Cluster Munition Ban Policy
Summary: State Party Sierra Leone was one of the first of 30 ratifications to trigger the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010. It has expressed its desire to enact national implementing legislation for the convention. Sierra Leone has participated in several meetings of the convention, most recently in 2013. It has condemned new use of cluster munitions. Sierra Leone states that it has never used, produced, stockpiled, or transferred cluster munitions. Cluster munitions were used in Sierra Leone in 1997.
The Republic of Sierra Leone signed and ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo on 3 December 2008. It was among the first 30 ratifications that triggered entry into force of the convention on 1 August 2010.
Sierra Leone has expressed its desire to enact national implementing legislation for the convention, but the current status of this process was not known as of July 2015. In 2011, Sierra Leone announced that it was working to adopt national legislation “prohibiting future possession, purchase, and use of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.” In May 2013, an official said that implementing legislation had been drafted using model legislation provided by the ICRC.
Sierra Leone submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 25 January 2011. As of 29 June 2016, it had not provided any of the updated reports required by 30 April each year.
Sierra Leone participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and advocated for a strong convention text during the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008.
Sierra Leone was invited to, but did not attend the convention’s First Review Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia in September 2015. It participated in the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2010, 2011, and 2013. Sierra Leone has also attended regional workshops on the convention, most recently in Lomé, Togo in May 2013.
On 7 December 2015, Sierra Leone was absent from the final vote on a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which urges states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.” However, it voted in favor of the draft resolution during the first round of voting in November 2015.
Sierra Leone has condemned new use of cluster munitions “in the strongest terms.” It has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2015. Sierra Leone has voted in favor of Human Rights Council resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently on 2 July 2015.
Sierra Leone has not yet elaborated its views on certain important issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of the convention, including the prohibition on transit, the prohibition on assistance during joint military operations with states not party that may use cluster munitions, the prohibition on foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions, and the prohibition on investment in production of cluster munitions.
Sierra Leone is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling
Sierra Leone has stated several times that it has never used, produced, stockpiled, or transferred cluster munitions. It must formally confirm this cluster munition-free status by providing its Article 7 transparency report.
Sierra Leone has reported that cluster munitions were stockpiled in the country during the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) intervention in 1998 and 1999. According to sources close to the Sierra Leonean military, in 1997 Nigerian forces operating as ECOMOG peacekeepers dropped two cluster bombs on Lokosama, near Port Loko. ECOMOG Force Commander General Victor Malu denied these reports. According to media reports, Nigerian ECOMOG peacekeepers used French-produced BLG-66 Belouga cluster bombs in an attack on the eastern town of Kenema in Sierra Leone in 1997.
Sierra Leone has reported that an unknown quantity of M42, M46, and M77 submunitions were destroyed by open detonation in 2001 at Aberdeen Beach near Freetown by an explosive ordnance disposal team from the United Kingdom.
 CMC meeting with Gen. Modibo Lymon (retired), Commissioner, Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms, in Lomé, 22 May 2013. Notes by the CMC. The National Committee for the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law is responsible for drafting Sierra Leone’s implementation legislation. Statement of Sierra Leone, Accra Regional Conference on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Accra, 28 May 2012.
 The report covers the period from 27 January 2011 to 30 April 2012. Only Forms A, B, and C were completed with “N/A” or not applicable.
 For details on Sierra Leone’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 151.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution AC.1/70/L.49/Rev.1, 11 November 2015.
 “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 70/234, 23 December 2015. Sierra Leone voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013, and 18 December 2014.
 See, “The grave and deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Human Rights Council Resolution 29/L.4, 2 July 2015; “The continuing grave deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UN Human Rights Council Resolution 28/20, 27 March 2015; “The continuing grave deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UN Human Rights Council Resolution 26/23, 27 June 2014; and “The continuing grave deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UN Human Rights Council Resolution 25/23, 28 March 2014.
 Statement of Sierra Leone, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011; and statement of Sierra Leone, Lomé Regional Seminar on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lomé, Togo, 22 May 2013.
 “IRIN-WA Weekly Roundup, 10/3/97,” IRIN, 10 March 1997.
 “10 Killed in Nigerian raid in eastern Sierra Leone,” Agence France-Presse, 11 December 1997.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 25 January 2011.
Mine Ban Policy
The Republic of Sierra Leone signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 29 July 1998 and ratified it on 25 April 2001, becoming a State Party on 1 October 2001. Sierra Leone has not enacted new legislation specifically to implement the Mine Ban Treaty.
