Hon. Justice Elizabeth Ibanda Nahamya, the Vice President of the Special Residual Court for Sierra Leone on Tuesday 18th July, 2017 addressed the Member States of the African Union Peace and Security Council on the workings of the Court at the African Union Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The Vice President of the Special Residual Court for Sierra Leone in her address recalled that on 31 December, 2013, the Special Court for Sierra Leone was the first international criminal tribunal to complete its judicial mandate. “In all, nine persons were convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from 15 to 52 years,” she said.
Hon. Justice Nahamya stated that the Special Residual Court for Sierra Leone was established pursuant to an agreement signed on 11 August, 2010 between the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone.
She pointed out that the mandate of the Special Residual Court for Sierra Leone is to carry out the functions of the Special Court for Sierra Leone following the closure of the latter, adding that the Special Residual Court for Sierra Leone has 16 judges; six from Sierra Leone and 10 are international judges.
Hon. Justice Nahamya further stated that the Court’s ongoing legal obligations include: Providing support and protection to witnesses, victims and those put at risk on account of testimony given by the witnesses who appear before the Special Court for Sierra Leone or the Special Residual Court for Sierra Leone; supervising the enforcement of sentences for those convicted by Special Court for Sierra Leone; and maintaining, preserving and managing the archives of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Special Residual Court for Sierra Leone.
The Registrar of the Special Residual Court for Sierra Leone, Madam Binta Mansaray focused her presentation on transitional justice; the protection of witnesses and outreach; the rights of the accused and to assist the healing process. She said that transitional justice should not be limited to court room trials.
Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara, Sierra Leone’s erudite Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union in his contribution stated that the Special Court for Sierra Leone is a role model for criminal and transitional justice in the world.
He informed that he worked with the Court before he was appointed as an Ambassador.
After the presentations made by Hon. Justice Nahamya and Madam Binta Mansaray, a number of delegations applauded the working of the Special Residual Court for Sierra Leone.
Abdul Karim Koroma
Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone