A fourteen-point Communique on the role of the security sector, civil society, political parties and the general citizenry to de-escalate post-election tensions, promote peace and national cohesion was on Tuesday, 1st August 2023 signed at the Radisson Blue Hotel by the National Security Coordinator, Abdulai Caulker and representatives from Civil Society organizations accords the country.

According to the convener of the one-day dialogue session between the security sector and civil society, Fambul Tok International; “This dialogue is around the role the security
sector plays in protecting civil liberties and providing remedies when they have
been abused, especially in the post-election framework.”

The Communique also highlighted the need for government to promote genuine dialogue between political parties, citizens and Election Management Bodies (EMBs) as a sure way of building trust while actively condemning “threats against Election Management Bodies, including election observers.”

At the end of the deliberations, all parties adopted and signed on the following recommendations that highlights issues around CSO engagements with elections in Sierra Leone, including Elections Observation;

  1. CSOs to continue engagements across Sierra Leone in the National security architecture’s organs of the Chiefdom security committee (CHISEC),  District security committee (DISEC) and Provincial security committee ( PROSEC) and all their processes.

  2. Enhance CSO understanding of the National security architecture through a dedicated Platform facilitated by ONS

  3. Security Sector to be proactive and facilitate timely investigations of all reported cases of Threats of violence during political events including but not limited to subnational and national elections

4.Security Sector to facilitate public information and education during electoral cycles on the legal framework, Roles of Elections Observers in support of credible elections

5.Security Sector, CSOs and the Public to ensure continued active condemnation of threats of violence against election management personnel including election Observers

6.The Security Sector to roll out public awareness initiatives and remedies available to Citizens from the SLP and other Security sector entities to report cases of threats of violence especially during electoral cycles in Sierra Leone

7.Ensure full application of policies that prevent Security Sector Actors who openly participate in Politics especially during Electoral cycles

  1. The reactivation of the Constitutional Review Process with a view of addressing the lacuna in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone

9.Security Sector to consider the establishment of Pubic complaint Centres across the Country as well as ensure adequate mechanisms are in place for Witness protection

  1. Capacity building should be facilitated for CSOs on Cyber Legislation, Cyber Threats and handling misinformation

11.Political parties must be encouraged to work with and build Trust in Election Management Bodies

  1. The State must endeavour through the Security Sector to at all times ensure the Rule of Law is upheld

13.Political tolerance by State authorities to accept feedback and respect the views expressed by CSOs on Security and other National issues

  1. EMBs to facilitate timely and correct information sharing prior, during and after elections in Sierra Leone