The United States Embassy in Freetown has cautioned American citizens as Sierra Leone edge towards its general elections.
In a post on its official website, the embassy urged citizens to exercise caution as the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone declared the start of campaigns.
“Large crowds may occasionally be violent, requiring police intervention,” the embassy said.
The US embassy said that although the timings and locations of campaigns are now public, US citizens should be cautious there are occasions when such notices are not available.
“As always, large gatherings present a change to the environment, and you should consider their impact to your safety and security when making decisions,” it said.
The embassy also recommended that US citizens avoid large crowds and demonstrations and keep a low profile; always be aware of their surroundings.
The embassy affirmed that efforts have already been made by the Sierra Leone Police and Military to maintain order and security during the election period. They noted that the number of security checkpoints has risen.
“When approaching a checkpoint, please slow down and pay attention to the instructions given by the security officials. At some checkpoints, vehicles and passengers are stopped and searched,”
The embassy also asks its citizens to expect traffic changes that may occur as a result of the election.
Although the atmosphere has been relatively calm since the start of the campaign, there have been reports of violence in some parts of the country.
Recently, the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) campaign chairman southern region, Elogima Momodu was attacked in Rutile Town, Bonthe District by alleged thugs of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).
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