Sierra Leone Documentation Project
Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRCs) have been used in the transformation of countries from war to peace in an effort to establish the truth and to achieve reconciliation initiatives. The Sierra Leone TRC was set up as provided for by Article 26 of the Lomé Accord between the government of Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), which signalled the end to a bloody decade of civil war. The TRC was to create an historical impartial record of the war atrocities that were committed against the people and to provide Sierra Leoneans with an opportunity to come to terms with a traumatic past, heal the wounds caused by the war and get on with their lives. The TRC has completed its work, and the documentation is currently stored at Fouray Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, under conditions that may not enhance its longevity.
The dissemination of the findings of the TRC does not seem to have penetrated the grassroots people who need it most. The NGOs are doing their best but a lot of work still needs to be done in order to achieve the objectives of the TRC, which was to educate Sierra Leoneans about the causes of the war in order to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. The biggest question that the research trip aroused is the question of international interventionism and the role of the African State in a Post-Conflict Society. Unless these two issues are critically examined sustainable peace and development will continue to loom for the poorest people of the Societies.