After nine years, the 11.5 acre land worth $400,000 which houses the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone which has tried and jailed those who bear the greatest responsibility during the eleven-year war in the country, held a two-day residual issues conference;planning activities for its winding down and what will happen to the court after its closure. Our reporter Ishmael Bayoh sought the views of ordinary people in the streets of what they think the Special Court should be transformed to.
Lamin Bangura: I would like the Special Court building to be transformed to offices because, to my understanding, most of the buildings that are being used by government are rented ones. I also want the Immigration Department to be one of the government’s departments to be transferred.
Mohamed Barrie: I see it in two ways, one is either the place is transformed to a factory or the judiciary is transferred there. But I prefer the judiciary as the area is conducive compared to the over crowded courts at Siaka Stevens Street.
Santigie Mansaray: There is unemployment currently in the country and with such a massive structure, I would like the government to transform the building to a factory which will eventually provide more jobs for us the youth. We the youth should be highly considered as we mostly suffered during the war as perpetrators and victims.
Ibrahim Kabbah: My opinion about the issue is that I want it to be transformed to a conference hall where each and every citizen should have access. It is the benefit of the people as we were the ones that suffered during the war.
Mohamed Barrie: It is welcome news that the structure will be ours after it would have dealt with people who committed atrocities against the people. I would like the court to be transformed to an institution where training is done in various specialized fields.