International Peace Day: Caritas Official Lauds Sierra Leone’s Post-War Healing Progress

Credit: Fr. Peter Konteh

The Executive Director of Caritas Freetown has, in his message on the International Day of Peace, lauded Sierra Leoneans for rising from the country’s civil war devastation, noting that the West African nation has room to work for sustainable cohesion.

In a message sent to ACI Africa on Thursday, September 21 when the world marked the Day of Peace, Fr. Peter Konteh said that the commemoration is especially important for Sierra Leone which endured an 11-year civil war that ended in 2002, leaving behind a lot of destruction. 

An estimated 50,000 people died in the war that also led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands. The war also left behind thousands of people maimed from forced amputations of limbs and lips.

“The International Day of Peace holds great significance for Sierra Leone, a country that experienced a devastating civil war,” Fr. Konteh says.

He adds, “While progress has been made in post-war healing, justice, and reconciliation, challenges remain. Addressing poverty, inequality, and governance issues, promoting inclusive development, and fostering social cohesion are crucial for sustainable peace.”


In his message, the member of the Clergy of Freetown Archdiocese underlines the need for continued efforts “to build a future where peace and stability are firmly established, allowing Sierra Leone and its people to thrive.”

The Director of Caritas Freetown says that the development arm of the Church in Freetown is keen on restoring peace in the West African nation, a country that he says “has long sought peace and social cohesion.”

“Both the government and various NGOs have made substantial efforts in this regard. Caritas Freetown, through its Justice and Peace Commission office in Freetown, has emerged as a key organization implementing peace projects,” the award-winning Sierra Leonean Catholic Priest says.

This year, Caritas Freetown participated in the celebration of International Peace Day under “Youth in Politics and Peace Building Project,” an initiative realized in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to provide platforms for peace awareness.

“Through public outreach and awareness-raising campaigns conducted at mosques, schools, and households, Caritas Freetown strives to promote peace and create a greater sense of harmony among the population,” he says, and adds, “The rural communities in the Western Area have been a particular concern due to the recurring incidents of violence.”

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Meanwhile, Fr. Konteh who also serves as the Vice President of the Regional Union of the Diocesan Priests of West Africa (RUPWA) has underscored the need for peace as nations grapple with various conflicts.

“In these challenging times, the need for peace has never been more evident. Our world is grappling with conflicts, divisions, and crises that affect the lives of countless individuals and communities,” he says.

The Sierra Leonean Catholic Priest adds, “It is up to us to take action and foster an environment of peace, where harmony, understanding, and compassion prevail.”

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.