In anticipation of the upcoming multi-tier elections scheduled for June 24, 2023, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), William Fayia Sellu, continues to engage with national and international organizations to ensure that the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) is fully prepared to provide security during the electoral process.

On Monday, May 22, 2023, the IGP welcomed a delegation from the European Parliament, led by EU Ambassador Manuel Muller and EU Chief Observer Evin Incir, for a productive meeting. The visit aimed to assess the SLP’s readiness to create a safe and secure environment for the upcoming elections.

During the meeting, Chief Observer Evin Incir reiterated the European Union’s commitment to observing the electoral process and expressed the delegation’s interest in understanding the SLP’s role and responsibilities throughout the election period.

In response, IGP Sellu reaffirmed the SLP’s mandate, emphasizing their commitment to ensuring the safety and security of the entire electoral process.

He highlighted the SLP’s involvement in various election-related activities, including the mid-term census, voter registration, intra-party primaries, and distribution of voter identification cards.

The IGP also underscored the SLP’s determination to police the campaign period, which commenced on May 23.

IGP Sellu further emphasized that the SLP has been working closely with the Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) to effectively enforce their decisions and resolutions. He called on political parties to conduct their activities in accordance with the country’s laws.

To enhance their preparedness, the IGP mentioned that the SLP has conducted extensive training programs for personnel, focusing on electoral security and management, public order management, command and control, and other relevant areas.

Regarding polling station security on election day, the IGP revealed plans to collaborate with other security agencies. The SLP will seek assistance from the Correctional Service, National Fire Force, Council Police, and Chiefdom Police to ensure the security of the over 1,100 polling stations across the nation.

Additionally, nationwide non-violence community and stakeholder engagements have been organized as part of the SLP’s comprehensive preparations.

We are about to conduct our fifth election, and our core function is to provide security for all actors,” stated IGP Sellu. “The Police will ensure equal provision of security, in line with the necessary requirements, for all and sundry.”

The IGP also addressed concerns about hate speech, misinformation, and disinformation, stating that the SLP’s Cyber Unit is actively working to address these issues and bring perpetrators to justice.

The visiting EU delegation expressed gratitude to IGP Sellu for the comprehensive briefing and pledged to maintain regular contact with his office as the election date approaches.

The Sierra Leone Police Media Team reiterated the SLP’s commitment to ensuring a peaceful and secure electoral process, demonstrating their dedication to upholding law and order during this crucial period in the country’s democratic journey.