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August 2004
9/1/2004 9:55 AM

AUGUST 31: Auditor's Opinion for the Year Ended 30 June 2003

Special Court for Sierra Leone
COURT JOURNAL, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 31 August 2004 

Auditor's Opinion for the Year Ended 30 June 2003, 31 August 2004 (PDF, 1 page)


AUGUST 31: Summary of the Audit Report for the Special Court for the Year Ended 30 June 2003

Special Court for Sierra Leone
COURT JOURNAL, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 31 August 2004 

Summary of the Audit Report for the Year Ended 30 June 2003, 31 August 2004 (PDF, 28 pages)


AUGUST 31: Guinea Sees End of One Return Programme, Start of Another

Weeks after the last Sierra Leonean refugees returned home on UNHCR-organised convoys, Guinea and the refugee agency are coping with the end of one repatriation movement and the start of another.

Between December 2000 and July this year, a total of 92,944 refugees went back to Sierra Leone from Guinea under UNHCR's voluntary repatriation programme. The programme officially ended on June 30, but groups of Sierra Leonean refugees approached the agency for return assistance after the deadline, with the last convoy leaving Guinea on July 22.

Thousands more have stayed behind, unable or unwilling to return to their homeland after the end of the decade-long civil war. There are now 1,732 Sierra Leonean refugees remaining in camps in Guinea's Albadariah region. The Guinean government has agreed to allow them to integrate locally, and is working with UNHCR and its implementing partners to assist them.

"Those who have opted to remain in Guinea will benefit from UNHCR assistance in agriculture, income generation activities and vocational training projects. They are expected to quickly become self reliant and start their new life among the local population," said Roseline Idowu, UNHCR's Deputy Representative in Guinea.

"The refugees will be able to request permanent residence or citizenship from the government," Guinea's Minister of Territorial Administration told High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers during the latter's visit in April.

To better assist the remaining Sierra Leonean refugees, UNHCR plans to regroup them into one camp in the Albadariah region, called Boreah camp. UNHCR and its government counterpart, Bureau de Coordination des Réfugiés, are restoring shelters in the camp, but some refugees are reluctant to move, saying they've started farming in their current camps. UNHCR has launched a sensitisation campaign to convince them of the need to transfer to Boreah camp.

Meanwhile, further south, another group of refugees are preparing to go home from Guinea as 14 years of civil war come to an end in Liberia. Some of the 73,026 Liberian refugees living in Guinea's Forest Region camps in Kissidougou and Nzerekore, as well as urban refugees, are expected to return home on UNHCR convoys starting in October.

The UN refugee agency is currently conducting information campaigns in the camps to provide the Liberian refugees with objective information on their home areas, so that they can make informed choices on whether or not to repatriate. A survey is also underway to determine how many would actually like to return to Liberia.

Published in: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees News, Copyright UNHCR 2004, 30 August 2004, available at Relief Web.


AUGUST 31: Special Court Revamps Website 

Special Court for Sierra Leone
Freetown, Sierra Leone, 30 August 2004 

The Special Court for Sierra Leone has revamped their website. The website now includes several new features such as factsheets about the court, audio and video clips produced by the Special Court's Public Affairs Office and monthly court schedules. The site also includes previous features like, links to documents and cases.


AUGUST 27: Cholera Kills 40 People in First Outbreak in Five Years

A cholera outbreak in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, has killed 40 people so far this month, a senior government health official told IRIN on Friday.

He blamed overcrowded slums, torrential rains and infected traders arriving from neighbouring Guinea into Sierra Leone for the country's first cholera outbreak in five years.

"We have been cholera-free since 1999," Alhassan Seisay, the director of disease prevention, said by telephone from Freetown. "But since 6 August authorities have recorded 374 cases of the disease and 40 deaths."

A flow of traders and visitors from Guinea, where the authorities say 32 people have died from cholera this year, had probably played a part in the highly infectious disease returning to Sierra Leone, Seisay said.

"There was a big outbreak in Guinea in June and July and the movement of people from there to Sierra Leone has been one of the underlying causes of our outbreak," he said.

"Market traders come by boat to Freetown. Also whenever there is a health problem in Guinea, we always get people coming here because they think they can better treatment."

Cholera causes violent diarrhoea and vomiting which leads to rapid dehydration of the body. It can prove fatal unless treated quickly.

Seisay said only 20 percent of Sierra Leone's cholera cases were children. The disease had mainly struck down adults living in the east end of Freetown.

"The reasons are overcrowding in the shanty towns, and a lack of safe and clean drinking water," he explained.

"The rainy season is making the situation worse. People are depending on streams, rainfall and pools of water that collect because drainage is poor."

More than 10 people drowned in shanty towns near the river Rokel last month after three days of torrential downpours caused corrugated iron shacks and mud huts to collapse.

Seisay said the Sierra Leonean government had reactivated its Cholera Task Force when the disease first reared its head earlier this month.

Officials are working with medical clinics to treat patients and have sent out an army of 300 community volunteers to educate Freetown residents about collecting water safely and protecting food.

"Day by day we are getting more reports," Seisay said. "We are worried because even one case of cholera is a problem for Sierra Leone. But we are throwing all the resources we have into stopping the spread."

Compiled from: Sierra Leone: Cholera Kills 40 People in First Outbreak in Five Years, IRIN News, 27 August 2004.

This Item is Delivered to the English Service of the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2004


AUGUST 27 PRESS RELEASE: Public Information Section Ends Sensitization on UNAMSIL Drawdown in Bo and Kenema Districts

United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone
PRESS RELEASE, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 27 August 2004 

Public Information Section Ends Sensitization on UNAMSIL Drawdown in Bo and Kenema Districts, 27 August 2004 (PDF, 1 page)


AUGUST 27 PRESS RELEASE: UNAMSIL Public Information Ends Two-Day Media Tour

United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone
PRESS RELEASE, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 27 August 2004

UNAMSIL Public Information Ends Two-Day Media Tour, 27 August 2004 (PDF, 1 page)


AUGUST 26: Malu Faults Taylor's Asylum At NBA Summit

Yesterday, ex-Chief of Army Staff and ECOMOG commander, General Victor Malu, denounced the asylum granted to Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, by the Nigerian Federal Government stating that it was not justified given the number of Nigerians Taylor ordered killed, both as a rebel leader and as president of Liberia.