The Government of Sierra Leone and the All Peoples Congress (APC) party have signed an agreement for National Unity, to break the political impasse that resulted from the outcome of the June 24, 2023 Presidential and General Elections.
Following a three-day mediated dialogue that lasted from October 16-18, 2023, the Agreement aims to set up a cross-party Committee on Electoral Systems and Management Bodies to review the constitutional and electoral frameworks, to prevent the reoccurrence of the impasse in the past elections.
The Agreement, which aims to promote inclusivity in the governance process, also paved the way for the APC to end their boycott of governance institutions, including parliament and local government.
The cross-party Committee is to be set up within a month of the signing of the Agreement, and is expected to complete its work within six months.
The Joint Mediation team urged the Government of Sierra Leone and the APC leadership to implement the Agreement in good faith, within the stipulated timeframe, while calling on development partners and the international community to continue to render the necessary support to the country, to deepen and consolidate democracy, peace, and stability.
They highly commend the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC) for convening the dialogue, and for all the efforts they made to facilitate the work of the Joint Mediation team.
The Government delegation was led by the Chief Minister, David Moinina Sengeh, while the APC delegation was led by Samura Mathew Kamara, the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 elections.
The Joint Mediation was led by the former Vice president of The Gambia, Aja Fatoumata C.M. Jallow-Tambajang.
She was supported by a team of experts from the three organizations led by ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Ambassador, Abdel-Fatau Musah; Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Envoy Justice (Rtd.), Amraphael Mbogholi Msagha, and the Director for Governance and Conflict Prevention, African Union Commission, Patience Chiradza.
On arrival in Freetown on 13 October 2023, the Joint Mediation team paid a courtesy call on the President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio.
The team equally held consultations with key stakeholders in the country, including the leadership of the APC and its presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Samura Kamara; cabinet ministers; the leadership of the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECLS); Civil Society Organizations, and the Diplomatic Corps, amongst others.
The team also met with the former President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission, and Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary General, wish to express their gratitude to the Government of Sierra Leone, the All Peoples Congress party, and the people of Sierra Leone, for their commitment to the consolidation of Democracy, Peace, and Stability.
The three Institutions express their readiness to accompany the Parties to the mediated dialogue in the work of the cross-party committee, as well as the implementation of its findings.