Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 June 2023:
There are disturbing reports from Bo, Southern Sierra Leone – political heartland of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) where the Party office of the country’s main opposition APC was yesterday burnt to the ground.
This comes following a mediation and reconciliation meeting yesterday at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown between the APC and the Electoral Commission, brokered by the National Peace Commission and the Political Parties Registration Commission.
With just four days remaining before general and presidential elections are held on Saturday June 24, supporters of the ruling SLPP are being accused of setting the APC party office alight and destroying several vehicles.
Writing on his Twitter feed this morning, APC presidential candidate Dr Samura Kamara said: “It is with great concern that I condemn the burning of the APC party offices in Bo and the attack on my motorcade yesterday in Pujehun. These acts of violence are completely unacceptable and have no place in a democratic society.
“I strongly urge all political parties and their supporters to refrain from engaging in violence and instead focus on conducting peaceful and respectful campaigns. Political differences should be resolved through constructive dialogue and engagement rather than resorting to violence and intimidation.
“I am committed to promoting unity, peace, and stability in the country. I believe that a peaceful and respectful election process is critical for the development and progress of the country. I always condemn any form of violence and will continue to do so.
“I call on the relevant authorities to investigate these incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice. I also urge the authorities to take measures to ensure the safety and security of all political candidates and their supporters.
“I urge all Sierra Leoneans to work towards a peaceful and respectful election process. Let us focus on the issues that matter most to the people and engage in constructive dialogue to find solutions to the challenges facing our country. Together, we can build a brighter future for all Sierra Leoneans.”
Yesterday, Edris Elba, the acclaimed film actor who is also of Sierra Leonean heritage, called for peaceful elections in Sierra Leone in a video posted on social media. This is what he said: