The Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Program (MDRP) was created in Africa in the late 1990s. It closed down after 7 years leaving behind an unquestionable legacy of success.
Several devastating conflicts have persisted in Sub-Saharan Africa for the past 20 years or more. Some countries are still emerging from the era of cold war politics, while debilitating internal struggles continue to plague others. Ethiopia, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, and more recently, Angola and Mozambique are examples of the former. The latter is illustrated by the situation in countries such as Liberia, Somalia and the Sudan. This study, the transition from war to peace in Sub-Saharan Africa, offers practical guidance and examples of good practice for improving the design and implementation of programs for demobilization, reinsertion, and reintegration of ex-combatants and their dependents in client countries. It also provides a list of early warning signals that indicate whether the demobilization and reintegration programs (DRPs) process is not going according to plan and suggests preventive actions. Work on the ground, as well as case analysis in countries such as Ethiopia, Namibia, Uganda, Angola, Mozambique, and Rwanda form the basis of the suggested good practice in DRPs.
This note describes the Disarmament and Demobilization (D&D) of combatants from all warring parties in January 2002, which marked the official end of the civil war in Sierra Leone. D&D was part of a larger disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) program, implemented by the Government of Sierra Leone with the support of the World Bank, together with other international institutions and Nongovernmenal Organizations (NGOs). The experience of Sierra Leone is discussed, as well as, how the Bank can play a role in post-conflict transitions, complementing political and security efforts of client governments and the international community.
The article analyses peacebuilding theories and methods, as applied to justice system reform in post-conflict scenarios. In this respect, the international authorities involved in the reconstruction process may traditionally choose between either a ‘dirigiste’ or a consent-based approach, representing the essential terms of reference of past interventions. However, features common to most reconstruction missions, and relatively poor results, confirm the need for a change in the overall strategy. This requires international donors to focus more on the demand for justice at local levels than on the traditional supply of financial and technical aid for reforms. The article stresses the need for effectively promoting the local ownership of the reform process, without this expression being merely used by international actors as a political umbrella under which to protect themselves from potential failures.
This article argues that the mixed tribunals of Sierra Leone and Cambodia provide important lessons about the problems and dilemmas in achieving the legitimacy that is necessary for transitional justice mechanisms to have a positive local impact. High hopes have been held for the mixed model, but experiences show that this model is no easy fix to the legitimacy problems faced by the international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. By locating a tribunal in the post-conflict setting, new dilemmas of legitimacy may arise. This article suggests that transitional justice mechanisms should strike a balance between backward-looking and forward-looking justice, and between international and national participation in the tribunals, but this is not done by simply locating a tribunal in the affected country.
Effective peacebuilding in the aftermath of civil war usually requires the drastic reform of security institutions, a process frequently known as security sector reform. Nearly every major donor, as well as a growing number of international organizations, supports the reform of security organizations in countries emerging from conflict and suffering high levels of violence. But how are reform strategies implemented? This collection of case studies (Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Timor-Leste, Mozambique, Serbia, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, Jamaica) examines the strategies, methods, and practices of the policymakers and practitioners engaged in security sector reform, uncovering the profound conceptual and practical challenges encountered in transforming policy aspiration into practice.
The first in a series of “inside” histories, Peacekeeping in Sierra Leone relates how a small country-one insignificant in the strategic considerations of the world powers-propelled the United Nations to center stage in a crisis that called its very authority into question; and how the UN mission in Sierra Leone was transformed from its nadir into what is now widely considered one of the most successful peacekeeping missions in UN history.
This book critically examines the role of outreach within the application of international justice in post-conflict settings. The assumption that justice brings peace underpins much of the thinking, and indeed action, of international justice, yet little is known about whether this is actually the case. Significant questions surrounding the link between peace and justice remain: do trials deter would-be war criminals; is justice possible for the most heinous crimes; can international justice replace local justice? This book explores these questions in relation to recent developments in international justice that have both informed and shaped the creation of the hybrid tribunal in Sierra Leone. This was the first hybrid tribunal to be based in situ, equipped with a dedicated Outreach office. Outreach was seen as essential to ensuring that expectations were managed for what was ultimately a limited judicial mechanism. Yet, there is little evidence to support the claim that Outreach garnered wide-spread acceptance of the Special Court. This book explores the challenge and tensions in communicating the role of international justice in a post-conflict setting. The goals of international justice after conflict are clear: hold fair and transparent trials of alleged perpetrators under the strict adherence to international judicial procedures in order to establish accountability for the worst crimes against humanity. The assumption being that this will contribute to peace by firmly drawing a line under the past in order to move forward peacefully. This has been evident with the recent drive towards international judicial intervention after conflict in places such as the former Yugoslavia, Uganda and Afghanistan. But so far these assumptions remain largely untested. Few empirical studies examine how justice contributes to peace and within these instances, how the complexity of international justice mechanisms have been communicated to their respective audiences in order to foment wide-spread knowledge and understanding of the processes. This book addresses this deficit by testing these assumptions on the ground in a post-conflict setting in West Africa.
