11 July 2017

Sierra Leone: Bishops Call for Peace in 2018 General Elections

Free Town — Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sierra Leone (CBCS) has appealed to the faithful to actively foster peaceful co-existence as the nation prepares for the March 7, 2018 General Elections.

"We strongly enjoin our priests, religious and lay faithful to promote a spirit of unity, reconciliation, tolerance and peace in their sermons, homilies, conferences and pastoral engagements as we head towards the General Elections," the Bishops said in a pastoral letter dated July 7 titled "Journeying towards peaceful and credible elections."

The bishops urged voters to turn out in large numbers to vote and abstain from any form of violence.

"We urge all Sierra Leoneans, especially those who are of voting age, to strongly reject all acts of violence, unnecessary provocations, various forms of fraud that distort results, as well as anything that can lead to destabilization and disorder," the bishops said.

They further encouraged all political parties and their supporters to accept the outcome of the elections, "should the latter be declared free and fair by the competent authority."

The bishops called on the Law Enforcement officers to "safeguard honour and loyalty to this country and its institution in protection of lives and property, and to maintain political neutrality in the execution of their duties."

They concluded by urging all the political parties and presidential candidates to respect the electoral process preserve peace and uphold the interest of the Sierra Leonean people.

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