A delegation that comprises the Commonwealth, the African Union (AU), and the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), have arrived in Sierra Leone to facilitate a dialogue between the ruling SLPP and the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC), amid elections controversies.
According to the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC), the much-anticipated dialogue is set to commence from October 16 to 18, 2023.
The Mediation Team, which entails international representatives from ECOWAS, AU, and the Commonwealth will engage in separate consultations with both the ruling party and the APC party from October 13 to 14, laying the foundation for the primary dialogue scheduled for October 16.
In a letter addressed to the Chairman of the All People’s Congress , the ICPNC said; “Each day, starting from October 16 to October 18, 2023, dialogue sessions will commence at 9:00 am, with the venue being the Ballroom of the Bintumani Hotel in Aberdeen, Freetown. To ensure effective time management, participants are strongly encouraged to be seated by 8:45 am each day.
“The official commencement of the dialogue is marked by a significant Opening Ceremony on Monday, October 16, 2023, at 9:00 am. It’s important to emphasize that only individuals with official invitations will be granted access to the dialogue venue. All concerned parties are kindly requested to promptly confirm their availability and submit the names of their negotiation team members.”, an excerpt from the letter
Recall that the APC party’s Presidential candidate, Dr Samura Kamara rejected the presidential results announced by Mr. Konneh, the Chairperson and National Returning Officer of the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone. Dr Samura Kamara and the APC cited ”rigging”.
Dr. Samura Kamara also stated that “These results are NOT credible and I categorically reject the outcome so announced by the electoral commission.” The APC also called for a parliamentary boycott and non-participation of all its members who won a seat in Parliament.
In light of this, there have been calls from local and international partners for Dr. Samura Kamara and the APC to accept the results and work with the ruling party, SLPP’s Government. Although these calls have been ringing, the APC and Dr. Samura Kamara are yet to accept defeat.
This mediation dialogue bears significant importance in the ongoing political chaos in Sierra Leone, thus it outcomes, be it positive, would be a huge boost for the Government of Sierra Leone.