Francis Langumba Keili, the Chief of Staff of the Office of National Security (ONS), states that three reports received from the national security center indicate rising tensions in the communities.

The ONS boss made this statement during a post-election peace and social cohesion dialogue with political parties, the security sector, and other election management bodies at Kenema City Hall on July 26, 2023.

Kelli said the district multi-stakeholders engagement was geared towards talking to aggrieved people to make sure that the winners of elections embrace the losers in the spirit of peace and democracy instead of allowing tensions to grow.

According to him, elections have been conducted, and those who were fortunate have won, and the losers need to concede the outcome and maintain peace. He noted that the Kenema engagement was Successful because both the main political parties tendered a lot of complaints accusing each other but that they were able to manage the issues using alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

The ONS Chief of staff noted that due to the integrated security planning committee training that was given to security personnel, most cases have not been charged to court, and have instead peacefully resolved them in the spirit of national peace.

Keili, thus praised the security sector and other election management bodies that include Political Parties Regulations Commission (PPRC) for the level of professionalism during the elections, which he said made Kenema to remain peaceful. He called on the governing

Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) as winner of the elections to be the pillar in maintaining peace in the country.

“We want to see there is national peace and social cohesion in the country among political parties” he said. Keili condemned the proliferation of hate speeches by some political leadership, which he referred to as one of the critical threats to national security that has the tendency to stoke tribalism, regionalism and physical insecurity in the country.

He said using social media responsibly is a fast means of communication, but that some people misuse the platform in “reckless ways” though the cyber security is there to track people who fall short of the law. After calling for responsible use of social media, Keili pointed out that without peace there would be no development or foreign investment. Thus, he called on the politicians to focus on national development. A representative from Inter-Religious Council, Alhaji Sheku told the gathering that as moral guarantors for peace in the country they’re pleading with political parties to maintain peace, noting that nobody can buy peace.bHe assured that they will continue to preach peace while pointing out that they have been able to address some issues through other methods. Political parties, civil society and other stakeholders made contributions and recommendations during the engagement.