Religious Leaders in Sierra Leone Appeal for Calm amid Post-Election Grievances

Logo of the Interreligious Council of Sierra Leone (IRCSL). Credit: IRCSL

Members of the Interreligious Council of Sierra Leone (IRCSL) are appealing to the citizens of the West African country to maintain calm as stakeholders work to resolve grievances relating to the country’s June 24 general elections.

Tension engulfed Sierra Leone shortly after President Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) was announced to have taken an early lead in the poll. Followers of Samura Kamara who closely followed Bio on the All People’s Congress (APC) ticket vowed to contest the results.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa on Friday, July 21, Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles who serves as the IRCSL President acknowledges the presented grievances concerning the elections and urges those aggrieved not to resort to actions that could plunge the country into disarray.

“The IRCSL wishes to note that certain grievances and complaints have been made during the electioneering process with regard to issues of transparency and accountability, victimization of political opponents, loss of lives and destruction of properties which are currently under discussion in order to find amicable solutions,” Archbishop Tamba Charles says.

He adds, “While active engagements have been initiated with key stakeholders to resolve all outstanding issues related to the electioneering process, the IRCSL would like to kindly appeal to all of us to be peaceful, compassionate and law-abiding.”


“Our nation's resolve and commitment to safeguard the peace, unity and social cohesion is being tested again and we cannot afford to betray our spiritual beliefs and traditional values of friendship, good neighborliness, and compassion which constitute the real assets of our nation,” The IRCSL President says. 

Archbishop Tamba Charles notes that IRCSL had been working relentlessly, before, during, and after the June 24 general elections with various election management bodies, national and international stakeholders, and partners to safeguard national peace and unity in Sierra Leone.

He goes on to laud the “relatively peaceful” process of elections in the West African country, saying, “The Council is pleased to note that, with the exception of some reported incidents of politically-related violence, hate speech, the overall situation of the electioneering process was relatively peaceful, free and fair.”

The Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Freetown recalls that the IRCSL had been formed with the objective to unite a country that had been torn by violence, and had remained true to its mandate.

“As you may be aware IRCSL was founded by our foresighted religious leaders and other eminent national stakeholders at the height of the devastating and horrible civil war some 27 years ago in 1997. Their noble objective was to find a holistic, comprehensive, and enduring solution for our nation,” he says.

More in Africa

The 67-year-old Catholic Church leader who started his Episcopal Ministry in May 2008 adds, “Once again, we are being challenged to consolidate the peace and strengthen our national unity and social cohesion.”

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.