Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Sierra Leone: UN, partners voice 'utmost concern' at electoral violence Scoop: Sierra Leone: UN & Partners Voice Utmost Concern

Some worrying news from Sierra Leone:

'The United Nations and its international partners have voiced renewed concern at widely reported cases of intimidation and violence ahead of elections in Sierra Leone next month, calling on all concerned to avoid incitement and provocation in the small West African country that is still recovering from a disastrous decade-long civil war.

"The UN and international community remain fully committed to supporting credible, fair and violence-free elections," the partners said in a weekend statement, which welcomed positive steps by the Government, including a successful voter registration exercise and preparations for polling, counting, tallying and the announcement of results.

"However, since the official start of campaigning, cases of intimidation and violence have been widely reported. We view this development with utmost concern. It constitutes a threat to the democratic process. It also goes against the interests of the people of Sierra Leone, who want peaceful, free and credible elections," they added.

The statement called upon leaders of all political parties to promote a peaceful campaign and prevent provocative conduct on the part of their supporters as the country prepares to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on 11 August, the second since emerging from the civil war in 2002.'

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