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International Partners concern about reports of violence

-calls for calm ahead of run-off

March 19, 2018

International Partners in Sierra Leone have expressed concern about recent reports of violence, thus appealing to Sierra Leoneans to remain peaceful and respectful during the democratic process.

There were few incidents of violence, especially in Kono and some parts in the city, Freetown, in the run up to the March 7 multitier elections.

After the announcement of the presidential result, there were reports of clashes between supporters of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and All People’s Congress (APC) in Bo, southern Sierra Leone, which resulted to injuries and damage to a market/ Also, clashes were reported to have broken out between the two rival supporters in Goderich, in the west of Freetown.

A press release signed by the Irish, German, European Union and United States Ambassadors, as well as the British High Commissioner, noted that the right of all Sierra Leoneans to vote for whichever party they wish, regardless of where they live, must be upheld.

They encouraged the authorities to investigate and take appropriate steps to bring the perpetrators to justice and to prevent escalation, while entreating all political supporters to keep political activity and exchanges civil, maintain an atmosphere of tolerance and respect, and avoid the use of tribal rhetoric.

They also warned that anyone who would infringe on the peaceful expression of political views at the risk of public safety should be held to account.

“We request that all parties and candidates reiterate to their constituents their commitment to a non-violent, law abiding, and peaceful democratic process. We look forward to the peaceful conclusion of a credible electoral process that respects the will of the people and will provide the foundation for a strong and continuing partnership with Sierra Leone,” the release added.

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