Sierra Leone

  • A Village-Up View of Sierra Leone’s Civil War and Reconstruction: Multilayered and Networked Governance

    By James B M Vincent, Institute of Development Studies | May 2012 Many local and traditional institutions that functioned throughout Sierra Leone’s chaotic civil war and remain essential to ongoing peace building and reconciliation. For instance, as brutal militias expanded their influence and the government saw its authority wane  some local traditional authorities adapted to these shifting power dynamics and included more youths and women into decision making processes. This endured and contributed to preventing renewed fighting in the post-conflict era since many youth had previously been easily recruited by militia groups. Continued collaboration with local and traditional authorities can help consolidate still needed security sector and other reforms.

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  • From Patronage to Peacebuilding? Elite capture and governance from below in Sierra Leone

    By Melissa T. Labonte, African Affairs | December 2011 Efforts to decentralize authority in Sierra Leone are very vulnerable to “elite capture,” a phenomenon that led to abuses of authority, competition, and eventually widespread militancy and violence in the past. Decentralization is a common strategy in post-conflict situations to build confidence in governance arrangements. However, in Sierra Leone, as in other contexts, local authority is often misused if not properly overseen. Without proper management and effective accountability, decentralization efforts could undermine broader peace efforts in Sierra Leone.

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  • Security System Reform in Sierra Leone and the Role of the Office of National Security

    By Brigadier General (ret.) Kellie Hassan Conteh, The Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform | October 2008 AP Photo

    Sierra Leone’s security sector has been significantly transformed since the country emerged from civil war. Intelligence offices were reformed, a National Security Council created, inter-agency coordination improved, and the security sector is generally less politicized. This transformation process helped lay the groundwork for Sierra Leone’s post-conflict return to free, fair, and safe democratic elections.

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  • Security Sector Reform under International Tutelage in Sierra Leone

    By Osman Gbla, International Peacekeeping | August 2006 Author examines the effectiveness and challenges facing security sector reform (SSR) efforts being implemented in Sierra Leone. Whilst the author praises the institutional capacity restructuring in retraining and re-integrating of ex-combatants into the security forces, he highlights the lack of oversight and non-involvement of the judiciary, parliament and civil society as a major concern. He concludes by questioning the implementation capacity as well as the over-reliance on foreign donors to sustain and fund the program.

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