August 30, 2007
Democracy under Threat in Sierra Leone Again
We regretfully bring you this press release of hostilities over the runoff
presidential election campaign from Sierra Leone. As you all know, the
world is yet to end its laudations for what has been named one of the
most peaceful and transparent democratic presidential and
parliamentary elections in Africa.
Now, news has reached us from the APC/PMDC coalition for 2007
presidential runoff election frontline that supporters loyal to the SLPP
have ambushed their convoy in Sebgwema, not far from Kenema,
preventing them from reaching Kailahun, their intended destination.
“We have been forced to return to Kenema, where, about 300 SLPP
youths have surrounded the APC/PMDC headquarters,” Idrissa Kamara
who is with the convoy told us.
Dr. Obaleh, the APC representative at the National Election Commission
(NEC), disturbed, confirmed that the convoy has also called him with
news of hostility against them in Segbwema. “How could we talk of
democracy when people are not free to campaign wherever they want
to campaign?” he concluded.
We called I.B. Kargbo, president of Sierra Leone Association of
Journalists, about the ensuing hostilities in Kenema, Segbwema and
Kailuhun. He also stated that he has talked to the Inspector General of
Police (I.G.) about the unrest in the eastern region and he [I.G.] has
promised to ensure their safe return to Freetown. “We have been told
that the unrest is being caused by SLPP supporters. We also heard that
a Canadian journalist has disappeared and his whereabouts is still
unknown,” he stated.
Ensuring the safe return of the convoy to Freetown is not enough. We
demand that the I.G. act now to ensure safe campaigning by all
political parties everywhere in Sierra Leone.
You may be wondering why news of unrest from Sierra Leone, deep in
the interior, is reaching you from the USA. Well, the answer, in fact, is
in the reason why the people must be given the free hand to choose
their leader: It takes, at least, two days for such ugly development to
reach the rest of the world from Sierra Leone, especially from the
interior, because of the poor or no communication under the SLPP.
Thank God, with the cell phone technology now, we can constantly stay
in touch with our people on the ground. And, with the help of easy
access to information technology on this side of the pond, we are able
to bring you such unwarranted development before it is too late.
We are pleading with the mass media to publish or rerun this news of
hostilities from Sierra Leone by any means available to them to help
protect democracy in Sierra Leone once and for all.
We are pleading with NEC and the international community to rescue
democracy in Sierra Leone.
Democracy has to have a chance in that war torn nation, as we cannot
afford to return to our ugly past. The international community needs to
act fast. Democracy does not like ugliness: Ugliness must be exposed
to give chance to democracy to choose from the good, the bad, and
the ugly. Democracy under threat in Sierra Leone is democracy under
Comm. & Media – PMDC-USA
Public Relations – APC-USA