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CSOs frown at spate of violence

February 11, 2020

By Ibrahim K.Turay

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Citizen’s Advocacy Network (CAN) in collaboration with Legal Link has in a press conference told pressmen that they do not in any form tolerate the spate of violence in the country.

Speaking at the headquarters of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) head office, Executive Directors for both CAN and Legal Link said they were deeply concerned about the spate of violence and lawlessness in the country since the beginning of 2020.

Rashid Dumbuya from  Legal Link  said  while they remain  grateful to the government over its robust fight against corruption and gains garnered as evident in international reports and rankings, they were however disappointed with the response of the government in tackling violence, lawlessness and indiscipline in the country.

“As matter of fact, the rate of violence, lawlessness and indiscipline seem to be increasing at a geometric progression. We have had political violence clash between SLPP and APC supporters twice just within this year, after school sports violence at the national stadium, violent gang rape of a 55 year old woman at Mattru Jong, security personnel attached to Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs unprofessionalism, violent clashes during football matches, violent demonstrations in universities and colleges to name but few,” he said.

Rashid Dumbuya recommended that perpetuators of violence and lawlessness be dealt with accordingly, adding that political parties should take bold steps to do away with their different thug groups.

He said the president should do more in a bid to ensure cohesive and peaceful state, clear and achievable programs be crafted by government to constructively engage the minds of the youth in productive ventures.

On his part, Executive Director of CAN, Thomas Moore-Conteh, said on the day of the incident at the Deputy Minister’s residence, he called on him to ascertain as to what the matter was, but that he maintained that it was for self-defense.

 He said the ‘unprofessionalism’ displayed by the guards attached to the deputy minister was not only harmful, but a threat to peaceful state.

“I spoke with the father Ibrahim Foster, whose son Alie Foster was shot in the left leg by guards attached to the Deputy Minister’s residence. The father said some other family members were also arrested and detained at the nearest police station for attempting to render help to the wounded man. The father also said that the wounded man and his eldest son are the sources of their survival,” he lamented.

Thomas Moore-Conteh added that his organization is more concerned about the incident because people were arrested and detained, despite the fact that they had no business with what transpired at the scene, and vowed that he will ensure justice is prevailed in the matter.

He said the security guards or the deputy minister have to prove whether Alie Foster was armed and had went there with the purpose of harming the minister or any of his family members.