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					   Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice
                 Special Court Task Force

             Planning Mission Briefing Series
                    7-18 January 2002

                    Briefing Paper on

Documentation and Conflict Mapping for
          the Special Court
       Proposal for the establishment of a
   Documentation and Conflict Mapping Program
                         SPECIAL COURT TASK FORCE

                      D O CUMENTA TI O N A N D CO NFLI CT MA PPI NG
                              FO R TH E SPECI A L CO UR T
1. Introduction ........................................................................................................... 3
2. Activities: Nation-wide Documentation and Conflict Mapping Program ......................... 4
3. Operational aspects of Documentation and Conflict Mapping Program ......................... 7
4. Consideration of costs of Documentation and Conflict Mapping Program ...................... 9

                        SPECIAL COURT TASK FORCE

1. I n t r o d u ct i o n

For the Sp ecial Court to be a useful contribution to the conclusion of the
conflict, it is essential tha t it b e an d be perceive d as being an inde pend ent
and just body tha t will esta blish accountability for violations of interna tional
humanitarian law. The Government of Sierra Leone is v ery conscious of the
importance of effective implementation of the S tatut e an d Agre ement,
particularly in terms of coop eration with the Special Court and that the
international community expects the Government to honour its obligations
promptly and effec tively in the fight a gainst impunity.            It is equally
conscious of the exp ec tations of Sierra Leoneans that the S pecial Court will
be a transparen t an d participa tory ac countability process.
The Government of Sierra Leone is seeking assistance for the costs rela ting
to the est ablishment and o pera tion of a Sp ecial Court Documenta tion and
Conflict Ma pping Program that would enable Sierra Leone to do its part in
contributing to the success of the Sp ecial Court. The Do cumentation an d
Conflict Ma pping Program will be creat ed to foster a feeling of o wnership of
the a ccounta bility process by all Sierra Leoneans.
The Government recognises tha t, since it is a party to the conflict, it is of
paramount importance tha t such assistance by Sierra Leone to the Spe cial
Court not b e perceive d in any way as interfering in the inde pend ence of the
Special Court. Henc e, while the Do cumentation an d Conflict M ap ping
Program would be esta blished and would d erive its au thority from the O ffice
of the At torney General an d Ministry of Justice of Sierra Leone, its
operations for the first two years will be contrac te d to a repu table
international NGO with experience in the field of international criminal law.
At the same time, the contrac tor's methodology will ensure that the
necessary good prac tices and skills are transferred to national personnel and
institutions with a view to building their ca pacity to work autonomously and
impartially to assist the S pecial Court at the conclusion of the two-year
The opera tions of the Documenta tion and Conflict Map ping Program could
start as soon as a donor commits the necessary funds for the first two y ears
of its opera tions and will last for the duration of the op erations of the
Special Court.    Aft er the first 18 months of o pera tion the int ernational
contracting NGO will gradually pass over responsibilities to na tional staff of
the Do cumentation an d Conflict Ma pping Program and will continue to
monitor their work for an a dditional 6 mont hs, with a view to esta blishing a
fully operational national institution, entirely staffed by Sierra Leone ans,
within 2 years.

                      SPECIAL COURT TASK FORCE

2.      A ct i v i t i e s : Na t i o n - w i d e D o c u m e n t a t i o n a n d Co n f l i ct Ma p p i n g
        Pr o g r a m

