The U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone has commended the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the All Peoples Congress (APC) for their strong and unequivocal joint statement condemning hate speech and advocating for constructive political dialogue.

This declaration comes ahead of the final report from the Election Review Committee, set to be released on June 19. The Embassy supports these efforts, which align with the Agreement for National Unity to promote peace, social cohesion, and democracy in Sierra Leone.

On Monday, Sierra Leone’s two major political parties, the SLPP and APC, have voiced their deep concern over the increasing tensions in political discourse both domestically and among the diaspora.

The two major political parties have jointly committed to the Agreement for National Unity, a landmark accord aimed at addressing these challenges.

Agreement for National Unity

The Agreement for National Unity seeks to:

Peacefully and respectfully resolve political differences.
Strengthen democratic institutions.
Resume regular cross-party dialogue.
Unite Sierra Leoneans across all divides.
This pledge reflects the SLPP and APCโ€™s shared dedication to advancing Sierra Leone’s broader national interest.

The SLPP and APC firmly support free speech and freedom of the press as fundamental rights that uphold democracy. However, they emphasize that these rights come with responsibilities. The parties believe that:

Free speech should not be used to incite violence.

Individuals should not be disparaged based on ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, or political affiliation.
Hatred against any ethnic or religious group must not be spread.

Both parties are gravely concerned about recent instances of hate speech by political commentators in Sierra Leone and abroad. Such behavior is unacceptable and contrary to the values of both the SLPP and APC. They call on all Sierra Leoneans to reject hate speech, which has no place in political discourse.

The SLPP and APC support the investigation and prosecution of individuals who incite violence, as this is a crime under Sierra Leonean law. These actions must adhere strictly to legal and human rights standards. Protecting the rights of all SLPP and APC members and supporters is crucial in the current political climate.

The parties urge international partners to support their efforts to ensure justice is served fairly and thoroughly. Such assistance is vital in maintaining a just and peaceful society.

As the deadline for the final report of the Electoral Review Committee approaches, the SLPP and APC anticipate an intensification of political discourse. They call on all Sierra Leoneans to engage in respectful and dignified dialogue, avoiding personal attacks and threats of violence. Hate speech has no place in Sierra Leone, and those who spread it have no place in the political parties.

The SLPP and APC are dedicated to continuously monitoring and addressing hate speech and violence. They will collaborate with civil society organizations and international partners to ensure a safe and respectful political environment.

Together, the SLPP and APC are committed to building a peaceful and respectful Sierra Leone for all its citizens. They call on all Sierra Leoneans to unite and create a future where political discourse is conducted with respect and democratic values are upheld.