By: Thaimu Bai Sesay and Saidu Jalloh (intern)

As the Institution responsible for peace and national cohesion, the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC) has informed the general public that the All People’s Congress Party (APC) has accepted to dialogue with government but with the mediation of international community.

The Executive Secretary for the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion, Hawa Samai made this affirmation on Tuesday 5th September 2023 at the weekly press briefing of the Ministry of Information and Civic Education at Foreign Affairs building.

As they had been engaging both the incumbent and the main opposition political party even before the election, Hawa Samai explained that they had equally engaged the Government of Sierra Leone and the All People’s Congress Party after the election. In their engagement with the SLPP, she said they advised the party as its being the winner of the election to continue to preach peace message. Whilst on their engagement with APC, she said they were able to gather all their concerns and assured them that they would channel all those concerns to the government.

“One of the things the opposition told us in that meeting was that they have no problem with neither the SLPP nor the President but the Government of Sierra Leone. They said they wanted to dialogue with the government of Sierra Leone so that they could bridge the gap and work with the interest of Sierra Leone. The APC said they wanted the international people and together with the Peace Commission to come and mediate between the Government of Sierra Leone and APC party,” Executive Secretary ICPNC revealed.

In response to the visit of the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion, the Executive Secretary said His Excellency President Bio put out a press release in which he expressed willingness for the International community to come and have a conversation between his government and the main opposition political party.  As a state institution that had been taken the lead in the peace and mediation process, ICPNC Secretary said the President gave them the mandate to head the peace mediation process whilst working with international community.

As an attempt to speed the peace conversation process being agreed by both the APC and the Government of Sierra Leone ICPNC Executive Secretary affirmed that she had contacted the Commonwealth, Africa Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS). She expressed that the International Community had accepted the invitation and they were very much pleased to come to Sierra Leone and help the Peace Commission on the peace dialogue. The Secretary clarified that the invitation was not from the Government of Sierra Leone but from the ICPNC mandated by the government.

The ICPNC assured that they are currently working on the peace process as she further assured those international commissions had booked a date to come to Sierra Leone and partake on the mediation process. “All the problems are not expected to be solved at once but we have also developed a methodology as a commission how we expect the negation to take place. Some problems are long term; some are medium term but would all would be solved based on how we have programmed them,” said.

 Samai concluded that they would not be the ones to instruct how they should solve their problems but would give the two parties the leverage to decide on how they should resolve their problems.  


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