December 2006 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 November 2006
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AFRICA

Sierra Leone

Expected Council Action
The Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) for 12 months from 1 January. 

Key Recent Developments
The Sierra Leone parliament approved the composition of the National Human Rights Commission on 4 October.

On 12 October the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) recommended support for Sierra Leone from the Peacebuilding Fund.  At a PBC meeting in December, Sierra Leone is expected to present an outline of strategies to address four critical issues: social and youth empowerment and employment, consolidation of democracy and good governance, justice and security sector reform, and capacity building in the public sector and social services.

The government, the UN and the World Bank held the first annual review of implementation of the Sierra Leone Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) with development partners in Freetown from 29-30 November. 

Options
The most likely option is a 12-month renewal of UNIOSIL’s mandate.

A possible option is to renew the mandate for 12 months with a review in June to allow for a possible adjustment in the run-up to the July elections.

Key Issues
The key issue is whether any security issues are likely to arise which would impact a free, fair and credible process for the 28 July 2007 elections.

Related is the amount of UN assistance and Council involvement needed in preparing for elections. One of UNIOSIL’s priorities is support for the National Electoral Commission.

A future issue is how much involvement the Council should undertake once the PBC starts active work. Some Council members may argue that Council time could be better used elsewhere if the PBC is also supporting key activities in the country.

Underlying Problems
Youth unemployment, corruption and a weak infrastructure continue to be potential destabilising factors. Extreme poverty and slow economic development are major stumbling blocks in creating a stable security environment.

UN Documents

 Selected Security Council Resolutions
  • S/RES/1712 (29 September 2006) reiterated the continuing need for UNMIL’s support for the security of the Special Court in Sierra Leone.
  • S/RES/1688 (30 June 2006) requested the Secretary-General to assist in the transfer of former Liberian President Charles Taylor to the Special Court’s special outpost in the Netherlands.
  • S/RES/1626 (19 September 2005) mandated UNMIL to provide security for the Special Court.
  • S/RES/1620 (31 August 2005) established UNIOSIL.
 Selected Secretary-General’s Reports
  • S/2006/695 (29 August 2006) was the second report of the Secretary-General on UNIOSIL.
  • S/2006/269 (28 April 2006) was the first report of the Secretary-General on UNIOSIL. 
 Peacebuilding Commission
  • PBC/OC/1/2 (21 June 2006) was a letter from the president of the Security Council to the Secretary-General referring Sierra Leone to the PBC.

For historical background and a more complete list of UN documents please see our December 2005, April, May and September 2006 Monthly Forecasts.

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