The Report of the Secre tary-General to the Se curity Council of 4 O cto ber
2000 not ed tha t: “[i]f the role of the Special Court in de aling with impunity
and d eveloping respec t for the rule of law in Sierra Leone is to b e fully
understood an d its educa tional message conveyed to Sierra Leoneans of all
ages, a broa d public information and e duca tion campai gn will have to be
undertaken as an integral part of the Court’s ac tivities … In this public
information   campaign       …    the   Gov ernment    and    non-gov ernmental
organisations could play an important role.”
At the Freeto wn Conference on Ac countability Mechanisms in Sierra Leone,
in February 2001, it was said that “the peo ple of the former Yugoslavia have
constantly sta ted tha t the procee dings of th e ICTY seem so far removed and
deta ched from their own day-to- day lives as to seem meaningless. In Sierra
Leone, however, there is an op portunity to prevent similar problems from
arising before they even st art.” Participan ts a t th e Free town Conference
recommended that a ca pillary sensitisation program b e under taken to ensure
that larg e parts of the Sierra Leone an pop ulation could be reache d and
encouraged to b e part of the ac countability process. This would fulfil the key
concern that there is a ne ed to ensure that the ac countability process is
visible and transparent to the g eneral public, so tha t justice is seen to b e
done as well as b eing done. This is especially so in light of the fact tha t the
Special Court for Sierra Leone is a hybrid, na tional/international court,
established by tre aty but borne out of a ne ed for such a mechanism
identified within Sierra Leone.
Nevertheless, due to financial and other constraints, the current proje ctions
of costs of the Sp ecial Court do not include a pu blic information office, or
even a public information officer. The Government believes that ultimately,
the success or failure of the ac countability me chanisms established in Sierra
Leone will de pend on the level of interest an d involvement of the public,
who are the vic tims and the p erpe trators (often both at the same time) an d
will be the witnesses and def endants. I t is therefore imperative that timely
and ac curate information reaches Sierra Leoneans and at the same time that
all Sierra Leoneans have an o pportunity to convey their information and
experiences to the Spe cial Court.
The Documenta tion and Conflict Map ping Pro gram will undertake a nation-
wide program tha t will contribut e towards esta blishing confidence in the
accounta bility mechanisms, by providing victims and witnesses with the
basic knowled ge essential to und erstand those mechanisms. It will give
victims and witnesses the op portunity t o recount their ex periences in such a
way as to enable them t o understand their personal and their communities’
experiences in the cont ext of the war. In this way it will give them the
opportunity to contribute to the success of the Spe cial Court in prosecuting
those who bear the great est responsibility for the violations of international
humanitarian law committed in Sierra Leone.

1Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the Establishment of the Special Court for Sierra
Leone, 4 October 2000, UN Doc S/2000/915, para 7.


O wnership by Sierra Leone ans of the processes is important if the Special
Court is to achieve its o bjec tive of closing the chap ter on the ten-year
conflict and restoring account ability and the rule of law. In order to tak e
that o wnership, all Sierra Leoneans must be in a position to particip ate
consciously in the work of the acc ountability mechanisms. It is thus vital
that the program is condu cte d throughout the country, particularly in the
provinces, where the majority of the fighting and a trocities occurred and
communities were most divide d by the conflict.
The obje ctive of the Document ation and Conflict Ma pping Program is to visit
each community in Sierra Leone an d ensure tha t they would have the chance
to both be and to f eel consulted ab out the a ccounta bility process,
establishing a flow of information not only to all Sierra Leoneans bu t also
from all Sierra Leoneans.
Hence, the D ocumentation and Conflict Ma p ping Pro gram aims to achieve
two primary objec tives:
1.    presenting the Spe cial Court, including its mechanisms and obj ectives,
      to all Sierra Leoneans in all communities throughout the country, so
      that all Sierra Leoneans are informed and a ble to p articipa te in the
      accounta bility process and reco gnise the v alue of en ding impunity;
2.    documenting the individual and collective exp eriences of crimes within
      the jurisdiction of the Spe cial Court in all communities, so all Sierra
      Leoneans can con tribute to creating a balance d and accurat e picture
      of the na ture and occurrence of these crimes.
Interaction of victims, witnesses and perpe tra tors at all levels and
throughout the country with the account ability pro cess will contribute
towards establishing confidence and a sense of o wnership, which in turn will
facilitate the disarmament, demobilisation and reint egration processes and
peac eful conciliation.     Marrying the sensitisation and the documenta tion
processes also will ensure that the perce ption of the communities reached
will not be tha t of being “t old” or “sensitised” a bout the accounta bility
process as something that ha pp ens elsewhere and is relevant to o thers, bu t
rather of truly t aking p art in it.
This would mean that not only is each community b eing b oth informed as
well as consulted about the work of the account ability mechanisms for Sierra
Leone, it would also ensure tha t there is true consent to the wi tness telling
their story. The involvement of as much of the country as possible in
conducting sensitisation and document ation in this manner would enhance
the success of the Court through encouraging a sense of ownership of the
processes by the peo ple of Sierra Leone.
O nly if the accounta bility proc ess belongs to e ach an d ev ery community --
and if ea ch community is able to come to t erms with the ev ents of the past -
- will it be possible for former comba tants ( particularly child comba tants) to
be a cce pt ed and for meaningful long-term reintegration to take plac e.
Rehabilitation and reinte gration is not simply a mat ter of loc ating next of kin
and assisting in individual reintegration; it is abou t ena bling society and
each community to ac cep t individuals ba ck into its midst as much as it is
about enabling an individual to live a “normal” life.