This essay concludes a study of how the international community has approached the security sector in six countries where there has been severe conflict leading to significant international engagement. Various factors are identified as being critical in shaping the outcome of (re)construction efforts, and they are evaluated from several perspectives. External actors have tended to take a limited and unbalanced approach to the security sector, focusing on building the efficiency of statutory security actors, and neglecting the development of managerial and governance capacity. While programmes tended to become more effective after the first major post-Cold War effort was undertaken in Haiti in 1994, the situation in Afghanistan may point to a reversal of this trend.
This article juxtaposes donors’ analyses of state failure and strategies of post-conflict statebuilding in Sierra Leone with actual processes of state-formation. It argues that international state-builders’ analytical and policy frameworks are built on stylized assumptions about how states form and operate influenced by ideas derived from neoclassical economics. They focus on individual decision-making and functionalist formal institutions and provide a-historical analyses that fail to comprehend long-term state-formation. Interveners need to broaden their conceptual toolbox by paying more attention to local power structures, informal institutions and historical path dependency. Such a deeper analysis would encourage reflection on whether and how social change can be influenced by external intervention and allow donors to evaluate their statebuilding activities more honestly. This would raise important questions about the mismatch between interveners’ ambitious goals and modest tools.
Since 1989, international efforts to end protracted conflicts have included sustained investments in the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of combatants. Yet while policy analysts have debated the factors that contribute to successful DDR programs and scholars have reasoned about the macro conditions that facilitate successful peace building, little is known about the factors that account for successful reintegration at the micro level. Using a new dataset of ex-combatants in Sierra Leone, this article analyzes the individual-level determinants of demobilization and reintegration. Past participation in an abusive military faction is the strongest predictor of difficulty in achieving social reintegration. On economic and political reintegration, we find that wealthier and more educated combatants face greater difficulties. Ideologues, men, and younger fighters are the most likely to retain strong ties to their factions. Most important, we find little evidence at the micro level that internationally funded programs facilitate demobilization and reintegration.
The role of UN peacekeeping missions has expanded beyond the traditional tasks of peacekeeping to include a wide range of political, economic, and humanitarian activities. While such expansion indicates an improved understanding of the complexities and challenges of post-conflict contexts, it also raises questions about whether UN peacekeeping missions are equipped to handle peacebuilding tasks. Evidence from a study of the peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone suggests they are not. This article argues that peacekeeping missions are a poor choice for peacebuilding given their limited mandates, capacity, leverage, resources and duration. Peacekeepers should focus on peacekeeping, by which they can lay the foundation for peacebuilding. Peacebuilding should be the primary task of national governments and their populations.
In a sweeping review of forty truth commissions, Priscilla Hayner delivers a definitive exploration of the global experience in official truth-seeking after widespread atrocities. When Unspeakable Truths was first published in 2001, it quickly became a classic, helping to define the field of truth commissions and the broader arena of transitional justice. This second edition is fully updated and expanded, covering twenty new commissions formed in the last ten years, analyzing new trends, and offering detailed charts that assess the impact of truth commissions and provide comparative information not previously available. Placing the increasing number of truth commissions within the broader expansion in transitional justice, Unspeakable Truths surveys key developments and new thinking in reparations, international justice, healing from trauma, and other areas. The book challenges many widely-held assumptions, based on hundreds of interviews and a sweeping review of the literature. This book will help to define how these issues are addressed in the future.
