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Consolidating peace: Liberia and Sierra Leone

Almost ten years on from the official end of wars in Sierra Leone (2002) and Liberia (2003), attention is shifting from post-war peacebuilding to longer-term development. What headway has been made? What challenges lie ahead? And what lessons that can be learnt?

This Issue of Accord draws on experiences and perspectives from across societies in both countries to explore comparative lessons and examine progress. It builds on analysis and recommendations from previous Accord publications on Liberia (Issue 1: 1996) and Sierra Leone (Issue 9: 2000)
Accord 23 argues that peacebuilding policy and practice needs to concentrate more on people: on repairing and building relationships among communities, and between communities and the state; and on developing more participatory politics and society that includes marginalised groups. It suggests that customary practices and mechanisms can help deliver essential services across a range sectors, and that local civil society can facilitate national and international policy engagement with them.

This special Accord issue on Liberia and Sierra Leone provides fresh perspectives on the post-conflict transitions in these countries and on the many challenges to their success … [Accord 23] will not only assist in understanding the critical issues involved, but also encourage creative thinking on what can be done to prevent conflict and support the emergence of stable and peaceful states, throughout the West African sub-region and beyond

Said Djinnit, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa