Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed concern about the rising tensions and violence over the past week in Sierra Leone, which earlier this month held its first presidential and parliamentary polls since United Nations peacekeepers departed in 2005.
“He calls on all parties and their leaders to do everything necessary to prevent the situation from escalating,” his spokesperson said in a statement.
Mr. Ban once again commended the people of the West African nation for the “peaceful and orderly manner in which the first round of the electoral process was held.”
The 11 August presidential and parliamentary elections were Sierra Leone’s second since the end of the decade-long civil war in 2002, and the first since the withdrawal of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in December 2005.
The 15-member body also urged the public “to maintain the same sense of purpose, discipline and patience as the electoral process enters its final and decisive phase,” the run-off in the presidential election on 8 September between Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People’s Congress (APC) and incumbent Vice-President Solomon Berewa of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). The two men are vying to succeed Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.
In a statement earlier this month, the Secretary-General welcomed the peaceful atmosphere of the first round of voting but cautioned that the same atmosphere must prevail during the remainder of the election process.