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Wednesday, 14 July, 1999, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Sierra Leone peace accord: Full text
PART ONE
CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES

PART TWO
GOVERNANCE

    ARTICLE III
    TRANSFORMATION OF The RUF/SL INTO A POLITICAL PARTY

    ARTICLE IV
    ENABLING MEMBERS OF The RUF/SL TO HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE

    ARTICLE V
    ENABLING The RUF/SL TO JOIN A BROAD-BASED GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY THROUGH CABINET APPOINTMENTS

    ARTICLE VI
    COMMISSION FOR The CONSOLIDATION OF PEACE

    ARTICLE VII
    COMMISSION FOR The MANAGEMENT OF STRATEGIC RESOURCES, NATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

    ARTICLE VIII
    COUNCIL OF ELDERS AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS

PART THREE
OTHER POLITICAL ISSUES

Click here to read parts 3 and 4 of the peace accord

Click here to read parts 5 to 8 of the peace accord, and the annexes including the ceasefire text

The Government Of The Republic Of Sierra Leone And The Revolutionary United Front Of Sierra Leone (Ruf/SL: Having met in Lome, Togo, from the 25 May 1999, to 7 July 1999 under the auspices of the Current Chairman of ECOWAS, President Gnassingbe Eyadema;

Recalling earlier initiatives undertaken by the countries of the sub-region and the International Community, aimed at bringing about a negotiated settlement of the conflict in Sierra Leone, and culminating in the Abidjan Peace Agreement of 30 November, 1996 and the ECOWAS Peace Plan of 23 October, 1997;

Moved by the imperative need to meet the desire of the people of Sierra Leone for a definitive settlement of the fratricidal war in their country and for genuine national unity and reconciliation;

Committed to promoting full respect for human rights and humanitarian law;

Committed to promoting popular participation in the governance of the country and the advancement of democracy in a socio-political framework free of inequality, nepotism and corruption;

Concerned with the socio-economic well being of all the people of Sierra Leone;

Determined to foster mutual trust and confidence between themselves;

Determined to establish sustainable peace and security; to pledge forthwith, to settle all past, present and future differences and grievances by peaceful means; and to refrain from the threat and use of armed force to bring about any change in Sierra Leone;

Reaffirming the conviction that sovereignty belongs to the people, and that Government derives all its powers, authority and legitimacy from the people;

Recognising the imperative that the children of Sierra Leone, especially those affected by armed conflict, in view of their vulnerability, are entitled to special care and the protection of their inherent right to life, survival and development, in accordance with the provisions of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child;

Guided by the Declaration in the Final Communique of the Meeting in Lome of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of ECOWAS of 25 May 1999, in which they stressed the importance of democracy as a factor of regional peace and security, and as essential to the socio-economic development of ECOWAS Member States; and in which they pledged their commitment to the consolidation of democracy and respect of human rights while reaffirming the need for all Member States to consolidate their democratic base, observe the principles of good governance and good economic management in order to ensure the emergence and development of a democratic culture which takes into account the interests of the peoples of West Africa;

Recommitting themselves to the total observance and compliance with the Ceasefire Agreement signed in Lome on 18 May 1999, and appended as Annex 1 until the signing of the present Peace Agreement;

HEREBY AGREE AS FOLLOWS:

PART ONE

CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES

ARTICLE 1

CEASEFIRE

The armed conflict between the Government of Sierra Leone and the RUF/SL is hereby ended with immediate effect. Accordingly, the two sides shall ensure that a total and permanent cessation of hostilities is observed forthwith.

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ARTICLE II

CEASEFIRE MONITORING

1. A Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (hereinafter termed the CMC) to be chaired by the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (hereinafter termed UNOMSIL) with representatives of the Government of Sierra Leone, RUF/SL, the Civil Defence Forces (hereinafter termed the CDF) and ECOMOG shall be established at provincial and district levels with immediate effect to monitor, verify and report all violations of the ceasefire.

2. A Joint Monitoring Commission (hereinafter termed the JMC) shall be established at the national level to be chaired by UNOMSIL with representatives of the Government of Sierra Leone, RUF/SL, CDF, and ECOMOG. The JMC shall receive, investigate and take appropriate action on reports of violations of the ceasefire from the CMC. The parties agree to the definition of ceasefire violations as contained in Annex 2 which constitutes an integral part of the present Agreement.

3. The parties shall seek the assistance of the International Community in providing funds and other logistics to enable the JMC to carry out its mandate.

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PART TWO

GOVERNANCE

The Government of Sierra Leone and the RUF/SL, recognising the right of the people of Sierra Leone to live in peace, and desirous of finding a transitional mechanism to incorporate the RUF/SL into governance within the spirit and letter of the Constitution, agree to the following formulas for structuring the government for the duration of the period before the next elections, as prescribed by the Constitution, managing scarce public resources for the benefit of the development of the people of Sierra Leone and sharing the responsibility of implementing the peace. Each of these formulas (not in priority order) is contained in a separate Article of this Part of the present Agreement; and may be further detailed in protocols annexed to it.

Article III Transformation of the RUF/SL Into a Political Party

Article IV Enabling Members of the RUF/SL to Hold Public Office

Article V Enabling the RUF/SL to Join a Broad-Based Government of National Unity Through Cabinet Appointment

Article VI Commission for the Consolidation of Peace

Article VII Commission for the Management of Strategic Resources, National Reconstruction and Development

Article VIII Council of Elders and Religious Leaders.

ARTICLE III

TRANSFORMATION OF The RUF/SL INTO A POLITICAL PARTY

1. The Government of Sierra Leone shall accord every facility to the RUF/SL to transform itself into a political party and enter the mainstream of the democratic process. To that end:

2. Immediately upon the signing of the present Agreement, the RUF/SL shall commence to organise itself to function as a political movement, with the rights, privileges and duties accorded to all political parties in Sierra Leone. These include the freedom to publish, unhindered access to the media, freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the right to mobilise and associate freely.

3. Within a period of thirty days, following the signing of the present Agreement, the necessary legal steps shall be taken by the Government of Sierra Leone to enable the RUF/SL to register as a political party.

4. The Parties shall approach the International Community with a view to mobilising resources for the purposes of enabling the RUF/SL to function as a political party. These resources may include but shall not be limited to:

(i) Setting up a trust fund;

(ii) Training for RUF/SL membership in party organisation and functions; and

(iii) Providing any other assistance necessary for achieving the goals of this section.

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ARTICLE IV

ENABLING MEMBERS OF The RUF/SL TO HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE

1. The Government of Sierra Leone shall take the necessary steps to enable those RUF/SL members nominated by the RUF/SL to hold public office, within the time-frames agreed and contained in the present Agreement for the integration of the various bodies named herein.

2. Accordingly, necessary legal steps shall be taken by the Government of Sierra Leone, within a period of fourteen days following the signing of the present Agreement, to amend relevant laws and regulations that may constitute an impediment or bar to RUF/SL and AFRC personnel holding public office.

3. Within seven days of the removal of any such legal impediments, both parties shall meet to discuss and agree on the appointment of RUF/SL members to positions in parastatals, diplomacy and any other public sector.

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ARTICLE V

ENABLING The RUF/SL TO JOIN A BROAD-BASED GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY THROUGH CABINET APPOINTMENTS

1. The Government of Sierra Leone shall accord every opportunity to the RUF/SL to join a broad-based government of national unity through cabinet appointments. To that end:

2. The Chairmanship of the Board of the Commission for the Management of Strategic Resources, National Reconstruction and Development (CMRRD) as provided for in Article VII of the present Agreement shall be offered to the leader of the RUF/SL, Corporal Foday Sankoh. For this purpose he shall enjoy the status of Vice President and shall therefore be answerable only to the President of Sierra Leone.

3. The Government of Sierra Leone shall give ministerial positions to the RUF/SL in a moderately expanded cabinet of 18, bearing in mind that the interests of other political parties and civil society organisations should also be taken into account, as follows:

(i) One of the senior cabinet appointments such as finance, foreign affairs and justice;

(ii) Three other cabinet positions.

4. In addition, the Government of Sierra Leone shall, in the same spirit, make available to the RUF/SL the following senior government positions: Four posts of Deputy Minister.

5. Within a period of fourteen days following the signing of the present Agreement, the necessary steps shall be taken by the Government of Sierra Leone to remove any legal impediments that may prevent RUF/SL members from holding cabinet and other positions.

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ARTICLE VI

COMMISSION FOR The CONSOLIDATION OF PEACE

1. A Commission for the Consolidation of Peace (hereinafter termed the CCP), shall be established within two weeks of the signing of the present Agreement to implement a post-conflict programme that ensures reconciliation and the welfare of al parties to the conflict, especially the victims of war. The CCP shall have the overall goal and responsibility for supervising and monitoring the implementation of and compliance with the provisions of the present Agreement relative to the promotion of national reconciliation and the consolidation of peace.

