we firmly believe that the Government
of Sierra Leone has an obligation not only to respect Human Rights but to
protect people against violent acts committed by private individuals.”
By Lawrence Williams
There are growing concerns over the alarming spate of violence in the country. The fierce confrontation between supporters of the Sierra Leone People’s Party and All People’s Congress Party in recent times has left tongues wagging as to what direction the country is heading.
Violent clashes that occurred on Tuesday 14th and Sunday 26th January respectively, sent shock waves down the spines of many Sierra Leoneans and created a feeling of anxiety among the civil populace.
The most recent event of police shooting at the residence of the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Lahai Lawrence Leema, has again brought into sharp focus the professional – and unprofessional – use of lethal weapons and the discharge of firearms against unarmed civilians.
These and many other disturbances have commoved some civil society groups such as Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) to question the government’s commitment to protecting the lives of citizens as well as its ability to curb lawlessness, indiscipline and maintain law and order in the country.
In their Press Release of 5th February 2020, Campaign for Good Governance stoutly condemns the rising tide of violence in the capital, Freetown, and the aggravated sexual assault of a 55-year-old woman in Bonthe District, the home of the president.
The release illustrated that continued violence coupled with impunity for perpetrators would result in a complete breakdown of law and order. It suggests that the inability of the government to act tough on these issues seems to have created an environment of uncertainty and rightly so provokes widespread agitation among Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad.
The release stated: “…we firmly believe that the Government of Sierra Leone has an obligation not only to respect Human Rights but to protect people against violent acts committed by private individuals.”
Furthermore, the organization [CGG] casts serious doubt on the ability of the police to execute their mandate and at the same time questions their integrity and conduct in respect of their use of lethal weapons against civilians.
The organization urges the government to take urgent action in addressing the rising spate of violence in the country and calls for a speedy investigation and prosecution of offenders to guarantee justice for all victims.