2,000 Sierra Leoneans Turn Refugees
The political situation preceding the Sierra Leone March 31st Presidential runoff is becoming nerve-wracking by the day as post-election violence continues in an unprecedented modus. The Sierra Leone election, which saw the country’s main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) then beating the their incumbent counterpart, the then ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) Party in one of the most tightly-contested elections ever in the history of the West African Country a little over a week ago is experiencing the worst post-election violence ever in its political history. (Photo credit: Umaru Fofana)
The violence, which is mainly perpetrated by supporters of the now ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) mainly in the South and Eastern regions of the country where the party has the bulk of its supporters, has seen the destruction of many lives and properties and displacement of thousands.
In Bo, Moyamba, Kenema and most disturbingly Kono, several houses and properties belonging to opposition supporters are burnt down and destroyed while also physically attacking and victimizing peaceful individuals or groups that are believed to be supporters of the All Peoples Congress (APC) Party.
In Kenema for instance, SLPP supporters clashed with the Sierra Leone police that tried to stop them from causing havoc to peaceful citizens in the town and ended up disarming armed policemen, severely injuring seven and killing three others according the eastern region police boss, AIG Alfred Karrow Kamara, who was also targeted by the SLPP supporters. That ugly incident gave cause for the transfer of AIG Kamara from the eastern region to Western urban because the SLPP thugs had wanted him and some of his men dead at all cost.
In Bo and Moyamba, hundreds of citizens of northern heritage are been intimidated, victimized and brutalized every day because of their affiliation with the opposition APC party. Several houses, vehicles and properties of those victims are been burnt down and totally destroyed. A newly constructed APC office in Taiama, Moyamba district was also completely burnt down to ashes.
In Kono, citizens and residents of northern descent are been chased out of their homes and the district at large in their thousands which is by far the worst form of political violence and victimization ever in the history of this country. Hundreds and thousands of displaced Sierra Leoneans from Kono district and other parts of the South-East are fleeing every day from political violence in those areas and are now temporarily camped in Masingbi, a town in northern Sierra Leone. The Paramount Chief of the chiefdom, Bai Kurr Kanagbaro Sanka II, the host for these displaced Sierra Leoneans who are mostly women and children says, he is now hosting over two thousand (2,000) displaced Sierra Leoneans from the earlier mentioned districts. As the number keeps increasing every day, PC Bai Kurr further stated that no single official support has been sent by the Office of National Security who is in charge of emergencies.
What is also a bizarre to most concerned citizens is the fact that the new government has done or said little to put a stop to this political madness currently happening across the country. Many are now with the conviction that these acts of violence are politically motivated. We are therefore calling on the SLPP government led by the former Military man and all other authorities concerned to put an end to this menace which has the proclivity of plunging this beloved country into chaos.
By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara
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