US will take further action against President Bio and his officials for rigging elections – says US embassy spokeswoman

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 02 September 2023:

President Bio of Sierra Leone, his ruling SLPP party leadership, heads of security forces, and officials of the country’s electoral commission are under serious pressure, after the United States government two days ago announced that it is imposing a visa ban on all those responsible, including their family members, for manipulating the results of the June 2023 elections or engaging in intimidation and threats of violence against voters, elections observers and civil society activists.

The visa ban comes after a controversial presidential and general elections held over two months ago in Sierra Leone were declared by the United States and the international community as lacking transparency and credibility.

Social media is awash with evidence of serious violence and intimidation during the election process in Sierra Leone, including a video showing the wife of the President calling for the opposition APC not to be allowed to have their offices in ruling party towns and cities. Few days after that call, an APC party office was burned down.

Perhaps more serious of all was the shooting of live bullets into the APC party office in Freetown where an APC party official was shot dead by security forces, after attempts to assasinate the APC party leader at various roadblocks during his campaigning.

Supporters of the opposition say that the elections were rigged by the President, the electoral commission and officials of the ruling SLPP to keep President Bio in power.

Since the elections in June, a political crisis is now crippling the country’s governance structures, threatening to descend into serious violence and chaos, as the President and the electoral commission refuse to publish all polling station results as requested by the main opposition APC and critics of the government.

Yesterday, Sarah Van Horne – Head of Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Freetown, said that the US is considering taking further actions against those responsible for denying the democratic freedom and will of the people of Sierra Leone.

Speaking to the media, Sarah Van Horne said that the US government is “concerned about the election process and vote tabulation.”

According to independent election observers, no single party had won the elections which should have therefore resulted in a run-off between the main opposition APC and the ruling SLPP, but instead the head of the electoral commission – Mohamed Konneh who is believed to be a patron of the ruling SLPP, went on to declare President Bio the winner with 56.17 percent of the votes and Samura Kamara of the APC with 41.17 percent.

Since the imposition of visa ban by the US government on President Bio, government officials and their families two days ago, many in Sierra Leone say that they are beginning to renew their faith in the will and ability of the international community to hold those in power accountable for their human rights abuse and impunity, including the extra-judicial killing of hundreds of Sierra Leoneans in cold blood by the Bio-led government since coming to power in 2018.

This is what Sarah Van Horne – Head of Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Freetown said on radio yesterday:

Sarah Van Horne – Head of Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Freetown


There has been no reaction from President Bio or Mohamed Konneh – Chief Electoral Commissioner to the US visa sanctions. But  spokesman for  President Bio – Solomon Jamiru, spoke on Radio 98.1 yesterday, defending the Bio-led government. This is what he said:


  1. What are the comments or responses from ECOWAS and AU on this matter, are they waiting to see the matter out of control before they come in to provide or they should be in Problem-preventive mode?

  2. We as a nation are looking forward to see how this matter can be resolved at the best interest of the nation

  3. It’s amazing how crooked entities like PAOPA—a criminal entity that have snuffed off breathing oxygen in our country atmosphere, leaving every citizen virtually gasping for air ever since they showed up in our nation’s political arena 5 years ago, sometime convince themselves that everyone around them is as stupid and gullible like their delusional diehard blind followers.

    Just Listen to presidential spokesperson Solomon Jamiru deceiving himself that ‘we have highly credible and independent institutions’ capable of prevailing and standing up to Bio and his gangs. Really? Exactly what institutions is this guy talking about?

    Is he referring to the judiciary, army, police or any civil society organization leadership, that has been coerced and program during past 5 years to toe the line of the regime policies, or risk losing your livelihood and possible trumped up criminal charges? As a matter of fact, since when us as a nation ever have any credible institutions?

    I laugh off when these crooks and their delusional supporters keeps making the lame argument that, whosoever think the election was stolen, should go to court as dictated by the constitution. The same kangaroo court they were criticizing and complain about while in the opposition, with the current opposition having file multiple courts cases against the regime and none of them never even get acknowledged or allotted a hearing by the so called independent chief justice. Absurdity at the highest level!

  4. There’s a thin, fine line between stubbornness and stupidity; See – whenever there is overwhelming evidence that we are wrong, and we still continue to insist on staying on the wrong course, in pursuit of our shady, unseemly quest to prove that we are totally right, that, folks is considered outright, detestable stupidity, a deplorable attitude that is eventually bound to get anyone shackled by countless woes, daunting trials and obstacles;
    The greatest journey of success and failure begins with a little first step…its now crystal clear to us by the controversial events that are ensuing are as direct result of the poor, inept, planning, corrupt, ill-advised motives of this inadequate, SLPP Government; Show me a man’s closest friends and I will show you his enemies that he believes are going to bring him into ruin…show me a flippant, ignorant woman that he calls a loving, caring wife and I will help you to quickly discern that she is a absolute loose cannon…a accident, actually waiting to happen;
    There are doors that no one can open for you, and there are those that none can shut except your benefactors…and there are economic channels, avenues and pathways with special golden keys only in the hands of the USA and the EU; Maada Bio think wisely do not make any foolhardy attempt to strive, dispute and contend with them…You Will certainly Lose…and our poor, struggling folks will suffer needlessly because of your childish, unwarranted stubborn attitude.

  5. I personally believe that the outgoing Ambassador David Reiner overstepped his role based on the Vienna Convention . But the reality is, as the Krio proverb says: “If Ose nor sell u, treet nor go buy u”. I’m am still convinced that Marcella Samba who is the head of the National Election Watch(NEW) colluded with the American Carter Institute to discredit the final results. Despite the turmoil within the APC party since they lost the 2018 presidential election, they were still convinced that the international community will bring them “back to power in June 2023” which was their campaign slogan that they used to brainwash their members and sympathizers. But the reality is, then opposition SLPP presidential candidate Retired Brigadier Maada Bio defeated Samura Kamara twice, and according to NEW’s projections which samples came from 750 polling stations out of 11,000 ,President Bio still won the first round below the 55% threshold, why can’t they publish their data online?
    People can call me conspiracy theorists, but I still believe that the diplomatic drama from the outgoing ambassador is based on the link below:

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