2. The CCP shall ensure that all structures for national reconciliation and the consolidation of peace already in existence and those provided for in the present Agreement are operational and given the necessary resources for realising their respective mandates. These structures shall comprise:

(i) the Commission for the Management of Strategic Resources, National Reconstruction and Development;

(ii) the Joint Monitoring Commission;

(iii) the Provincial and District Ceasefire Monitoring Committees;

(iv) the Committee for the Release of Prisoners of War and Non-Combatants;

(v) the Committee for Humanitarian Assistance;

(vi) the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration;

(vii) the National Commission for Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction;

(viii) the Human Rights Commission; and

(ix) the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

3. The CCP shall have the right to inspect any activity or site connected with the implementation of the present Agreement.

4. The CCP shall have full powers to organise its work in any manner it deems appropriate and to appoint any group or sub-committee which it deems necessary in the discharge of its functions.

5. The Commission shall be composed of the following members:

(i) Two representatives of the civil society;

(ii) One representative each named by the Government, the RUF/SL and the Parliament.

6. The CCP shall have its own offices, adequate communication facilities and secretarial support staff.

7. Recommendations for improvements or modifications shall be made to the President of sierra Leone for appropriate action. Likewise, failures of the structures to perform their assigned duties shall also be brought to the attention of the President.

8. Disputes arising out of the preceding paragraph shall be brought to the Council of Elders and Religious Leaders for resolution, as specified in Article VIII of the present Agreement.

9. Should Protocols be needed in furtherance of any provision in the present Agreement, the CCP shall have the responsibility for their preparation.

10. The mandate of the CCP shall terminate at the end of the next general elections.

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ARTICLE VII

COMMISSION FOR The MANAGEMENT OF STRATEGIC RESOURCES,

NATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

1. Given the emergency situation facing the country, the parties agree that the Government shall exercise full control over the exploitation of gold, diamonds and other resources, for the benefit of the people of Sierra Leone. Accordingly, a Commission for the Management of Strategic Resources, National Reconstruction and Development (hereinafter termed the CMRRD) shall be established and charged with the responsibility of securing and monitoring the legitimate exploitation of Sierra Leone's gold and diamonds, and other resources that are determined to be of strategic importance for national security and welfare as well as cater for post-war rehabilitation and reconstruction, as provided for under Article XXVIII of the present Agreement.

2. The Government shall take the necessary legal action within a period not exceeding two weeks from the signing of the present Agreement to the effect that all exploitation, sale, export, or any other transaction of gold and diamonds shall be forbidden except those sanctioned by the CMRRD. All previous concessions shall be null and void.

3. The CMRRD shall authorise licensing of artisanal production of diamonds and gold, in accordance with prevailing laws and regulations. All gold and diamonds extracted or otherwise sources from any Sierra Leonean territory shall be sold to the Government.

4. The CMRRD shall ensure, through the appropriate authorities, the security of the areas covered under this Article, and shall take all necessary measures against unauthorised exploitation.

5. For the export or local resale of gold and diamonds by the Government, the CMRRD shall authorise a buying and selling agreement with one or more reputable international and specialised mineral companies. All exports of Sierra Leonean gold and diamonds shall be transacted by the Government, under these agreements.

6. The proceeds from the transactions of gold and diamonds shall be public monies which shall enter a special Treasury account to be spent exclusively on the development of the people of Sierra Leone, with appropriations for public education, public health, infrastructural development, and compensation for incapacitated war victims as well as post-war rehabilitation and reconstruction. Priority spending shall go to rural areas.

7. The Government shall, if necessary, seek the assistance and co-operation of other governments and their instruments of law enforcement to detect and facilitate the prosecution of violations of this Article.

8. The management of other natural resources shall be reviewed by the CMRRD to determine if their regulation is a matter of national security and welfare, and recommend appropriate policy to the Government.

9. The functions of the Ministry of Mines shall continued to be carried out by the current authorised ministry. However, in respect of strategic mineral resources, the CMRRD shall be an autonomous body in carrying out its duties concerning the regulation of Sierra Leone's strategic natural resources.

10. All agreements and transactions referred to in this Article shall be subject to full public disclosure and records of all correspondence, negotiations, business transactions and any other matters related to exploitation, management, local or international marketing, and any other matter shall be public documents.

