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2005-2009-Sierra Leone-Country Strategy Paper
Sierra Leone has suffered from dramatic socio-economic and political instability that culminated into a brutal armed conflict, which lasted for just over ten years, from March 1991 to January 2002. Since the end of the conflict, Sierra Leone has made significant strides in consolidating peace and rehabilitating the extensive socio-economic destruction caused by the conflict. Presidential and parliamentary elections were successfully held nation-wide in May 2002. The next Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2007. Local and Chiefdom elections were also successfully held for the first time in 32 years in May 2004. Apart from being an important milestone on the road to peace and political reconciliation, the Local Government elections represent an important step in implementing the on-going decentralization programme, which aims at improving the delivery of essential services at the grass-root level. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), established to enhance peace building and political reconciliation, successfully concluded its work in June 2004. A Special Court, sponsored by the United Nations, was also established to prosecute those that bear the greatest responsibility for the war atrocities, and trials are ongoing. Arising from these positive developments, the UN Peace Keeping Mission (UNAMSIL) has commenced its phased withdrawal from the country, expected to end by December 2005.