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To the Governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Côte dIvoire
- Ensure that your governments proactively address the
issues which have in large part given rise to armed conflict including bad
governance, corruption, and the inequitable distribution of natural
- Cease recruiting for, funding, arming or otherwise
supporting armed groups whose goals include the destabilizing of a
- Cease recruiting any foreign national who has sought refuge
in your country for use in your national security forces or militias where
such persons are known to have fought with an armed group that is
responsible for a systematic pattern of abuses.
- Take measures to prohibit your nationals and residents
from hiring themselves out as foreign fighters to any armed force that is
responsible for a systematic pattern of abuses.
- Criminalize activities associated with the cross-border
funding, arming or otherwise supporting of armed groups that are
responsible for a systematic pattern of abuses. Cooperate in the
investigation and prosecution of individuals responsible for illegal
criminal activity which may amount to war crimes.
- Criminalize and prosecute to the full extent of the law,
individuals, nationals, or non-nationals involved in the recruitment or
use of child combatants on your territory, be they for use in an armed
conflict in your country or elsewhere.
- Facilitate access by the International Committee of the
Red Cross to all armed groups present in your territory, be they members
of your own national security forces, members of insurgent groups or known
to be involved in the destabilization of a neighboring country.
- Ensure that those individuals most responsible for
perpetrating widespread and systematic human rights abuses during armed
conflicts on your territory or on the territory of a neighbor are held
accountable for their crimes through a legitimate judicial process.
- Ensure that your governments establish status
determination bodies to screen and separate combatants from refugees, and
work swiftly to set up separate camps for combatants. Additionally, there
is a need for improved policing to ensure that refugees are adequately
protected and to guarantee the civilian nature of all refugee camps.
- Liberia, Burkina Faso, Côte dIvoire and Guinea should follow the example of Sierra Leone by committing to cease using child soldiers and
immediately sign and/or ratify the Optional Protocol on the Rights of the
Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
- Provide the required funding to the United Nations
Development Program Trust Fund, the European Community and the U.S. Agency
for International Development to cover the US $39 million shortfall for
the rehabilitation and reintegration phase of the Liberian Disarmament,
Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DDRR) program.
- Provide the required US $165 million discrepancy between
funds pledged at the February 2004 International Reconstruction Conference
on Liberia and those which have been provided by donor nations. These
funds are essential for, among other things, resettlement of hundreds of
thousands of Liberian refugees and internally displaced people, and
reconstruction of judicial and corrections institutions aimed at establishing the rule of law.
- Provide the required funding to cover the U.N. World Food
Programmes US $140 shortfall for their 2005-2006 projects for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea which provides food aid for school children, internally
displaced persons, returning refugees and ex-combatants.
- Strengthen the ECOWAS small arms moratorium and its
implementation. The moratorium should be expanded to encompass all weapons
categories, developed into an information-exchange mechanism, and made
binding. Further efforts are needed to ensure that arms exporters comply
with the moratorium, which could be facilitated through full participation
in the proposed information exchange.
- Consider the imposition of sanctions including arms
embargos, travel bans, and economic sanctions against governments
involved in cross-border funding, recruitment of child soldiers, or arming
or supporting of armed groups that are responsible for a systematic
pattern of human rights abuses.
- Ensure that any troops deployed from ECOMOG remain
completely neutral and desist from providing logistical or other support
to any armed group.
- Consider targeted measures against parties to armed
conflict including parties in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte dIvoire, and complicit actors in neighboring countries, whose actions contribute
to illicit cross-border activities and to the consequent fuelling of
conflict. Such activities expose civilians to further atrocities and
abuse, and undermine efforts at establishing peace, security, legitimate
economic activities, and the rule of law.
- Condemn the practice of recruitment of refugees from camps
by governments and rebel groups in the region and request UNHCR to take
urgent measures to improve protection, in collaboration with other UN and
non-governmental humanitarian agencies.
- As recommended by the Secretary-General in his report on
children and armed conflict (S/2005/72) regarding parties that have made
insufficient progress in ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers,
impose targeted measures including travel restrictions on leaders and
their exclusion from any governance structure and amnesty provisions, and
restrictions on the flow of financial resources to the parties concerned.
