For over two decades now, the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) has been supporting the conduct of multi-tier elections that has immensely contributed to the growth of the country’s democratic governance in Sierra Leone. The foundation for RSLAF support in the conduct of multi-tier elections in Sierra Leone was established by the late Ex-President Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabba who was overthrown by disgruntled junior non-commissioned officers.
Upon his reinstatement to governance, he established many democratic pillars that enhance peace, stability and the conduct of peaceful multi-tier elections in Sierra Leone. Among the many democratic pillars was the establishment of the Office of National Security (ONS).
As the ONS is the hub for coordinating security apparatuses in the country, the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) takes primacy for internal security. Therefore, RSLAF support in the conduct of elections comes through the evocation of Military Aid to Civil Power (MACP). MACP is the document that authorizes the RSLAF’s support to the SLP in all internal security matters as and when required by the civil authority due to the current security situation.
Supporting the conduct of multi-tier elections came to effect during the conduct of the 2002 multi-tier elections when the late Ex-President His Excellency Alhaji Dr Ahmed Tejan Kabba was re-elected as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and Commander-in-Chief of the RSLAF. The RSLAF supported the SLP to jointly provide security prior to elections, during and after the polls, security for election observers, the electoral management body, political parties and the voters throughout the elections all over the country. The elections then were conducted peacefully with high commendation for the RSLAF personnel and other security agencies.
The same support was given to the SLP for the conduct of the 2007 multi-tier elections in which Ex-President Dr Earnest Bai Koroma won the elections and a smooth transition was observed. In 2012 again the RSLAF supported the SLP for the conduct of peaceful elections which was achieved followed by the conduct of the 2018 multi-tier elections in which Brigadier General Retired Dr Julius Maada Bio won the election and a smooth transition was again observed.
Similarly in 2023, the general elections were conducted with the support of RSLAF to the SLP. During the conduct of the elections, RSLAF and SLP with other security agencies jointly policed electoral sensitive materials from one place to the other throughout the country, provide security for the electoral body, political parties, election observers, presidential candidates and voters. RSLAF involvement in the conduct of elections is to ensure the conduct of a peaceful election before, during and after the polls. Hence, RSLAF remains a Force that is law abiding, professional, loyal to the people and Government of Sierra Leone. The RSLAF will continue to uphold and maintain the democratic tenets and respect the will of the people.