Conflict Prevention and Peace Preservation

“It has been said that war is the price of peace…Sierra Leone has already paid too much. Let them live a better life”

-Ambassador Juan Larrain

BLOOD DIAMONDS AND WAR

On 6 January 1999, rebel soldiers joined forces with the Revolutionary United front to launch “Operation No living Thing” on Freetown leaving 5,000 dead. Funded by an illicit trade in the country’s diamonds and orchestrated by Liberian leader and convicted war criminal Charles Taylor, the 11-year-long civil war devastated Sierra Leone’s population and infrastructure. In less than two weeks an estimated 100,000 people were forced to leave their homes and six thousand civilians murdered.


PRESERVING PEACE

A UN brokered peace agreement, brought the warring factions to the negotiating table and finally secured an end to the war that killed thousands and maimed many more.
 Over 1.2 million rounds of ammunition and 42,000 weapons were destroyed by the UN; the country’s first free and fair elections conducted and countless refugees helped to return to their homes. The UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) subsequently helped promote human rights, strengthen the country’s police force and institutions and rehabilitate former child soldiers.

 

A WAY FORWARD

Having succeeded in securing political stability, IPSIL’s completed its mandate in March 2014 and transferred its responsibilities to 19 national programmes including Advocate+. Focussing on land ownership rights, equitable management of natural resources and government transparency, our peacebuilding programme encourages leaders of all backgrounds and religions to work together to promote a lasting peace. Through training a network of mediators this project helps traditionally sidelined members of society participate actively in the political process.

Funded by:

bwUNDP