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*NaCSA Meets with the Transitional Justice Working Group of Experts from Ethiopia*

The National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) has met with the Transitional Justice Working Group of Experts from Ethiopia. The essence of the visit is for the group to get first-hand knowledge of Sierra Leone’s Experience in the Implementation of the Transitional Justice Process.

It could be recalled that the National Commission for Social Action's (NaCSA) mandate was expanded by the government of Sierra Leone through the passage of an Act of Parliament that amended the NaCSA Act of 2001 and added Reparations to the mandate. Because of this, the significance of reparations was incorporated into the overall plan of our post-conflict reconstruction operations. This institutional adjustment positioned the Commission as one of the critical stakeholders of transitional Justice in Sierra Leone.

In its conclusions, which were presented to the government in October 2004, the TRC made several suggestions, one of which was that the government develop a program for reparations. Improving, transforming lives and restoring the dignity of war victims for healing, reconciliation, and peace consolidation under the reparations program in Sierra Leone were among the goals of the TRC, which also sought to address transitional justice concerns.

Rev. Farama, NaCSA's regional coordinator for the Northwest area, who has experience with the project's execution and institutional understanding, reaffirmed the need for a reparations program in Sierra Leone. *‘’Between March 1991 and March 2002, Sierra Leone was torn apart by a bloody civil war in which all participants committed numerous crimes. The widespread and systematic abuse comprised, among other things, amputations, rapes, torture, and other cruel punishments. Consequently, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)'s recommendation to pay war victims was necessary.’’* He noted.

Preceding his presentation, the Deputy Commissioner of NaCSA – Sir Jimmy Batilo Songa, on behalf of the Commissioner welcomed the group from Ethiopia. He noted that the country is currently enjoying unaltered peace and unity because there is a consistent ‘’political will’’ and Sierra Leoneans were and are ready to forgive and embrace peace. *‘’NaCSA’s role in the transitional justice in Sierra Leone was top-notch’’* he noted. He told the delegation that *‘’NaCSA is a government organization that functions in a semi-autonomous manner and supports the efforts of local governments, social sector Ministries and Agencies, and other organizations in providing social services to underserved and distant regions around the nation.’’*

Speaking on behalf of the chairman of the working group, Ms Kalkidan Dereje told the team that the essence of their visit is ‘’to get first-hand knowledge on Sierra Leone’s Experience in the Implementation of the Transitional Justice Process. She further thanks the people of Sierra Leone for the unrivalled hospitality’’

With his admirable chieftaincy phraseology, the Commissioner of NaCSA, Chief Ambassador Ernest Mbaimba Ndomahina reassured the team of experts of the government’s commitment to maintain peace and ensure national cohesion. *‘’once again, you are welcome to the land of Unity, Freedom and Justice’’ he concluded.*

*for further information on this and other matters, Please contact the Information, Education and Communication unit*


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