With just over a couple of weeks to the conduct of the general elections, a stakeholders’ dialogue conference on elections preparedness has been held in Freetown. The purpose of the conference was to update electoral stakeholders on the level of preparedness for the peaceful conduct of the upcoming multi-tier elections on June 24th 2023.

The National Security Coordinator, ONS, Mr Abdulai Caulker, who briefed stakeholders on the level of security preparedness, assures that the Security Sector remains poised to create a level playing field where all political parties will carry out their activities.

The NSCoord updated that the Integrated Elections Security Planning Committee (IESPC), which has since been activated, has conducted National Elections Threats Assessment and District Risk Mapping as well as developed three key elections security documents, which are currently being rolled out. In addition, the National Situation Room, which runs on a 24/7 basis and on a Toll-Free Line (119), and an IESPC Secretariat, Incident Command Centers and Forward Control Points have also been fully activated to support the electoral processes.

To enhance the synergy within security sector agencies, a couple of weeks ago, the NSCoord led a cross-section of the National Security Council Coordinating Group (NSCCG) into joint meetings with the decentralized security structures at the provincial level.

In other efforts aimed at building confidence in Security Sector service delivery, the NSCoord confirmed that engagements had been held between the Sector and political parties.

The NSCoord furthered that an immediate security threat confronting the Security Sector is the misuse of social media and toxic incitements made by politicians. To diffuse these threats, a Security Sector Communication Strategy has also been developed in order to dismiss deceptive rumours.

In spite of these developments, the NSCoord emphasized that the Security Sector is adequately prepared to provide the requisite security for the upcoming general elections. He strongly cautioned the general public and politicians to refrain from violence and making provocative statements.

In conclusion, the NSCoord pledged that the security Sector will continue to provide a conducive environment for the conduct of the upcoming elections in a democratic and all-inclusive framework.

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