Painful peace: Amnesty under the Lome Peace Agreement in Sierra Leone
Abdul Tejan-Cole deals with the controversial amnesty provisions of the Lome Peace Agreement in Sierra Leone. While the agreement calls for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it grants blanket amnesty to all combatants and collaborators against a background of appalling atrocities against civilians, including mass murder.
The agreement also gives rebel leaders important positions in the executive. The author argues that this amnesty removes any incentive for perpetrators to participate in the proposed commission's work; in fact, the rebels have been rewarded for what they have done. The amnesty has been widely condemned. Even the United Nations, a guarantor of the agreement, has dissociated itself. The author states that the agreement flouts international human rights and humanitarian law and argues that true and lasting peace and reconciliation cannot be achieved unless the rights of victims are adequately addressed.