Sierra Leone’s President, Dr Julius Maada Bio has questioned the United States decision to impose visa restrictions on Sierra Leoneans following the country’s recent multi-tier elections.

The President in his statement during the General Debate Of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Week on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, told colleague membesr of States that such decision is a unilateral coercive measure that contravenes the international law.

Bio said though such measures have sometimes been the response to electoral outcomes in other African nations to exert political pressure, that should not be the case, stating that as members of the international rules-based community, African States strive for sovereignty and meaningful cooperation based on mutual respect and understanding.

He said in democratic processes, every democracy faces unique challenges and that the essence of sovereignty, as contained in the UN Charter, is the ability of Member States to address and resolve internal matters independently and without external pressure.

“In our engagements on the international stage, we hope for understanding and mutual respect, especially on important issues like national elections. Constructive dialogue and open channels of communication should be the pillars of our global interactions and not punitive unilateral coercive measures that do not further the entrenchment of democracy but instead strain relations between nations.” Bio added.

Sierra Leone remains steadfast in its commitment to free, fair, and credible elections, alongside our dedication to the rule of law. We believe that democratic progress in journey, and its pace varies from one nation to another respect the individual paths countries take in their que democracy and anticipate the same level of respect for ours.

“We aspire to nurture relationships rooted in solidarity, cooperation, and mutual respect, all directed towards a shared global future.” He concluded.