By Amin Kef (Ranger)
The Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC) has issued a strong condemnation of the attempted coup that took place in Sierra Leone on Sunday, November 26, 2023, describing it as a significant threat to the nation’s hard-fought peace and unity.
In a statement, the ICPNC criticized the violent act for undermining the recent constructive series of stakeholder discussions and the mediated dialogue held on September 18th, 2023. The Commission emphasized that such violent incidents are a severe deviation from the principles of democratic governance and a tragic cause for the loss of lives and property.
According to the Commission, the attempted coup on November 26th has incited widespread unrest and fear, disrupting the peace that has been earnestly established through the joint efforts of citizens, political parties, religious and traditional leaders, the Government and development partners stressing the importance of maintaining this invaluable peace and urging citizens to protect as well as preserve it at all costs.
It also advised citizens to collaborate with the authorities, particularly the security sectors in order to maintain the regained peace also commending the swift response from State security forces to the attempted breach and called for continued cooperation to ensure the nation’s safety and well-being.
In a call to encourage responsible information sharing, the ICPNC appealed to citizens to refrain from disseminating unverified news, especially via social media, warning that such actions could breed unnecessary tension and panic and potentially trigger chaos and social disorder.
The ICPNC reiterated its commitment to fostering peace and national unity and called for a comprehensive and unbiased investigation into the attempted coup. The Commission urged the need for accountability, justice and the rule of law as well as an open and inclusive dialogue to address the country’s political and economic challenges.
According to the Commission, these steps are vital to preventing further instability and fostering sustainable peace in Sierra Leone calling on all parties to work together to address the root causes of the unrest and to work towards building a more equitable society for all Sierra Leoneans.
The ICPNC reaffirmed its belief in Sierra Leone’s potential to be a beacon of peace and democracy in West Africa and committed to working towards this vision.
The Commission concluded its statement with a call for unity and a shared responsibility to maintain peace in the country, with the phrase, “Leh we all join han for maintain pis na Salone.”