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 to CountryAAH, the total population in Sierra Leone is 7,976,994 people in 2020. About 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.