March 31, 2015 By Regina Pratt
The West Africa Peacebuilding Network (WANEP) has called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to mediate in the brewing political situation in Sierra Leone, without prejudicing ongoing judicial option that has already been sought by parties to the impasse.
A release from WANEP states that the peacebuilding organization and their partners believe that dialogue and diplomacy aimed at peaceful transformation of the dispute is a possible outcome that should be employed immediately to arrest the situation and prevent the country from sliding back into chaos, adding that WANEP proposes that the sub-regional group should intervene immediately and ensure that the rule of law and constitutionalism are respected.
The release also states that the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to West Africa and the President of the ECOWAS Commission should engage in “shuttle mediation” and prevail on all parties to allow the judiciary to interpret the various provisions of the constitution and make commitment to accept the outcome.
“Political parties should refrain from any acts capable of destabilizing the country but should rather endear and embrace peaceful means of addressing the underlying issues responsible for the stalemate,” it urges.
The civil society organisation specifically called for peace and all initiatives geared towards achieving democratic stability and upholding of the constitution of Sierra Leone, while urging citizens to remain calm and refrain from any acts of violence in view of its implications on the peace and stability of the country.
National coordinator of WANEP, Edward Jombla, confirmed the peacebuilding group and its partners had sent a copy of the press release to the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, as they were worried about some of the utterances from factions in the constitutional divide, as they could be instigating and insightful.