                       SPECIAL COURT TASK FORCE

It is a common misconception 2 that viola tions of international humanitarian
law, such as g enocide or crimes against humanity, oc cur where c ombat ants
are free to a ct as they wish, through lack of discipline and supervision by
senior officers, whereas the op posite is gen erally true. Sporadic war crimes,
even those of a v ery serious nature, can fre quently b e c ommitted by
combatan ts without the ap proval or knowled ge of superiors.        Yet in all
situations of massive violations of the laws of war amounting to crimes
against humanity, these violations c an b e map pe d out chronologically and
geogra phically, evidencing pa tters of conduc t that correspond to delibera te
order of b at tle decisions designed to achieve precise stra te gic and t actic al
objec tives and transmitted through a formal or informal (but no less
effective) chain of command.
In Sierra Leone, where there has be en a protra cte d conflict with various
factions fighting ag ainst and along side each other, only an effec tive nation-
wide documenta tion process through individual and community interviews
can reveal those p at terns of violations. This will show the relationship of
those pa tt erns with the order of ba ttle and chain of command, with sp ecific
events during the conflict and with the strat egic ta ctical obje ctive of ea ch of
the p arties, which would allow the identification of “those who bear the
greates t responsibility” for the a trocities committ ed. 3
The Government is aware that, since it is a p arty to the conflict, if
sensitisation and documenta tion were to b e conduc te d directly by
Government officials, for example the Sierra Leone Police, it could lead to
questions being raised abou t the impartiality and reliability of the
information, even if it possessed the nec essary expertise. As note d, justice
must not only be done, it must also be seen to be done. The Gov ernment
would therefore contrac t out the Documenta tion and Conflict Ma pping
Program, to an international NGO with experience in investigating
widespread violations of international humanitarian law. In this way, both
the reality and the perce ption of the impartiality and reliability of the
information thus gathere d as well as the inte grity an d security of the da ta
would be preserve d.

2 This may be because the media and human rights defenders typically focus on individual “news-worthy”
cases of atrocities which, while a vital aspect of human rights work, tends to overlook the military hierarchy in
which such crimes are committed.
3 It is said that some of the first defendants at the ICTY, such as Tadic or Erdemovic, were indicted by the
Prosecutor simply because they happened to be available and the evidence has been collected by third States
(Germany in the case of Tadic) or through confession (in the case of Erdemovic) rather on the basis of
prosecutorial policy priorities.

