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CHRDSL expresses concern over security in Sierra Leone

CHRDSL expresses concern over security in Sierra Leone

PRESS RELEASE – The Campaign for Human Rights and Development Sierra Leone (CHRDSL) expresses deep concern over the security situation in the country following the bye-elections in Constituency 104 on Saturday January 14th 2012.

CHRDSL is therefore using this platform to remind the Government of Sierra Leone, all Political Parties, the PPRC, the Police Service, the Electorate, the International Community and other Stakeholders about Sierra Leone’s commitment to Peace and Tolerance as enshrined in varied articles and memoranda during and, after the war. We believe that the current state of affairs in the country is gravely inimical to our International Image and potential for economic growth. We also believe that current political violence is needless; and suggestive of an ominous handwriting on the wall in the light of forthcoming Elections in November 2012. As a group comprising largely young and still optimistic Sierra Leoneans, we are asking our leadership, APC, SLPP, PMDC, etcetera to lead our country with a greater sense of purpose. We are saddened by heightened tensions between the leading political parties and especially by what we witnessed on January 14th 2012. Have we learned any lessons from our recent history? Where are we headed?

We wish to warn the leadership and citizenry that, all conflict-predicting barometers in Sierra Leone are tending towards a probable and cataclysmic showdown come the 2012 General and Presidential Elections! We think that such predictions require no rocket science!! We will not want another war neither a repeat of RWANDA!!! We wish to respectfully ask our politicians to be mindful of their utterances and activities in public! We also wish to state that we are closely watching your actions!

Politicians should be mindful of the fact that it is not in the interest of any group, to see our fledgling democracy and fragile peace shattered! We strongly believe Sierra Leone deserves comparable respect from the global community! We wouldn’t want to lose our enviable democratic stature in Africa.

Political stability and socio-economic development is what the people of Sierra Leone want at this time not war! CHDRSL believes that peaceful reconciliation will be best served if all those involved respect the rule of law and comply with international standards, especially those relating to the use of force; full and transparent investigations into alleged human rights violations; and, protection of fundamental rights including freedom of expression.

One of the most important obligations of any government is to protect the human rights of the people under its Jurisdiction, including their right to security. We are hereby calling on the Sierra Leone Government to initiate an impartial, prompt, public, and independent investigation into the January 14th upheaval. We believe Presidential Elections 2012 will be won by only one candidate. Our political parties must therefore be committed to the democratic process. The Electoral Commission is expected to be impartial and credible!

Finally, since the media has a very delicate role to play in all of this, we expect the media to be professional, impartial and truthful. The media should not allow our political leaders or political groupings to use them to incite violence in the country. Some media houses are inclined towards political parties, we believe this is not strange in democracy however, we expect them to act responsibly in projecting their political agenda. Journalists in the country must be bold. They should refrain from granting interviews that incite violence. We do not wish to see our country go down the path of another war!!

Abdul M Fatoma
P.M.BOX 640 , 40 Africanus Road, Freetown Sierra Leone, West   Africa,
Tele+232-22-226-941,   Fax+232-22-227-267
E-mail chrdsl@chrdsl.org, WWW.chrdsl.org

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