Author: Abdul Fatoma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 April 2018:
The Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) expresses deep concern over the security situation in the country, following the presidential run off in March 31,2018.
The organization is concerned about the occurrences of the past three weeks which has witnessed a rise in the brazen disregard of the rule of law, barefaced threats and political intimidation.
This is compounded by breaches of the national constitution, other domestic and international law including the national democratic principles that are enshrined and protected in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.
CHRDI is therefore using this platform to remind the Government of Sierra Leone, all Political Parties, the PPRC, the Police Service, the Electorate, the International Community and other Stakeholders about Sierra Leone’s commitment to Peace and Tolerance as enshrined in varied 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 potential for economic growth. We also believe that the current political violence is needless.
As a group comprising largely young and still optimistic Sierra Leoneans, we are asking our leadership, APC, SLPP, NGC, C4C etcetera to lead our country with a greater sense of purpose. We are saddened by heightened tensions between the leading political parties and especially by what we witnessed during and after the March 2018 elections.
Here are a few questions to think over: Have we learnt any lessons from our recent history? Where are we headed?
We wish to warn the leadership and citizenry that, all conflict-predicting barometers in Sierra Leone are tending towards a probable and cataclysmic showdown.
We will not want another war, neither a repeat of RWANDA. We therefore wish to respectfully ask our politicians to be mindful of their utterances and activities in public. We also wish to state that we are closely watching your actions.
Politicians should be mindful of the fact that it is not in the interest of any group, to see our fledgling democracy and fragile peace shattered.
We strongly believe Sierra Leone deserves comparable respect from the global community. We wouldn’t want to lose our enviable democratic stature in Africa.
Political stability and socio-economic development is what the people of Sierra Leone want at this time not war.
CHRDI believes that peaceful reconciliation will be best served if all those involved respect the rule of law and comply with international standards, especially those relating to the use of force; full and transparent investigations into alleged human rights violations; and protection of fundamental rights, including freedom of expression.
One of the most important obligations of any government is to protect the human rights of the people under its Jurisdiction, including their right to security.
We are hereby calling on the Sierra Leone Government to initiate an impartial, prompt, public, and independent investigation into all political and election related violence upheaval. Our political parties must therefore be committed to the democratic process.
Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI ) is a Rights based Public social-policy advocacy Organisation. We Draw attention to the responsibility of duty-bearers to uphold human rights, and seek to support rights-holders to claim their rights. CHRDI is in Special Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and accredited to many UN Agencies.