CARL Issues Position Paper on Recent Spate of Violence

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Ibrahim Tommy Esq – Executive Director, CARL

By Foday Moriba Conteh

The Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL) with Ibrahim Tommy as Executive Director has issued a position paper on the recent spate of violence countrywide.

The organization stated that the Sierra Leone Government is currently confronted with the twin challenge of ending Covid-19 transmission and ensuring peace and order saying both seem to be arduous tasks, especially given the recent spate of violence in the country.

It continued that as of 13th May, 2020, the country has recorded 387 confirmed Corona virus cases, 21 deaths, and nearly 1700 persons held in quarantine centres.

“Amidst efforts to slow down the spread of the violence, we have witnessed a spate of violence in the last couple of weeks. In this position paper, the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law condemns violence as a criminal and unacceptable conduct, stating that it must be punished by all means,” CARL maintained, adding that the President recently addressed the nation; arrests have been made in respect of the recent acts of violence, and some changes in the security sector are underway.

“We note that these steps may be helpful, but they will not, without more, address the key governance and rule of law challenges confronting the country,” the organization asserted.

It said the Government cannot use a single-dimensional approach to addressing the problem of violence in the country underscoring how it has to lead in an inclusive and people-centred fashion, and broaden the space for dialogue with the opposition.

The organization furthered that there is need for good leadership across the board, including at the level of the justice sector and political parties. “Our challenges cannot be wished away or ignored; otherwise, efforts at reconciliation may be undermined and potentially make the 2023 elections more violent,” CARL pointed out revealing how they have made a number of recommendations, including, the need for His Excellency to expand – rather than constrict – the space for dialogue with the main opposition.

“Do not shut the door on dialogue,” the organization appealed adding that the spirit and objectives of Bintumani 3 must be kept alive.

“We note that whilst the President’s speech on 9th May was partly meant to send a strong message to those who participate in or sponsor violence, its accusatory tone may have further deepened the suspicion between the Government and the main opposition APC,” CARL concluded.

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