Sierra Leone: UN mission launches web site about truth commission

Sierra Leone: UN mission launches web site about truth commission

The United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) today announced the launch of an Internet site to raise awareness about the country's truth commission - a crucial element of the ongoing peace process there.

In a statement issued in Freetown, UNAMSIL said Sierra Leone Web had agreed to host a web site for the UN Mission, making it possible to access first-hand information on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Sierra Leone (TRC) from anywhere in the world.

According to Behrooz Sadry, the Acting Special Representative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Sierra Leone, UNAMSIL's role is to assist the Government and the civil society in making Sierra Leoneans from all walks of life aware of the TRC's provisions and mode of operation. "We commend the support and collaboration of Sierra Leone Web in reinforcing our efforts to reach Sierra Leoneans living abroad and all those interested in Sierra Leone," Mr. Sadry said.

UNAMSIL launched the TRC sensitization programme in May this year together with its first regional human rights office in the eastern town of Kenema. Since then, the Mission's Human Rights Section has organized several workshops in various parts of the country, including Makeni (the former Headquarters of the rebel Revolutionary United Front), Bo, Magburaka, Mile 91 and Freetown. The workshops have involved ex-combatants, traditional leaders, women's organizations and law enforcement agents.

The UN Mission also produces awareness support material such as leaflets, booklets, T-shirts and caps, in collaboration with the National Commission on Democracy and human rights groups.