In addition, make the end of child recruitment an explicit criterion for
lifting existing arms embargoes.
- Require the human rights sections of UNMIL, UNAMSIL and
ONUCI to investigate and document current efforts to recruit recently
demobilized combatants, especially children, and publicly report on their
- Ensure that the military and civilian police personnel in
UNMIL, UNAMSIL and ONUCI work in coordination to detect, report on, and
prevent the movement of combatants and arms across their respective
borders and into neighboring countries. If investigations identify
individuals believed to be involved in cross-border funding, recruitment
of child soldiers, or arming or supporting of armed groups that are
responsible for a systematic pattern of abuses, they should be referred to
the national courts for prosecution.
- Engage and deploy as soon as possible the two proposed
child protection advisors (CPA) to assist the Secretary Generals offices
and peacekeeping missions in Liberia and Côte dIvoire with related child
protection activities. Consider the deployment of additional child
protection advisors to both missions.
- Initiate a formal investigation into reports of efforts by
any government or non-state actor to recruit children for use by any armed
group, most urgently in Liberia and Côte dIvoire where there are credible
reports of the recruitment of child soldiers by armed groups operating in Côte dIvoire.
- Encourage governments to take disciplinary measures or
criminal charges as appropriate against individuals in state or non-state
forces involved in the recruitment or use of child soldiers.
- Use its position as advisor to DPKO on the demobilization
of child combatants to advocate for the end of the policy of providing
cash payment to children taking part in any disarmament exercise.
- Enhance protection and security measures at refugee camps
in Côte dIvoire, Ghana, Guinea and Sierra Leone so that refugees from the
region are protected from forced recruitment into regional conflicts.
Specifically, an increase in the number of UNHCR protection staff working
in all such camps is required.
- Ensure, in particular, that the UNHCR Guidelines on the
Protection and Care of Refugee Children are fully implemented to prevent
the recruitment of children from refugee camps or settlements.
- Publicly identify governments and non-state actors who
persist in recruiting from refugee camps in Côte dIvoire, Ghana, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
- Put in place measures to address allegations of theft and
manipulation of benefits by former commanders and employees in the
disarmament programs through the creation of a formal grievance procedure
in which allegations could be registered, investigated and referred for
prosecution. Ensure the grievance procedure is well publicized, easily
accessible to combatants, and provided with the authority to refer cases
for criminal prosecution.
- Ensure that there is an agreement, including a memorandum
of understanding, between the United Nations and the government of the
country in which the disarmament exercise is taking place, to investigate
and prosecute, through the national justice system, those commanders and
disarmament program employees alleged to be involved in criminal activity
including the fraud, embezzlement, diversion or misuse of disarmament
- Ensure that future disarmament programs desists from
providing child combatants with cash payment, since this policy not only
undermines efforts to successfully reunify and reintegrate them back into
their families and communities, but also makes them more vulnerable for
re-recruitment into subsequent armed conflicts.
- Ensure that a human rights education module is included in
all future disarmament programs. This would include information on
international humanitarian law or the laws of war, womens rights and
childrens rights. These classes should be compulsory, in-depth and should
include discussions on accountability, responsibility and justice.
- Review job training options within rehabilitation and reintegration
programs to ensure they are based on an accurate market analysis of local
- Increase the number of qualified and experienced staff
within the disarmament section of peacekeeping operations, including an
officer responsible for providing oversight, evaluation and monitoring of
the disarmament program.
- Closely monitor and continuously evaluate the functioning
of DDR programs at every level to reduce wide-scale, low-level corruption
arising from the participation of former commanders in screening
- Integrate DDR programs with other development and social
services programs to share the burden of creating social stability and
minimize the susceptibility of demobilized combatants to re-recruitment.
- Surrender former Liberian president Charles Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone which in 2003 indicted him on seventeen counts of crimes
against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of international
humanitarian law for his role in human rights crimes during Sierra Leone s civil war.
- In addition to training active combatants in the laws of
war, train recently demobilized combatants on the laws of war in
coordination with U.N. and nationally run disarmament exercises.