Sierra Leone has not attended any recent meetings of the treaty. It did not attend the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. On 9 February 2004, Sierra Leone submitted its initial Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, due 20 March 2002, but has not submitted subsequent reports.
Sierra Leone is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. Sierra Leone is also party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Production, use, transfer, and stockpiling
Sierra Leone has not produced or exported antipersonnel mines. Limited quantities of mines were used in various civil conflicts. Sierra Leone destroyed its stockpile of between 956 and 959 antipersonnel mines (the exact number was not confirmed) on 11 February 2003.
There are no known mined areas but Sierra Leone has residual unexploded ordnance contamination.
 At the February 2004 intersessional meetings, the delegate said, “The Government of Sierra Leone has completed the destruction of its entire stockpile of 956 antipersonnel mines that were captured from the AFRC/RUF rebel coalition forces [including] 875 pieces of MAI 75, 72 pieces of PMNs, and 9 pieces of SB 33.” Statement of Sierra Leone, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 12 February 2004.
The total number of mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties and survivors in the Republic of Sierra Leone is not known. The Monitor has not recorded any new mine/ERW incidents in Sierra Leone since the end of the civil war in 2002.
Cluster munition casualties
Twenty-eight casualties were reported during cluster munition strikes in 1997. No casualties from unexploded submunitions have been identified.
 ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2006: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada: July 2006).
 Handicap International (HI), Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (Brussels: HI, May 2007), p. 54.
The Republic of Sierra Leone is responsible for landmine survivors, cluster munition victims, and survivors of other explosive remnants of war (ERW). Sierra Leone has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Conventional Weapons Protocol V and has victim assistance obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Sierra Leone ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 4 October 2010.
Sierra Leone has services for persons with disabilities, including survivors and victims of war. There are four rehabilitation centers in the country. Some war victims, including amputees, receive assistance from local and international NGOs. Such programs involve reconstructive surgery, prostheses, and vocational training. The results of a study on user satisfaction with rehabilitation services in Sierra Leone and Malawi indicated that the design and manufacture of prosthetics that use low-cost technology required improvement. The quality of assistive devices and service delivery in Sierra Leone could be improved through increased staff education. However, amputees reported that they did not receive sufficient assistance compared with former combatants.
The Persons with Disabilities Act (2011) of Sierra Leone prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment and provision of state services; it also calls for free healthcare and education; equal access to government buildings, housing, and public transportation; and provision of rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities. One of the key provisions of the act was also the establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD). However, the NCPD was significantly understaffed. Most of the main measures found in the Persons with Disabilities Act No 3 of 2011 had not been implemented in the six years since its adoption.
Section 17(1) of the Persons with Disability Act 2011 provides for free medical services for persons with disabilities but remained non-functional due to a lack of medication in public health institutions. Section 14(1) also provides for free third-level education, with adaptation for accessibility to persons with disabilities. However, it was reported that adjustments for accessibility had not been made.
Humanity & Inclusion (formerly Handicap International, HI) carried out projects to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities in the mainstream education system.The PEAK (Promoting Education for All in Kono) project, which runs from November 2016 to October 2019, includes the provision of assistive devices for 280 children with disabilities in 70 schools, in Kono district.
 The four centers include: the National Rehabilitation Center of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in the capital Freetown; the Governmental Hospital Rehabilitation Unit, also run by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, in Koidu; the Bo Regional Rehabilitation Center, in Bo; and the Prosthetic Outreach Foundation in Makeni. Emmelie Andregård & Lina Magnusson, “Experiences of attitudes in Sierra Leone from the perspective of people with poliomyelitis and amputations using orthotics and prosthetics,” Disability and Rehabilitation, 10 November 2016, p. 2.
 Lina Magnusson and Gerd Ahlström, “Patients’ Satisfaction with Lower-limb Prosthetic and Orthotic Devices and Service delivery in Sierra Leone and Malawi,” BMC Health Services Research, 1 February 2017, p. 11.
 United States (US) Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016: Sierra Leone,” Washington, DC, 3 March 2017.
 “Statement Delivered by Frederick J. M. Kamara, Chairman and Chief Commissioner of Sierra Leone National Commission for Persons with Disability at the 6th Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held in New York on 19th July, 2013,” Awareness Times, 23 July 2013.
 Joel Tejan Deen-Tarawally, “The status of the rights of persons with disabilities in Sierra Leone: The need for a paradigm shift from political lip service,” Africlaw, 6 June 2018.
 Email from Nicolas Charpentier, HI Mano River Program, 10 April 2017.