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Sierra Leone: UN Creates New Peacebuilding Office

UN creates new peacebuilding office in Sierra Leone

4 August 2008 - The Security Council today authorized the creation of a new peacebuilding office in Sierra Leone to assist the country's continued recovery following the civil war that wracked the West African nation during much of the 1990s.

Starting 1 October, the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) will replace the existing UN political office in the country (known as UNIOSIL) under a resolution adopted unanimously by Council members. It will have an initial mandate of 12 months.

UNIPSIL is tasked with providing political support to national and local efforts for identifying and resolving tensions and threats of potential conflict, whatever the source.

It will also monitor and promote human rights, democratic institutions and the rule of law, including efforts to counter transnational organized crime and drug trafficking.

In addition, the new office will work on consolidating good governance reforms, with a special focus on anti-corruption instruments such as the Anti-Corruption Commission. It will support decentralization and review the country's 1991 constitution as well as the enactment of relevant legislation.

UNIPSIL will closely coordinate its work with the UN Peacebuilding Commission, which is already active in the country.

Sierra Leone is one of the first two countries, along with Burundi, to receive support from the Commission, which was established in 2005 to help post-conflict countries determine the priority areas for rebuilding out of the vast array of challenges they face.

ENDS

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