The Elections Observation Missions (EOM) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) have expressed concerns over what it observed as incidents of violence and intimidation in some parts of the Sierra Leone.
The Missions noted that such occuring incidents, ahead of the June 24, 2023 General Elections, have the potential to mar the peaceful conduct of the polls.
The ECOWAS and the AU Missions, in a joint statement released on the night of June 22, 2023, urged for the preservation of the peace and stability in the country before, during and after the elections.
The ECOWAS and AU Missions, in their joint statement, recommended that in order for political parties, candidates and their supporters be guided by the spirit of consensus building based on the rule of law and adherence to the political parties’ code of conduct, security forces must remain apolitical and maintain professionalism in the discharge of their duties towards all citizens, cognizant of the rights of all under the constitution of Sierra Leone.
The joint statement also read: “The Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone must continue to remain impartial in the execution of its mandate, in the greater interest of all Sierra Leoneans; and citizens and civil society groups must continue the pursuit of initiatives aimed at promoting peaceful elections and national cohesion.”
The ECOWAS and AU EOMs assured of continued efforts to avail their offices and stations to all stakeholders in the elections in a bid to ensure that the polls are conducted in conformity with national, regional and international standards.