Sierra Leone

A post-election peaceful future for Sierra Leone?

27/04/2018 3:58 pm

Sierra Leone is a country on the west coast of Africa that has suffered more than most from humanitarian disasters like a bloody decade-long civil war and a devastating outbreak of Ebola.

Despite being very mineral rich, many of the country's seven million people live in poverty.

A recent General Election threatened to spill over into violence as the leaders of the two main parties - the incumbent All People’s Congress and the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party – went head to head for the presidency. There were numerous allegations of foul play and reported violations of the democratic process.

On 4 April 2018, Mr Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party was declared President beating the APC’s Dr Samura Wilson Kamara past the post.

Extraordinarily both men are Catholics and both are parishioners at the same Church - St Luke’s Catholic Church in Freetown. On Sunday 8 April 2018, Divine Mercy Sunday, the church’s parish priest Fr Vincent Davis invited Mr Maada Bio and Dr Samura Kamara to a special Mass of Thanksgiving where they took up the offerings and before the end of Mass they held hands and sang the hymn ‘Bind us Together’.

This was a very symbolic gesture of faith in action in which the President and the leader of the opposition were sending a clear message to their supporters for calm and restraint post the election results and reports of violence in some parts of the country.

Today we hear from Cecilia Taylor-Camara who works for the Bishops’ Office for Migration Policy.

Cecilia, who was born and lived for many years in Sierra Leone, discusses the elections and the potential for a peaceful future for the country.

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