Sierra Leone: 'Salone's Decline in 2019 GPI Is Worrisome'

Executive Director, Campaign for Good Governance, Marcella Samba- Sesay, said the current ranking of Sierra Leone in the Global Peace Index is very worrisome and that it should be a very big concern for the country.

She said the 23rd May conference on National Peace and Cohesion was boycotted by the main opposition APC; a situation she said had a denting repercussion on the country.

Sierra Leone has appallingly descended eighteen (18) spaces in the 2019 Global Peace Index from thirty-eight (38) in 2018 to fifty-two (52) position in 2019.

According to Marcella, democracy and economic reality should go together and that the nation is largely hungry.

She said the country needs rapid economic actions for economic stability and economic diversification for political issues to be addressed.

"Down the line today, this is the report we are having, fifty-two (52) out of one hundred and sixty-three (163) countries. A society that has come from conflict and we have been doing tremendously well in the peace index. I think the Government of Sierra Leone must be concerned and call on all dissenting factions to come together and dialogue," she said.

Mohamed L. Bah from the Strategic Communication Unit in the Ministry of Information and Communications asserted that they have received the report with open hands and appreciated the findings therein.

He affirmed that the issue of political divide is visible because every political party has its own stronghold and that the government is committed to unifying the country to ensure people live as 'one people one country.'

He said Bintumani III was a great move by the government to ensure inclusivity where stakeholders from all political parties were invited.

He said the Bintumani Conference laid the foundation for the establishment of the Peace and National Cohesion Secretariat in the country for which a green paper has already been developed.

"We are fully aware of the challenges in terms of political divide, but we cannot look at the obligation of the government to ensure that we provide level playing field for everybody to perform. Let us not forget to talk about the willingness of members especially from the opposition to corporate with the government so that by next year by God's grace Sierra Leone will come up the ladder again," he said.

Meanwhile, other civil society activists cited political tension and political divide, economic instability and partial judiciary in the country as some of the reasons Sierra Leone degenerated in the 2019 Global Peace Index.

Several quarters have also argued that the current economic situation in the country is horrendous, with high youth unemployment and abject poverty among the populace.

The political conflict between the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and the main opposition All People's Congress (APC) in 2018 running up to 2019 could be some of the factors that have scared investors from coming into the country and subsequently led to the drop of the country in the GPI.

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