National Unity Agreement: ECOWAS, AU, UN conclude mission in Sierra Leone

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By Alhaji Haruna Sani

According to a joint statement they issued, the Joint Assessment Mission of the International Moral Guarantors of the Agreement for National Unity, comprising representatives from ECOWAS, the African Union (AU), and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), concluded its four-day mission in Sierra Leone on June 21, 2024.

Co-led by H.E. Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, former Vice President of The Gambia, and H.E. Leonardo Santos Simão, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of UNOWAS, the mission was facilitated by the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC).

The delegation included representatives from the African Union Commission and technical experts from the ECOWAS Commission and UNOWAS.

This mission follows the expected conclusion of the Tripartite Committee’s report, constituted by President Julius Maada Bio on December 19, 2023, as one of eight resolutions in the Agreement for National Unity (ANU) signed between the Government of Sierra Leone and the All Peoples Congress (APC) party on October 18, 2023.

During the mission, the delegation paid a courtesy visit to President Bio and engaged in consultations with APC leadership, senior government officials, other political parties, national security agency representatives, and the diplomatic community in Sierra Leone.

According to the presser, the discussions focused on implementing the ANU resolutions, addressing encountered challenges, and continuing political dialogue for peace, stability, and national cohesion.

The mission expressed concern over the spread of disinformation and misinformation on social media, which threatens collective efforts towards the ANU’s objectives.

The mission commended all stakeholders for their commitment to dialogue, as demonstrated by the Joint Statement issued on June 19, 2024, which reaffirmed dedication to implementing Resolution Three of the ANU and strengthening inclusive democracy. However, it emphasized the importance of fully implementing all ANU resolutions.

As International Moral Guarantors, the Joint Mission called on Sierra Leone’s development partners to increase their assistance to the government and people of Sierra Leone. It reiterated its commitment to support the ANU’s implementation for the country’s peace, stability, and national cohesion.

The Joint ECOWAS-AU-UNOWAS Assessment Mission also urged all political actors and citizens to prioritize peace, unity, and stability above partisan interests. It acknowledged the stakeholders’ call for more frequent visits by the International Moral Guarantors to ensure smooth ANU implementation.

The mission expressed deep appreciation to H.E. Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission, and H.E. Moussa Faki, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, for their support in undertaking this assignment.

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