Ahead Of the General Elections, The NSCCG Engages The Decentralized Security Committees In Sierra Leone.

17th May 2023 – The National Security Council Coordinating Group (NSCCG) is the second-highest forum for the consideration of all matters relating to the security of Sierra Leone. Over the years, the NSCCG has developed the practice of holding joint meetings with the decentralised security structures (PROSCEs/DISECs/CHISECs) with a view to enhancing the synergy within the security sector and addressing emerging and outstanding security issues. The meetings are held at the regional level and are referred to as the Expanded National Security Council Coordinating Group.  (E2NSCCG). The National Security Coordinator (NSCoord), Office of National Security, Mr. Abdulai Caulker, is co-chairing the meetings alongside the Chairmen of the respective PROSECs in the East, South, North and North-Western Regions, respectively.

At the opening session of the North Regional meeting held in Makeni City, the NSCoord welcomed members to the meeting and encouraged all to pay rapt attention during the entire deliberations as issues that will be discussed are very cardinal for elections and general security.

The NSCoord stated that following the announcement of the date for elections by the ECSL, the security sector had embarked on effective preparations to support the electoral processes. In this regard, the NSCCG had since activated the Integrated Elections Security Planning Committee (IESPC) in order to properly plan for the provision of elections security before, during and after the elections.

The NSCoord highlighted the following topics for discussion during the course of the deliberations; the activities of the IESPC, challenges facing the decentralised security committees, poor/low representation at meetings which is simmering down the effectiveness of the committees, stockpile of unattended security action points, illegal mining, logging and deforestation, confrontation between cattle herders and crop farmers, lawlessness and indiscipline, tearing of campaign posters, sale and misuse of hard drugs (especially kush) etc.

The NSCoord furthered that because the country will be going into general elections, the meeting will particularly zoom in on election security and that the Provincial Security Coordinator, North, will on behalf of all the committees in the Northern Region, do a presentation on the general security situation and elections security preparedness by the security committees.

Additionally, the NSCoord also reminded attendees that because Sierra Leone is a country of laws, the security sector will leave no stone unturned in dealing with lawlessness and indiscipline and by extension, professionally enforcing the provisions of the law without fear or favour. The chairman expressed the security sector’s resolve to provide the conducive environment before, during and after the elections. On the indecent practice of tearing the posters of political parties, sale and misuse of hard drugs (kush), the sector was encouraged to take robust actions in curbing these threats. The leadership of the various security sector institutions instructed that all the Incident Command Centers (ICCs) and forward Control Points (FCPs) be activated immediately at the regional and divisional levels, respectively.  These structures will be critical conduits for the processing of relevant security information and intelligence. The leadership of the security sector will monitor the functionality and effectiveness of the ICCs and FCPs. Resources will be provided in order to enhance the effectiveness of ICCs and FCPs. Moreover, in order to ensure efficiency in security service delivery, the NSCoord encouraged the various actors to establish effective lines of communication among sector institutions. He also reminded the chairmen of the various committees (PROSECs, DISECs and CHISECs) about the relevance of the committees and the powers and/or authority of the chairmen and the need for them to effectively and professionally utilise such authority.

Concluding, the NSCoord encouraged all security sector actors to remain focused and not to pay heed to distractions. He particularly commended the PPRC and ICPNC for their support and contributions towards the maintenance of peace within/among political parties and cohesion in Sierra Leone, respectively.

The PS-North, who represented the Minister of State, Northern Region and who co-chaired the meeting, informed attendees that the Minister was busy with His Excellency, the President, who is on tour in some parts of the Northern Region. The PS further raised the issue relating to the negative implications of the misuse of social media and appealed for attention to be devoted in confronting the social media misuse menace.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. William Fayia Sellu, briefed the meeting on the facilities and preparation of the SLP for the conduct of the upcoming general elections. The IGP assured attendees of the SLP’s commitment in professionally providing the enabling environment where peace and security will prevail before, during and after elections.

Other speakers include the Commissioner, ECSL-North (who made a detailed presentation on the activities of the ECSL), Executive Secretary, ICPNC, Madam Hawa Samai (the functions and interventions of the Commission), the Joint Commander-RSLAF Major General Alpha (RSLAF’s preparation and support to the SLP for elections security), the Chief of Staff (CoS), ONS, Mr. Langumba Keili. The CoS gave a comprehensive brief on the activities of the IESPC. The PSCoord, North, Mr. Alfred Kamara presented on the general security situation in the North and the preparation of the security committees for the upcoming general elections.

The NSCCG will move to the North-Western Regional Headquarter Town of Port Loko, where the meeting will continue on Thursday, 18th May 2023.

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