30 May 2012

Sierra Leone launches new TRC website

AL2446_4830: The SAHA Poster Collection

I pray never to see again what I saw in my beloved Sierra Leone.

Extract from the poem "I Saw" by Mohamed Sekoya, submitted to the National Vision for Sierra Leone

As part of the country's reconciliation efforts, Sierra Leone has made available records of its TRC's process on a newly launched website. The country has a brutal history marked with bloodshed emanating from a civil war that lasted 11 years.

Established as a condition of the Lome Peace Accord signed on 7 July 1999 between the warring parties in Sierra Leone, the mandate of the commission was to "create an impartial historical record of violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law related to the armed conflict in Sierra Leone, from the beginning of the Conflict in 1991 to the signing of the Lome Peace Agreement; to address impunity, to respond to the needs of  victims, to promote healing and reconciliation and to prevent a repetition of the violations and abuses suffered" (The TRC Act of 2000.)

The new website includes full copies of the final TRC report, along with3 popular versions of the report: Video Version, Children's Report; and Secondary School Version, the TRC recommendations and an update on the implementation programme, video footage of testimony by victims, witnesses and commissioners, TRC image gallery, legal resources, and more.

In South Africa, it has been 16 years since the first TRC hearing was held. The TRC was a much needed step in facilitating a reconciliatory path forward, acknowledging the destruction caused by apartheid. However, it is widely argued that the TRC process was not completed to the satisfaction of victims of apartheid.

Prosecutions of perpetrators of human rights violations, recommendations relating to reparations, institutional transformation, and the ongoing truth-seeking as well as legal and administrative restitution have become what is termed ‘the unfinished business of the TRC'.

In recognition of such ongoing struggles for justice, SAHA is committed to campaigning in respect of the unfinished business of the TRC. SAHA's TRC archive boasts an immeasurably rich resource aimed at promoting public access to TRC records and to sustain invaluable social memory.

SAHA also runs workshops, exhibitions and other initiatives as part of its commitment to justice and accountability in South Africa.

Visit the new Sierra Leone TRC website
Download SAHA publication: The Battle against forgetting: human rights & the unfinished business of the TRC

Visit SAHA collections relating to the TRC.