                       SPECIAL COURT TASK FORCE

3.    O p e r a t i o n a l a s p e ct s o f D o cu m e n t a t i o n a n d C o n f l i ct Ma p p i n g
      Pr o g r a m
The Documenta tion and Conflict Map ping Pro gram will be conduc te d through
15 mobile teams. Each te am would be composed of one or t wo international
experts, up to five Sierra Leonean personnel drawn from the leg al, human
rights and psycho-social professions. Each team w ould trav el to specific
communities in Sierra Leone, for periods of two to three we eks at a time,
followed by one w eek to ten days of da ta p rocessing and analysis at the
Program base. During their period at b ase, e ach team would also have
responsibility for remote control function through HF and Inmarsat voice and
data communications for up to five teams in the field. This would ensure
that at any given time a pproximately 10 teams are conduc ting sensitisation
and do cumentation in the field with sufficient support from the Pro gram
base in Free town.
Upon arrival in each community, the mobile team would convene community
events with the assistance of local chiefs, elders and community leaders.
The events may last a number of days d ep ending on the size of the
community and would comprise of three principal p arts:
(a)     one or more Training the Trainer sessions for those persons within
        each community who are g enerally regarde d as a source of information
        and a dvice by their pe ers, for long t erm sustainability of the program;
(b)     a Sensitisation event, in which the basic information on the S pecial
        Court and its na ture and functions is transmitted to the community at
        large; an d
(c)     one or more Do cumentation sessions, in which the community as a
        whole and/or par ticular targe t se ctors 4 and, in exc ep tional
        circumstances, individual witnesses 5 will have an o pp ortunity to
        contribute to the history of that par ticular community by relating the
        events of the c onflict, with particular reference to crimes under the
        jurisdiction of the court tha t have be en committ ed by or ag ainst
        members of that community.
The events w ould conclude with a c eremony whereby the community would
formally pass on the information gathere d to the mobile team.              The
information thus collecte d would be ent ered into a d ata base for the purpose
of cross-checking and chrono-geographical analyses of pa tterns of violations
by the various fighting forces throughout the conflict. 6
The expe cte d result of the Documenta tion and Conflict Ma pping Program
would be to involve the general po pulation in the accounta bility proc ess, as
well as ga thering sufficient information that can be analysed to produce an

4 Examples of particular target sectors who may have specific information would include women, returnees
and former combatants.
5 Namely those individuals who have pertinent information and would prefer to recount their experiences in
6 It is worth noting that the information thus gathered, even after analysis and cross-checking, would not be
evidence nor it would be proffered as such to the Special Court. Rather, it would constitute “lead”
information that will allow the Prosecutor to conduct his or her own investigations of “those who bear the
greatest responsibility” on the basis of as clear and comprehensive a picture as possible of the patterns of


accurate pic ture of how the crimes fit within the order of ba ttle and chain of
command of the fighting forces. This will assist the Prosecutor in focusing
on “those who b ears the grea test responsibility” for the atroci ties committe d
in Sierra Leone, rather on individual low-level p erpe trators who would b e
expec te d t o go through different processes, such the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission or traditional cleansing rites. In ad dition, by
assisting communities to t ake part in the account ability proc ess, the
Documentation an d Conflict Ma pping Program aims to facilita te the process
of healing and the ability of those communities to a cce pt the reintegra tion of
former combatants.

                      SPECIAL COURT TASK FORCE

4.     Co n s i d e r a t i o n o f c o s t s o f D o c u m e n t a t i o n a n d Co n f l i ct Ma p p i n g
       Pr o g r a m
The costs of the Documentation and Conflict Map ping Program d escribed
would be a pproximately 1.7 50.000 USD for th e first year, including st art-up
costs, 750.0 00 USD for the second year, and 500.00 0 USD thereaf ter.
While some donors, such as the European Union or some S tat es, are
currently unable to contribute t o th e Spe cial Court Trust Fund established by
the Unite d Na tions bec ause the current projections of expendi ture are s till
too flexible to sa tisfy their contrac tual requirements, they would be able to
contribute to the Documenta tion and Conflict Map ping Program d escribed
here as it rela tes to predefined costs for sp ecific pre defined ac tivities that
need to be implemented to achieve specific o bjec tives, so that the Special
Court will be in a position to function effec tively.           A fuller projec t
description,    including    a   de tailed    methodology ,   a  timeta ble    for
implementation, verifiable exp ect ed results, a logical chart and a bu dge t can
be prepare d according to spe cifications of pot ential donors.

             This report was prepared by the Office of the Attorney General and
             Ministry of Justice of Sierra Leone for the Special Court Task Force with
             the technical cooperation of No Peace Without Justice