Sierra Leone

The Gradual Emergence of Second Generation Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone

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Executive Summary

Sierra Leone’s initial approach to Security Sector Reform (SSR) was state-centric, ad-hoc and shaped by immediate events, as the country was mired in a civil war. However, the post-war period opened space for the adoption of a human security lens to SSR. In 2001, a community security approach called Local Needs Policing (LNP) was initiated. It was predicated on the need to address the security gap that existed at the time and restore public trust and confdence in the police. Through LNP, the Local Police Partnership Boards (LPPBs), the Chiefdom Police Partnership Committees (CPPC) and the Area Police Partnership Committees (APPC) were subsequently formed. While the CPPC and the APPC have been less active, the LPPBs became instrumental in changing the face of the police in local communities.

After its establishment in 2004, the Ofce of National Security (ONS) developed similar decentralized structures known as the District Security Committees (DISEC), Provincial Security Committees (PROSEC) and Chiefdom Security Committees (CHISEC). Together, the PROSEC, DISEC and CHISEC have been working with the LPPBs on justice and securityrelated issues in all the districts of Sierra Leone. Alongside this, the UK Government, through the Justice Sector Development Programme (JSDP) and the Access to Security and Justice Programme (ASJP), actively promoted the involvement of non-state actors in security and justice related issues. These approaches have to a large extent changed people’s perceptions of, and participation in, justice and security related issues in Sierra Leone. Alongside these various developments, the country’s adoption of a new National Security Policy and Strategy (NSPS) in 2015, seemed to crystalize a shift in Sierra Leone to a second generation SSR model.