By Amin Kef (Ranger)
In a statement on the events of the past few days, the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone (CCSL) stated that it is alarmed and dismayed over the unwarranted violence that erupted in the country especially on Wednesday 10th August 2022, during which citizens and security forces were exposed to unwarranted death.
CCSL says it wants to take the opportunity to record their deepest condolences to the bereaved families and relations and the country at large as it accordingly calls for sanity to prevail and peace restored immediately.
The officers and members of Council appealed to each and every Sierra Leonean to demonstrate a high sense of patriotism and love for the Country adding that we have no other country to call our own.
CCSL pointed out that it holds that as Sierra Leoneans we ought to have learnt the bitter lessons of violence from the 11-year senseless war that brought wanton destruction on the country highlighting how the scars of that war are visible all over.
According to the CCSL, it is saddened that the violence experienced resulting in the loss of the precious lives and property of compatriots has the tendency to derail the country’s fragile democracy which we have been nurturing these past 20 years and has caused us further economic deterioration and depression.
Council stated that it is also worried over the spread of hate speeches and the misuse of the social media maintaining that such activities only help to add fuel to the situation which can best be described as “the social milieu sitting on a time bomb”.
The Council insists that “force countering force, iron for iron” does not yield positive results and therefore called for citizens’ dialogue with their Government to be intensified.
It stated that as moral guarantors of peace in the country they avail ourselves and offer their good offices as we have always done to facilitate such dialogues.
The CCSL maintained that it is not the time to insist on the “rightness” of motives/ intentions but rather the words of prophet Micah resound loud and clear: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8 (KJV)
The Council of Churches in Sierra Leone pointed out that it is apprehensive over the time frame for the eruption of such violence stating how it is rather too close to the declared date for the 2023 elections and the possibility of it having a long-term negative effect on the whole process!
It asked the question: “What guarantee do peace loving Sierra Leoneans have that the election process will be non-violent and free from fear?”
The CCSL concluded by appealing for the use of dialogue and the ballot box as citizens to declare our stance stating how they will continue to pray for sustainable peace the country