The African Union Commission (AUC) has announced the arrival of the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) to monitor the upcoming General Elections in the Republic of Sierra Leone, scheduled for June 24, 2023.

This mission aims to assess and report on the conduct of the election, following an invitation from the Government of Sierra Leone and the Electoral Commission.

Led by H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, former Prime Minister of the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the AUEOM comprises 50 Short Term Observers (STOs) from various African countries. The team consists of Ambassadors accredited to the African Union, officials from Election Management Bodies, members of African civil society organizations, election experts, human rights specialists, gender and media experts, and representatives of youth organizations.

Participating countries include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The mission will assess the electoral process in Sierra Leone based on the country’s legal framework for elections, the OAU/AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation (PEMMO), and the International Declaration of Principles (DoP) for International Election Observation. The evaluation will focus on factors such as regularity, transparency, equity, and fairness in the electoral process.

During their stay, the observers will engage with state authorities, the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone, political parties, media organizations, civil society groups, and representatives of the international community. They will also collaborate with other election observation missions present in Sierra Leone for the 2023 Elections.

To ensure comprehensive coverage, observers will be deployed to all six electoral regions, including Eastern, Northern, North-Western, Western rural, Western Urban, and Southern, with 13 of the 16 electoral districts being covered.

The AUEOM will provide a Preliminary Statement on June 26, 2023, during a press conference in Freetown, outlining their overall findings and assessment of the election’s conduct.

A final and comprehensive report will be released within two months after the announcement of the final election results and will be made available on the AU Commission website. The Mission’s Secretariat is located at Bintumani Hotel in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The deployment of the African Union Election Observation Mission underscores the commitment of the African Union to promote democratic governance and transparent electoral processes across the continent. By providing an impartial assessment, the AUEOM aims to contribute to the credibility and integrity of the General Elections in Sierra Leone.