Previous studies have suggested that societies where women have higher social and economic status and greater political representation are less likely to become involved in conflict. In this article, the author argues that the prospects for successful post-conflict peacebuilding under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) are generally better in societies where women have greater levels of empowerment. Women’s status in a society reflects the existence of multiple social networks and domestic capacity not captured by purely economic measures of development such as GDP per capita. In societies where women have relatively higher status, women have more opportunities to express a voice in the peacemaking process and to elicit broader domestic participation in externally led peacekeeping operations. This higher level of participation in turn implies that UN Peacekeeping operations can tap into great social capital and have better prospects for success. An empirical analysis of post-conflict cases with a high risk of conflict recurrence shows that UN peacekeeping operations have been significantly more effective in societies in which women have relatively higher status. By contrast, UN peacekeeping operations in countries where women have comparatively lower social status are much less likely to succeed.
This essay examines Sierra Leone’s security sector reform (SSR) programme in the context of a post-war recovery agenda with strong international involvement. It discusses the background and priorities as well as the successes and failures of the programme in the areas of armed forces restructuring; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; police reform; parliamentary oversight; justice sector reform and intelligence and national security policy coordination. It concludes that an ongoing SSR programme in the country should be owned and driven by Sierra Leoneans with support from the international community, and that SSR should go beyond the restructuring of formal security institutions and retraining their personnel, and also work to strengthen the oversight capacities of parliament, the judiciary and civil society groups.
This paper assesses the main elements of SSR process in Sierra Leone, against its historical background as well as the imperatives of a responsive and responsible security sector. The reform of the security sector in Sierra Leone has enhanced the restoration of public safety in the country, and the positive features of the process relate to the inclusion of SSR as the first pillar of the country’s poverty reduction strategy, and the emphasis of SSR on the decentralisation of the security apparatus. Significant gaps however remain. Donor dependency and the ‘youth question’ are continuing challenges. Arguably, the most significant deficiency is the fact that the security sector has not been adequately embedded in a democratic governance framework. There is an absence of functional oversight mechanisms, and a failure to involve other actors beyond the executive arm of government in the governance of the security sector. The paper cautions that SSR can be successful only as part of an overarching democratic post conflict reconstruction framework
This article examines the role of development co-operation in the 1991-2001 civil war in Sierra Leone. British military intervention, sanctions against Liberia for supporting the rebellion and the deployment of UN peacekeepers were key, albeit belated, initiatives that helped resolve the conflict. The lessons are that, first, domestic forces alone may be incapable of resolving large-scale violent conflicts in Africa. Second, conflict tends to spread from one country to another, calling for strong regional conflict resolution mechanisms and deeper regional integration to promote peace. Third, donor policies need to address the root causes of state fragility, especially the political and security dimensions, which they tend to ignore. Fourth, a critical analysis is required to determine circumstances in which elections could undermine peace: the conduct of donor-supported elections under an unpopular military government in Sierra Leone culminated in an escalation of the conflict. Finally, a united international community is crucial to resolve a complex conflict and it should be accompanied by strong and timely measures informed by a full understanding of local conditions.
The concept of security is the driver for peacebuilding and development, as well as social and political change in post-conflict countries. A review and analysis of three key government documents indicates that, in Sierra Leone, securitisation discourse is embedded in both the political economy discourse of the state and in the popular imagination. The Security Sector Review equates security and peace while the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper sees security as a driver for change. The 2006 Work Plan of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security illustrates the extent to which the work of ministries is security-based. Sierra Leone’s political economy of post-conflict peacebuilding favours macro-economic security that is to trickle down into social and political peace. Discourse analysis shows that, framed within security parameters, post-conflict peacebuilding is meant to have an effect of ‘trickle-down peace’ that in effect constrains transformation with the potential for facilitating conditions for a return to conflict.
This article examines policing in Sierra Leone four years after the civil war. It evaluates the achievements in the area of policing against the major policing challenges in African post-conflict societies. These are recruitment and (re)training of a civilian force; establishing an organizational culture that is accountable and responsive to citizen concerns; organizational rebuilding and re-equipment; utilizing the resources of commercial and community organized policing; and establishing a sustainable basis. The research finds that for all the positive achievements, the fact remains that the government of Sierra Leone still does not exert effective control over, nor is it able to deliver state policing services to, significant parts of its own territory. The 7,000 active police officers are too small in number and too limited in resources to provide all Sierra Leone’s citizens with a service that protects them from crime and investigates crime. Its fundamental weaknesses mean that post-conflict internal security programmes may have to look again at others who currently authorize and provide policing. It may be that some community led policing groups can be harnessed and if necessary reformed to assist the police in establishing the rule of law.