• June 19, 2023

Ahead of Voting… Security Sector Ready for Elections

Ahead of Voting…  Security Sector Ready for Elections
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The Security Sectors has last Friday 16th June this year updated the media on critical issues being dealt with as part of their preparedness for the upcoming polls.

The press conference brought together cross section of the Executive Management Board of the Sierra Leone Police, the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Correctional Service and National Fire Force senior officers, OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown.

 

Office of National Security (ONS), National Security Coordinator, Abdulai Caulker, on behalf of the country’s security sectors made a statement that was consisted of two parts, ie, the level of the security sector’s professional preparedness and critical issues they will be paying attention to during and after the elections.

 

He reminded the media and all present at the presser that the security sector has the constitutional responsibility to ensure the peace and security of citizens, and to protect lives and properties.

 

Caulker informed that the provision of a conducive environment for the holding of democratic elections is a responsibility he noted the security sector has always carried out with professionalism and immense success.

 

The National Security Coordinator recalled that ONS has led to the peaceful conducts of four democratic elections in the country between 2002-2018, accompanied with smooth and peaceful transfer of political power. He said Saturday 24th June 2023 elections will not be radically different from previous elections, saying they will not reinvent the wheel.

He outlined the reactivation of the Integrated Elections Security Planning Committee (IESPC), to ensure focused coordination of the effort of Elections Management Bodies (EMB), support security sectors planning and actions through the development of appropriate strategies and mobilized requisite funding support for the security sector to cover the elections.

 

The ONS Boss reiterated that the National Threat Assessment/District Risk Mapping leading about a year and half, adding that led to the development of three strategic documents that have to do with effective and efficient management of elections.

He identified the Elections Security Strategy, Elections Communications Strategy and Elections Training Manual as the documents that emanated from the above stated National Threat Assessment/District Risk Mapping, all of which are currently implemented.

Singling out the Elections Training Manual, that deals with election security ethical issues, like professionalism, impartiality, adherence to Rule of Law and Human Rights principles for personnel, Caulker disclosed that a training of trainers (ToT) roundtable secessions were held across the country.

He added that the reactivation of the National Situation Room (NSR) is aimed at supporting the security sector early warning and early response mechanism relating to the electoral process and related national security issues.

The National Joint Operation Centre (NJOC), Incident Command Centers (ICCs), and the Forward Control Points (FCP), he continued, have all been reactivated to plan, coordinates and execute elections security operations at national and regional levels countrywide.

 

“We recognized that election is a civil process, and so it is not our plan to over securitize it. As a result, security for the elections will be predominantly provided by the SLP supported by other auxiliary forces,” Caulker said.

 

The Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces is supporting the SLP under the Military Aid to Civil Power (MACP) Policy, he added, and

assured all that security sector will remain professional and impartial in the execution of its duties. He pointed out that every political party will be treated fairly in line with their respective mandates and codes of conduct.

 

Speaking on the critical issues the security sector will be paying attention, ONS National Coordinator, highlighted social media, lawlessness and indiscipline and political intolerance.

 

Dilating on the social media, Caulker said it has become one of the greatest threats to the country security of recent with regards its misused to circulate misinformation, lies, tribal, bigotry, hate speech, invective and all manner of incendiary messages especially on WhatsApp.

 

According to Caulker, lawlessness and indiscipline, he noted exhibited by acts of disobedience to the laws of the land and state institutions.

Another key threat according to the ONS Boss has to do with political intolerance that he noted has led to unnecessary tension in the country undermining national security and the integrity of the elections.

Assessment, he mentioned indicated that most of the violent confrontations between political party supporters stem from their inability to accommodate one another.

He encouraged all to support the work of the security sector and the Election Management Bodies (EMB) in other for them to deliver on their respective mandates to get a peaceful and credible electoral outcome on 24th June 2023.

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