11. The Commission shall issue monthly reports, including the details of all the transactions related to gold and diamonds, and other licenses or concessions of natural resources, and its own administrative costs.

12. The Commission shall be governed by a Board whose Chairmanship shall be offered to the Leader of the RUF/SL, Corporal Foday Sankoh. The Board shall also comprise:

(i) Two representatives of the Government appointed by the President;

(ii) Two representatives of the political party to be formed by the RUF/SL;

(iii) Three representatives of the civil society; and

(iv) Two representatives of other political parties appointed by Parliament.

13. The Government shall take the required administrative actions to implement the commitments made in the present Agreement; and in the case of enabling legislation, it shall draft and submit to Parliament within thirty days of the signature of the present Agreement, the relevant bills for their enactment into law.

14. The Government commits itself to propose and support an amendment to the Constitution to make the exploitation of gold and diamonds the legitimate domain of the people of Sierra Leone, and to determine that the proceeds be used for the development of Sierra Leone, particularly public education, public health, infrastructure development, and compensation of incapacitated war victims as well as post-war reconstruction and development.

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ARTICLE VIII

COUNCIL OF ELDERS AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS

1. The signatories agree to refer any conflicting differences of interpretation of this Article or any other Article of the present Agreement or its protocols, to a Council of Elders and Religious Leaders comprised as follows:

(i) Two members appointed by the Inter-Religious Council;

(ii) One member each appointed by the Government and the RUF/SL; and

(iii) One member appointed by ECOWAS.

2. The Council shall designate its own chairperson from among its members. All of its decision shall be taken by the concurrence of at least four members, and shall be binding and public, provided that an aggrieved party may appeal to the Supreme Court.

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PART THREE

OTHER POLITICAL ISSUES

The Part of the present Agreement Consists of the following Articles

Article IX Pardon and Amnesty

Article X Review of the Present Constitution

Article XI Elections

Article XII National Electoral Commission

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ARTICLE IX

PARDON AND AMNESTY

1. In order to bring lasting peace to Sierra Leone, the Government of Sierra Leone shall take appropriate legal steps to grant Corporal Foday Sankoh absolute and free pardon.

2. After the signing of the present Agreement, the Government of Sierra Leone shall also grant absolute and free pardon and reprieve to all combatants and collaborators in respect of anything done by them in pursuit of their objectives, up to the time of the signing of the present Agreement.

3. To consolidate the peace and promote the cause of national reconciliation, the Government of Sierra Leone shall ensure that no official or judicial action is taken against any member of the RUF/SL, ex-AFRC, ex-SLA or CDF in respect of anything done by them in pursuit of their objectives as members of those organisations, since March 1991, up to the time of the signing of the present Agreement. In addition, legislative and other measures necessary to guarantee immunity to former combatants, exiles and other persons, currently outside the country for reasons related to the armed conflict shall be adopted ensuring the full exercise of their civil and political rights, with a view to their reintegration within a framework of full legality.

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ARTICLE X

REVIEW OF The PRESENT CONSTITUTION

In order to ensure that the Constitution of Sierra Leone represents the needs and aspirations of the people of Sierra Leone and that no constitutional or any other legal provision prevents the implementation of the present Agreement, the Government of Sierra Leone shall take the necessary steps to establish a Constitutional Review Committee to review the provisions of the present Constitution, and where deemed appropriate, recommend revisions and amendments, in accordance with Part V, Section 108 of the Constitution of 1991.

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ARTICLE XI

DATE OF NEXT ELECTIONS

The next national elections in Sierra Leone shall beheld in accordance with the present Constitution of Sierra Leone.

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ARTICLE XII

NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION

1. A new independent National Electoral Commission (hereinafter termed the NEC) shall be set up by the Government, not later than three months after the signing of the present Agreement.

2. In setting up the new NEC the President shall consult all political parties, including the RUF/SL, to determine the membership and terms of reference of the Commission, paying particular attention to the need for a level playing field in the nation's elections.

3. No member of the NEC shall be eligible for appointment to political office by any government formed as a result of an election he or she was mandated to conduct.

4. The NEC shall request the assistance of the International Community, including the UN, the OAU, ECOWAS and the Commonwealth of Nations, in monitoring the next presidential and parliamentary elections in Sierra Leone.

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Click here to read parts 3 and 4 of the peace accord

Click here to read parts 5 to 8 of the peace accord, and the annexes including the ceasefire text

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