February 1, 2018 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
The United States Embassy in Sierra Leone has expressed grave concern over the recent spate of political violence perpetrated by youth during the All Peoples Congress nomination parade.
The release, dated January 31 states: “The U.S. Embassy is concerned about recent reports of violence and loss of life. We extend deepest condolences to the victims and their families. We appeal to all Sierra Leoneans to remain peaceful and respect the democratic process.”
The release notes that authorities concern should bring to book those who would attempt to infringe on peaceful expression of political views of others at the risk of public safety.
According to the press statement, political activities and exchanges should be civil and take place in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect.
However, the Embassy applauded all political parties that have committed to peaceful campaigns and urged them to reiterate to their constituents a non-violent, law abiding and peaceful democratic process ahead of the March 7 polls.
It could be recalled that during the APC nomination rally last Friday, youth engaged in violent clashes along Campbell Street in Freetown, resulting to at least one fatality and several injuries.
Police have already arrested 56 persons suspected to have participated in what has been dubbed ‘bloody Friday.’
Political violence is not new in Sierra Leone; during the 2012 elections scores of political skirmishes threatened the peaceful conduct of the election.