Sierra Leone

UN refurbishes Napoleonic era court burned down by rebels in Sierra Leone

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A Sierra Leonean court that was established in 1819 for the trial of ex-combatants after the Napoleonic war in England but was burned down 180 years later by rebels in the West African country's civil war has been renovated and refurbished by the United Nations.
Commissioning the rehabilitated Waterloo Magistrates Court yesterday, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative, Daudi Ngelautwa Mwakawago, described the project as a beacon for the enhancement of the rule of law and dispensation of justice.

The rehabilitation of the building was undertaken by Pakistani Engineers of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) under the Quick Impact Project programme.

Mr. Mwakawago expressed concern about the delay in court proceedings in the country, adding: "Justice delayed is justice denied." He urged the judiciary to conduct speedy trials to prevent overcrowding in cells and unwarranted adjournments. Set up by the Security Council in 1999 to help Sierra Leone recover after a peace agreement ended a decade of civil war, UNAMSIL was renewed for a final six months on 30 June.