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Statement from D-UNIFIER Campaign Team on Recent Developments in Sierra Leone

Fellow Sierra Leoneans,

As D-UNIFIER Campaign Team continues to mourn the loss of our dear son, we are appalled by the heightened state of unrest and chaos we have witnessed over the past week. We convey our sincere condolences to all bereaved families and pray that the souls of all those brutally murdered in the conflict will Rest In Peace.

We call on Government and our revered International Partners to thoroughly investigate these deaths and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested from their homes and detained in undisclosed locations all over the country that have not been directly linked to the unrest. We also call for the immediate release of Med Kay, who was arrested two days before the strike action and is now detained without access to proper medical attention and legal representation.

We especially condemn the brutal way Mr. Hassan S. Dumbuya (aka Evangelist Samson) and others unnamed were murdered in cold blood in Makeni and other parts of the country.

The extra-judicial killings, indiscriminate arrests, threats, and counter threats on social media continue to be a cause for concern. We further note with deep concern reports from Bo, Pujehun and other places about threats to attack minority ethnic groups.

We have also closely followed President Bio's address to the nation and pronouncements from Ministers and other senior surrogates of the Government, trading accusations against the opposition APC Party and issuing threats that further deepen the political and ethnic divide in the country.

We note that the APC Party has officially dissociated itself from the conflict and condemned all forms of violence.

We, therefore, call on all Sierra Leoneans and political operatives to exercise the highest degree of restraint and to refrain from all forms of violence and social unrest.

We take due note of the fact that the continuation of this crisis, including the threats of arrest, will adversely affect the pending Voter Registration exercise, thus undermining the democratic process and chances for free, fair and credible elections in 2023.

We also note the indiscriminate use of force by the security forces that led to the escalation of the crisis and ultimately to the loss of lives. Of concern is the fact that similar protests in the southeastern part of the country were never met with such excessive force.

While we condemn all forms of violence, we believe that the security forces did not handle this issue professionally. The excessive use of force, including high-calibre weapons and live ammunition against civilians as the first line of defence, was unfortunate.

While condemning these excesses, The UNIFIER Campaign Team calls for calm, dialogue and constructive engagement to address the root causes of this crisis and establish a framework for mutual engagement to seek an amicable solution.

We appeal to Government, its functionaries and other political and social media operatives to tone down the rhetorics. We call on Government to disband the armed gangs parading the streets even at night and terrorizing peaceful civilians.

D-UNIFIER Campaign Team calls on the International Community, the Inter-Religious Council, and the Peace and Social Cohesion Commission, among others, to intervene and take concrete steps to seek an amicable settlement of the crisis.

While D-UNIFIER Campaign Team condemns violence in all its forms, we equally hope that the root causes of this conflict will be addressed. The socio-economic hardship, the hate speech from people in high places and the polarization of the political fabric of our beloved country need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Long live the Republic of Sierra Leone.

D-UNIFIER Media Team.


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