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Sierra Leone war crimes court falls short on funding pledges

[JURIST] The UN-affiliated Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website; JURIST news archive] wrapped up a pledging conference [UN press release] by receiving $10 million from UN member states, but fell more than halfway short of the tribunal's $25 million goal. The $25 million is the amount needed to continue trying those accused of committing serious crimes during Sierra Leone's civil war in the 1990s. UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette [official profile] told the conference, "We are determined that the Court, after three years of important achievements and with trials at an advanced stage, must not now fail due to lack of resources." The court, which operates on voluntary contributions and UN funding, is unique in that it sits in the country where war crimes were committed, allowing victims to witness justice first-hand and easing the process of national reconciliation. UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel [official profile] said the UN will continue to work with member states to reach the court's funding goal. Reuters has more. UN News has additional coverage.

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