A delegation of Concerned Sierra Leoneans Worldwide traveled to New York to present a petition and complaint to the United Nations Secretary-General at the UN Headquarters.

They aimed to draw attention to alleged human rights abuses, extrajudicial actions, and politically motivated crimes committed against the people of Sierra Leone under the leadership of President Maada Bio since his assumption of power in 2018.

Led by Human Rights Lawyer Dr. Alfred Vinod Fullah, who had previously presented a similar complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, the delegation initiated engagements with the UN and the U.S. State Department. Ambassador Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu, former Minister Plenipotentiary to the UN, played a vital role in facilitating these events. The delegation also included advocates such as Imran Turay, journalist Abu Shaw, activist Ishmael Hedd, and others.

During the closed-door session at the UN, the delegation presented a 16-page petition outlining their concerns. They highlighted alleged violations of democratic principles, national unity, and disproportionate use of force during peaceful demonstrations in Sierra Leone. They called on the UN Secretary General to address these issues, which they believe could constitute crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute.

Imran Turay emotionally shared his concerns, revealing that he was prevented from visiting his homeland and seeing his ailing mother due to the current situation. Journalist Abu Shaw urged the UN to take action against President Bio, who has been accused of misleading citizens by suggesting that Sierra Leone’s election to a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for 2024-26 implies UN support for his government.

Former Minister Plenipotentiary Kabs Kanu warned that the early warning signs in Sierra Leone indicated the potential for a return to conflict, and he urged swift action to prevent this. The delegation consisted of individuals based in both the United Kingdom and the United States and included members of the People’s Power in Politics (PPP) group.

The UN Secretary General and his team have committed to examining the concerns presented by the Concerned Sierra Leoneans delegation, indicating a strong interest in the situation in Sierra Leone. The outcome of this petition will be closely monitored as international pressure continues to mount on President Maada Bio’s government.