ECOWAS-UNOWAS HIGH LEVEL DELEGATION CONCLUDES ITS VISIT TO FREETOWN (SIERRA LEONE)
A Joint High-Level Delegation, comprising the President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS), Mr. Jean Claude Kassi Brou, and the Special Representative of United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, today concluded a four-day visit to Freetown. The visit was aimed at helping the return of normalcy in the Parliament following the unfortunate incident of 25 April 2018.
During the visit, the Delegation held wide consultations with former President Ernest Bai Koroma, the Speaker, Clerk and leadership of Parliament from the ruling and opposition parties, the Chair of the Governance Transition Team, religious leaders, members of civil society organizations, members of the Diplomatic Corps, and the United Nations Country Team. The Delegation was also received in audience by His Excellency President Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio, who was briefed on the discussions held with national stakeholders. The Delegation expressed appreciation for his commitment to a peaceful transition and to pursue Sierra Leone’s goal of sustained socio-economic development.
With all interlocutors, the Delegation had fruitful consultations on current political developments and was pleased to note the commitment of all stakeholders towards peace, stability, and development. The Delegation strongly recommended the establishment of effective channels and mechanisms of dialogue to resolve political differences.
In view of the urgent need to address the socioeconomic challenges the country is currently experiencing, the Delegation strongly urged the political leadership to desist from any action that could undermine state institutions, democratic governance, social cohesion, national unity, peace and stability.
Similarly, the Delegation encourages the Judiciary to ensure prompt, fair, independent and timely adjudication of all grievances and pending petitions regarding the recently concluded electoral process.
The Delegation underlines the confidence of ECOWAS and the United Nations in Sierra Leone’s democratic system and its capacity to promote national cohesion through a sustained process of dialogue.
Freetown, 30 April 2018
Below is an extract from the ECOWAS Protocol on Good Governance and Democracy adopted by Member States in December 2001.
The following shall be declared as constitutional principles shared by all
a) – Separation of powers – the Executive, Legislative and
– Empowerment and strengthening of parliaments and guarantee of
– Independence of the Judiciary: Judges shall be independent in the
discharge of their duties.
– The freedom of the members of the Bar shall be guaranteed;
without prejudice to their penal or disciplinary responsibility in
the event of contempt of court or breaches of the common law.
b) Every accession to power must be made through free, fair and
c) Zero tolerance for power obtained or maintained by unconstitutional
d) Popular participation in decision-making, strict adherence to democratic
principles and decentralisation of power at all levels of governance.