The Residual Court for Sierra Leone has completed its “Preservation and Promotion of the Legacy of the Residual Special Court Project” which was initiated in September 2020, Registrar Binta Mansaray said on Thursday. The Project was funded by Global Affairs Canada, the department of the Canadian government that, among other functions, is tasked with leading Canada’s international development, peace and security assistance, and humanitarian assistance efforts.
Under this project, the RSCSL was able to preserve the public archives of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), making them available and accessible to present and future generations in Sierra Leone, and to visiting researchers from abroad. The documents are stored at the Sierra Leone Peace Museum at the old Special Court site, and the grant allowed for improvements to the Museum to enhance storage conditions for the SCSL and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) archives.
The Museum was also expanded and improved, giving context to the written records in various formats and creating a narrative of Sierra Leone’s decade-long civil war. Improvements included designing and developing the long-planned Memorial Garden, to promote contemplation of the tragedy of the armed conflict in the 1990s, and remembrance of those who lost their lives. The Garden was formally dedicated on 18 January 2022, the 20th anniversary of the war’s formal end, and of the agreement, two days earlier, that established the SCSL. The improvements also include the production of electronic audio tour guides to communicate to Museum visitors the mandates and work of the SCSL and the TRC, and to help promote human rights and the rule of law in the country.
As part of the Museum expansion, the project funded the establishment of a mobile exhibition to reach people in communities and schools in the provinces who may not have access to the Museum in Freetown. Outreach activities are being carried out around the country to engage people on the issues of peace, justice and reconciliation. School and other groups have visited the Peace Museum in Freetown, and the mobile exhibition has visited schools up country, with the aim of educating those who were too young to have experienced the war themselves, or to have lived through its aftermath.