces must
have greater influence over politics. A step in that
direction was taken when municipal political assemblies were
re-established after 32 years of traditional governor rule.
The chief system is considered to have contributed greatly
to corruption and nepotism.
However, a state investigation showed that the public
administration is still permeated by corruption, which may
have contributed to the SLPP's government losing big in the
municipal elections in, among other things. the capital of
Freetown. The UN Security Council extended the mandate for
the UNAMSIL peace troop until June 30, 2005. However, the
force was gradually reduced and at the end of the year was
below 5,000 men, after having had more than 17,000 at most.