Clashes erupted between security forces and activists from the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) on Thursday, April 5, in Kenema (south). The fighting came two days after Julius Maada Bio, leader of the SLPP, was announced winner of the March 31 presidential run-off elections. At least six members of security forces and a number of SLPP members were injured.
Furthermore on Thursday, Bio, who has already taken office, called on losing candidate Samura Kamara of the All People's Congress (APC) to drop the legal challenge he has threatened to file against the election results, offering him a role in the government. However, Kamara has stated that the litigation would go ahead.
Further political gatherings and protests are possible in the coming days.
According to the official results, Bio received 51.8 percent of the votes cast, while Kamara secured 48.1 percent.
Tensions have been high in the country since the first round of the election was held on March 7. Violence between rival political parties broke out in the lead up to the second round. According to the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, there has also been an increase in recorded instances of tribalism and hate speech.
The election results were initially delayed due to a disagreement between the two parties on the vote tallying method. Minor clashes took place in the capital Freetown on election day, leading to 15 arrests.
Individuals in Sierra Leone, particularly in Freetown, are advised to monitor the situation, refrain from any politically sensitive discussions in public, avoid all demonstrations, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer