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CHARDSL warns: ‘Escalation in violence reinforces fear in Sierra Leone’s political future’

June 1, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

Campaign for Human Rights and Development Sierra Leone (CHRDSL) has expressed grave concern over the recent spate of political violence in the country, citing the incident in Kenema over the weekend where a supporter of the Sierra Leone People’s Party, Daddy George, was stabbed to death.

Chief Executive Abdul M. Fatoma stated that the alarming escalation in political violence reinforces fear in the country’s political future.

He said inter and intra-political party violence in Sierra Leone was a cause for serious concern, adding that the government, all political parties, Police, electorate, international community and other stakeholders should not be oblivious to the country’s commitment to peace and tolerance as enshrined in various 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 a potential debilitating factor for our economic growth. We also believe that the current political violence is needless and suggestive of an ominous handwriting on the wall in the light of forthcoming elections in 2018,” he said.

Mr. Fatoma urged the leadership of the ruling All People Congress (APC), Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) and the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP) to lead the people with a greater sense of purpose because according to him, weak political leadership in political parties has also contributed to the escalation of political intolerance in the country.

He strongly condemned violence that was unleashed in Kono, Freetown and Kenema by political actors and their agents and called for the arrest and prosecution of any individual found to have remotely or actively aided and abetted the disturbances.

“We also call on the government and the law enforcement agencies to ensure effective investigation of the violence in Kenema with a view of identifying the perpetrator(s) and bring them to book. Political stability and socio-economic development is what the people of Sierra Leone want at this time not war,” Mr. Fatoma maintained.

He recommended that all political activities be held at a specified location or venue so that the police and other security agencies could provide adequate security before and after such gatherings and that party supporters should eschew clashes in the streets that could trigger violence.

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