Posted by: APO | 30 June 2008



Public Information Office (PIO) of UNIOSIL – 30 June 2008


[Disclaimer: Excerpts below are from print media and news agency dispatches. UNIOSIL cannot vouch for the accuracy of the media reports].


President Ernest Koroma orders investigation on Tongo violence

The Independent Observer in its front page says President Ernest Koroma has ordered a probe into the recent violence that was unleashed on the diamondiferous town of Tongo by alleged supporters of the ruling All People Congress (APC) and the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP). According to the Minister of Information and Communication Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, the government was deeply disturbed by the level of violence that has characterized the electioneering process. He told journalists at the weekly government press briefing that those who are in the habit of perpetrating violence under the guise of political parties will be frowned at by the government, “nobody should impinge on the right of other citizens in carrying out their political activities,” he said.


Over Tongo Field fracas, 7 APC youths arrested

Seven (7) youths believed to be supporters of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) have been arrested and charged to court by the police in connection with the unrest that was unleashed in Tongo field. According to The News, supporters of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) were subjected to harassment and intimidation by APC that resulted to violent clashes which led to destruction of properties. National Election Watch (NEW) condemned the violence in Tongo and kono saying it has the potential of undermining the peaceful conduct of the local council elections.


Alleged APC supporters threatened female aspirants with rape

Dr. Mariam Matembe of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) has held the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) Government responsible for the perpetration of violence and intimidation on female aspirants contesting the 5 July local council elections. She said while some of the female aspirants have complained of intimidation and harassment in some parts of the provinces others have said they are being threatened with rape if they venture to carry out their political activities in their area. Dr. Matembe called on the government to restrain their supporters from intimidating female aspirants saying it will not auger well for democracy, New Vision and Independent Observer report.


SLPP seeks divine intervention ahead of local council elections

Salone Times in its today edition says the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has turned to God to see them through the local council elections. Supporters of the SLPP were said to be engaged in series of prayers during the past weeks to invoke spiritual help for the coming local council elections. According to Aruna Rogers one of the prayer warriors, they tried but failed during the past elections and that God will not fail them this time round.


ONS Boss calls for police neutrality during the local council elections

The head of the Office of National Security (ONS) and National Security Coordinator, Rtd. Brigadier Kellie Conteh, has warned the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) to demonstrate neutrality and professionalism in the discharge of their duties during the local council elections. The retired Brigadier who was addressing the Provincial Security Committees in Makeni, Bo and Kenema, urged the police to be apolitical by creating a level playing field for political parties to carry out their activities without hindrance. He said the peaceful conduct of the local council elections will help to strengthen democracy in the country, Awareness Times, The
News and New Vision report.



(Compiled by UNIOSIL, Public Information Office)


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