“The TRC recommendations should be seen as a blueprint for change in Sierra Leone,” says Mohamed Suma, Programme Director of the Sierra Leone Court Monitoring Group (SLCMP).
His institution is now calling on the new government of Ernest Koroma to prioritise the TRC recommendation.
He pointed out that when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its final report in July 2005, it produced the most comprehensive and authoritative analysis of the root causes of the conflict in Sierra Leone.
He noted that the TRC Report also contains a set of core recommendations aimed at remedying these root causes, addressing the needs of victims and preventing a return to conflict in Sierra Leone.
Mr Suma stated that “Now, as President Koroma prepares to announce his first Cabinet, SLCMP wishes to reiterate the importance of the TRC Recommendations at the heart of Government’s reform agenda.”
He pointed out that Sierra Leone’s TRC is unique because the Act that created it places a legal obligation on Government to implement its recommendations.
“Thus, President Koroma can send a strong signal that he is committed to the rule of law by ensuring that the TRC recommendations are implemented to the fullest extent” he stressed.
“Implementing the TRC recommendations will not drain millions of dollars from the new Government’s resources,” points out Mohamed I B Turay, SLCMP’s monitor for TRC “All it takes is sufficient demonstration of political will.”
The SLCMP boss said that he wishes to draw the attention of the newly-elected Government to the following core recommendations of the TRC: Protection of Human Rights which he said is enshrined human dignity as a fundamental right in the Constitution.
He directed that they abolish the death penalty; and commute pending death sentences, ratify and accede to international human rights treaties that Sierra Leone has not yet signed/ratified which are the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Optional Protocol on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights abolishing the Death Penalty, Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women.
Mr Suma directs that the government should also submit outstanding reports under Sierra Leone’s international human rights obligations and repeal Sections 27(4) (d) and (e) of the 1991 Constitution which permits discrimination against women.