The United Nations established its mission (UNAMSIL) in

The international community, and especially the United Nations, has played a key role in stabilizing the conflict. The Security Council of the United Nations established its mission (UNAMSIL) in Sierra Leone in 1999. However, this was not the first external intervention in Sierra Leone. Already in 1993, the government hired a private security company, the Gurkha Security Group, to assist in its fight against the RUF. The company, mainly consisting of Nepalese Gurkhas, was rapidly forced to pull back from the conflict after considerable losses and the murder of its commander.

In 1995, the private South African company Executive Outcomes assisted the government in forcing back RUF rebels in an attack on the capital. However, one year later, the company was dismissed by Kabbah. He was no longer able to fund them due to pressures by the IMF to pursue a policy of structural adjustment. After the military coup in 1997, Kabbah sought support from the Nigerian-led ECOMOG. A military intervention restored him as president of the country.1 ECOMOG consisted of around 9,000 troops, which were responsible for “disarming and demobilizing combatants as well as forming and training the new Sierra Leonean army.”2United NationsIn July 1998, the Security Council of the United Nations unanimously decided to establish an Observer mission to Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL).

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It assisted the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Program (DDRP), already set up by ECOMOG. In addition to that, the mission reported on the security situation, compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights violations in the country. The DDRP was funded by organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).3             After the Lomé Peace Agreement was signed in 1999, the United Nations established its official Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) to assist in the implementation of the Peace Agreement. The agreement was widely criticized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and numerous NGO’s for granting amnesty to RUF fighters. UNAMSIL’s mandate fell under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and included, inter alia, the protection of civilians “under imminent threat of physical violence.” By 2002, the number of troops was already expanded to 11,100 and UNAMSIL was now authorized to provide security at important locations in the capital.

4             Despite its mandate, UNAMSIL was unable to implement the provisions of the DDRP at full speed, which resulted in an attack on United Nations troops. Some of them were killed and approximately 500 peace keepers were taken hostage. In response, the United Nations increased its troops after which they were able to free the hostages.5 The Security Council also imposed a diamond embargo, a measure intended to hinder the finance of the rebels.6            During the conflict, the main focus of the international community was the implementation of the provisions of the DDRP, returning and resettling displaced persons, and extending State authority. On 18 January 2002, the war was declared over and the DDRP completed.

7 UNAMIL’s mandate expired in 2005 and was succeeded by a new mission, the United Nations Integrated Office for Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), set up to consolidate peace in the country.8 1 Mary Kaldor and James Vincent, Case Study: Sierra Leone (New York: United Nations Development Program Evaluation Office, 2006): 16, accessed January 20, 2018, http://web.undp.org/evaluation/documents/thematic/conflict/SierraLeone.pdf. 2 Human Rights Watch, Sierra Leone: The Role Of The International Community, World Report 1999, 1999, accessed January 20, 2018, https://www.

hrw.org/legacy/worldreport99/africa/sierraleone3.html.

3 Human Rights Watch, Sierra Leone: The Role Of The International Community, World Report 1999, 1999, accessed January 20, 2018, https://www.hrw.org/legacy/worldreport99/africa/sierraleone3.html.

4 Mary Kaldor and James Vincent, Case Study: Sierra Leone (New York: United Nations Development Program Evaluation Office, 2006): 16, accessed January 20, 2018, http://web.undp.org/evaluation/documents/thematic/conflict/SierraLeone.

pdf. 5 Mary Kaldor and James Vincent, Case Study: Sierra Leone (New York: United Nations Development Program Evaluation Office, 2006): 17, accessed January 20, 2018, http://web.undp.

org/evaluation/documents/thematic/conflict/SierraLeone.pdf. 6 United Nations Security Council, Resolution 1343, 2001, accessed January 20, 2018, https://documents-dds-ny.un.

org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N01/276/08/PDF/N0127608.pdf?OpenElement. 7 Mary Kaldor and James Vincent, Case Study: Sierra Leone (New York: United Nations Development Program Evaluation Office, 2006): 17, accessed January 20, 2018, http://web.

undp.org/evaluation/documents/thematic/conflict/SierraLeone.pdf. 8 United Nations, “UNAMSIL: United Nations Mission In Sierra Leone”, last modified 2009, accessed January 20, 2018, https://peacekeeping.un.

org/en/mission/past/unamsil/index.html.