The Secretary-General for the Commonwealth, Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland KC on Wednesday issued a statement concerning Sierra Leone encouraging political leaders to adhere to their commitment to peace and unity made in May. 

Her statement comes on the heels of the opposition’s All People’s Congress (APC) boycott of governance in Sierra Leone over a dispute on the 2023 presidential election results. Similarly, there have been reports of a failed coup in the country.

Reacting to the development, Scotland called on leaders of various political parties in Sierra Leone to maintain the peace which they all accepted, and honour the terms of the commitment they made on the 25th May. She maintained that the commitment to justice and the rule of law, and an active, collective choice to unite rather than to divide is part of the democratic process which requires calm and responsible leadership, and functioning institutions as required.

Her statement reads; “On 25 May, following months of peaceful and constructive dialogue, the leaders of all of Sierra Leone’s political parties accepted the invitation to stand before the nation and pledged themselves and their supporters to peace. Today, I call on all to honour the terms of that commitment.

“The democratic process requires calm and responsible leadership, functioning institutions, a commitment to justice and the rule of law, and an active, collective choice to unite rather than to divide.

“This is not always easy, but it is the essential foundation for peace and progress, and Sierra Leone’s own history underlines its importance.

“In challenging times, leadership matters. This is the moment for Sierra Leone’s leaders to engage in peaceful, constructive dialogue to honour the promises they made to the people when we stood together in Freetown, and to ensure a strong democratic inheritance for future generations.   

“I said then, and I say again now, that the Commonwealth is with you. I offer my full support and engagement in helping to facilitate that peaceful, constructive dialogue, and I share the hopes of millions across Sierra Leone, Africa and the world that the courage, integrity and love which make this nation so special will not fail.”