13 March 2013 – A United Nations official today praised the progress made by Sierra Leone since the end of its civil war 10 years ago, and stressed that the country must continue to strengthen its institutions to maintain the achievements made during its transition process.

“[Sierra Leone] has made significant progress since the end of the war over a decade ago. During this period, Sierra Leone was able to restore and consolidate State authority, implement national recovery programmes, including extension of public services, as well as undertake reforms in the governance and security sectors,” the Secretary-General’s Executive Representative in Sierra Leone, Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen, told the Security Council.

For 11 years, Sierra Leone was torn by a civil war after the rebel Revolutionary United Front intervened in an attempt to overthrow the country’s then-President Joseph Momoh. The conflict, which lasted from 1991 to 2002, was often punctuated by acts of extreme brutality as marauding bands of armed youths terrorized the countryside, conscripting child soldiers and used the amputation of limbs as an intimidation method against civilians.