Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone re-introduced local government councils in 2004 after a 30-year absence; the experience of the last six years is prompting questions about how to successfully introduce effective democratic authority and responsiveness at the local level in a country where few have experience of active participation in governance. Devolution of responsibility to local councils is behind schedule, with responsibility for key services such as water and waste management and infrastructure like more

The re-establishment of local councils in Sierra Leone in 2004 was intended to give people a greater voice in their government, reversing long years of marginalisation for rural districts in particular. But nearly seven years later, it has still not been fully implemented. A local NGO, Campaign for the Voiceless, is working to strengthen the performance of this most accessible tier of government. The campaign is working on a project intended to improve social accountability in local government.

Almost 10 years after the end of the civil war, Sierra Leone continues to face major challenges of weak governance, widespread poverty and systemic corruption, which undermine sustainable development and long term reconstruction efforts, says the Anti Corruption Resource Centre. Corruption continues to permeate almost every sectors of Sierra Leone’s public life, compromising citizens’ access to basic public services and institutions such as health, education and the police.

Judges in one of the world's most controversial war crimes trials have been deliberately slowing down proceedings, senior US officials believe, causing significant delays to proceedings. Secret cables reveal US doubts about the trial in The Hague of Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, amid allegations that one of the judges has manipulated proceedings so that she can personally give the verdict in the case.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the arrest on 16 December of Mohamed Daramy, a radio presenter and Ibrahim Farmer, technician for KISS FM Radio in Bo, southern Sierra Leone by Police Assistant Inspector General (AIG) David Sesay who was acting on the order of Minister of Agriculture Dr Sam Sesay. According to the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), an IFJ Affiliate, on 16 December 2010, Mohamed Daramy and Ibrahim Farmer were arrested and detained more