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The Boons and Banes of a three-day Peace dialoguing between APC & Government

The Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC) has announced the final communique and resolutions of the post-election peace dialogue which commenced on Monday 16th October and ended on Wednesday 18th October 2023 at Bintumani Conference Centre.

This dialogue organized by the Peace Commission had been mediated by the Commonwealth, AU & ECOWAS representatives, following the insistence of the All People’s Congress party to abstain from governance on conditions of the conduct of a re-election process, full disclosure of disaggregated data published by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone and then they called for mediation to be conducted by independent foreign bodies.

After subsequent back channelings and closed-room talks, the group had emerged with an agreement encouraging President Bio to deliver a national address, a commitment obtained from the APC to commence participation in politics, a release of all politically affiliated/related prisoners, and an establishment of an inclusive elections review committee.

The groups also committed to the discontinuance of all politically motivated court cases against the APC and the resettlement of any politically internally and externally displaced individuals but the real garnish seems to be the payment of all entitlements for all elected APC officials, since the conduct of June 24th election.

Given that the impasse had ensued with the demand on the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone to provide disaggregated data, it prompts contemplating the need for the involvement of government officials as seeming contenders of the APC on this particular matter. It also pricks the mind to query whether the APC is now in possession of the data and is preferring to withhold it from the public gaze given its contents disproving their stipulations of a stolen election.

If they are indeed in possession of the data, will it be made public in the interest of restoring institutional trust and seemingly waning democracy and if indeed that is an intent, when will that be?

If the APC is still without the data and is seeming to crawl away with crumbs, serving only the interest of their chosen few, one has to consider this agreement as a significant boon for party stalwarts and a bane for ordinary citizens who are left with more disappointment and growing questions.

Another major bane emerging relates to what really this dialogue changed, what the standoff achieved, if any, the way forward and do we still remain in a merry-go-round game of pawns and pawning.

Meanwhile, elected officials are said to be subscribing to oaths of office in the coming days.


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