(Rapaport…January 4, 2002) United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is moving ahead with the establishment of a special Sierra Leone court that will try persons accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other violations of international human rights law committed since November 1996, the date of the Abidjan Peace Accord. Annan has scheduled for a planning team to meet with Sierra Leone government officials in Freetown from January 7 to 18 to discuss the practical matters of establishment and operation of the court.
The tribunal will be set up only after enough contributions are collected to allow for the formation of the court and its first 12 months of operation. As of November 30, the UN had received $14.8 million in contributions for the first year, about $1.4 million short of estimated operating costs. There are pledges of $13 million and $7.4 million for the two subsequent years, about $19.6 million short of the required operating costs. Annan said he reserves the right to consider funding any financial shortfalls through assessed contributions or other means.