Sierra Leone - EP 1

Duration: 08-Oct-1997 to 16-Mar-1998

UN sanctions imposed on the AFRC (UNSCR 1132, 8 October 1997) to restore the democratically elected President Kabbah and to constrain all parties to the conflict (particularly the RUF) in an effort to cease hostilities.


Coerce the AFRC into restoring the democratically elected government (Kabbah) to power.


Constrain the RUF and the AFRC from further acts of violence and to cease interference with humanitarian relief efforts.


Signal support for the democratically elected government.


Travel ban on the military junta and their adult family members (diplomatic sanctions), petroleum imports ban, and arms imports embargo on all parties to the conflict.

No individual targets specified.

Potential scope of impact


UN sanctions are likely to have significant impacts on the general population, since they include restrictions on the import of widely used commodities (such as oil), major commodity exports, and/or the transportation or financial sectors that affect the entire economy.

Sanctions Committee created, no sanctions monitoring mechanism in place. Enforcement authorities specified, PKO had enforcement role.



Policy outcome

Regional ceasefire and agreement to restore constitutional rule (the Conakry Communiqué) was negotiated on October 23, 1997; Kabbah was restored to office on 10 March 1998 after ECOMOG forces recaptured Freetown.

Sanctions contribution

ECOMOG forces intervened in the country and there were active ECOWAS diplomatic activities.



Policy outcome

AFRC was constrained, while fighting between RUF and ECOMOG forces continued throughout the episode.

Sanctions contribution

Reinforced ECOWAS sanctions and ECOMOG activity.



Policy outcome

Goals (democracy support) clearly articulated in the UNSCR, as well as reinforcement of regional initiatives (ECOWAS).

Sanctions contribution

No country recognized the regime during this episode.



Increase in corruption and/or criminality, increase in human rights violations, humanitarian consequences, decline in the credibility and/or legitimacy of UN Security Council.



  • Imposes travel ban on military junta and their adult family members.
  • Imposes petroleum imports ban to Sierra Leone and specifies exemptions for democratically-elected Government of Sierra Leone, as well as any other government, UN agency, or ECOMOG for humanitarian purposes (no-objection procedure).
  • Imposes arms imports embargo to Sierra Leone (all parties to the conflict).
  • Authorizes ECOWAS to implement arms imports embargo and petroleum imports ban, including cargo inspection.
  • Specifies conditions for sanctions termination.


  • Establishes Sanctions Committee and specifies its mandate.
  • Sets sanctions review (6 months).
  • Requests ECOWAS and MS reporting.