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UN Hands Over Special Court Security to Sierra Leone Police

UN Hands Over Special Court Security to Sierra Leone Police

United Nations peacekeepers of the Special Court’s Mongolian Guard Force yesterday formally handed over responsibility for the Court’s security to the Sierra Leone Police.

UN peacekeepers, working in cooperation with Special Court’s Security Section and the Sierra Leone Police, have maintained security at the Special Court since its inception in 2002. In addition to securing the Court’s premises in Freetown, they have provided security during the movement of detainees and prisoners within and outside of Sierra Leone.

Major-General Mohammad Khalid, UNMIL Force Commander

The Mongolian peacekeepers, who serve as part of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), took over the Special Court’s security from Nigerian peacekeepers in January 2006. Since then, a total of 2,300 Mongolian peacekeepers have served at the Court.

At a colourful ceremony in front of the Special Court’s courthouse, a Mongolian peacekeeper handed over the court flag to a member of Special Court Security  who handed it to a Special Court Police officer.

Vice President Sam Sumana

Vice-President Alhaji Sahr Sam-Sumana represented the Government of Sierra Leone, and in his remarks highlighted the cooperation between the police and the peacekeepers, as well as the training received by police officers serving at the Special Court. The United Nations was represented by UNMIL Force Commander Major-General Mohammad Khalid, while Special Court President Justice Jon Kamanda and Registrar Binta Mansaray represented the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Registrar Binta Mansaray

“The fact that the Special Court was able to operate so smoothly since its inception is a great tribute to the security provided by Nigerian and Mongolian peacekeepers, supported from the very beginning by the Sierra Leone Police,” Ms. Mansaray said.

Among those attending were senior government officials, heads of diplomatic missions, civil society representatives, journalists, and Special Court staff.

Today’s handover marks a significant milestone as the Special Court is set to become the first international tribunal to complete its mandate and transition to a Residual Mechanism.

Special Court for Sierra Leone , Outreach and Public Affairs Office

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