Turning Sierra Leone ex-combatants into “peace ambassadors”
--a move to promote violence free elections
Civil society organizations in Sierra Leone are now targeting ex-combatants for their public awareness and sensitization campaign against election violence, in the run up to the November 17 presidential and general elections.
With violent clashes among supporters of political parties, including both the ruling All People’s Congress (SLPP) and the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in recent times, every effort is being made to ensure that the 2012 polls pass off peacefully.
Previous violence such as the recent one in the southern city of Bo have led to deaths, injuries and thousands of dollars property damage.
Since country’s decade-long civil war ended, some ex-combatants have been blamed for much of the violence, as many are not engaged in productive activities, though there should have been a demobilization and rehabilitation programme completed.
Civil society groups say ex-combatants are mostly the target of manipulation by some politicians during elections, the 2007 election being a clear case in point.
But this year, civil society groups want to turn the ex-combatants into ambassadors of peace.
Campaign for Good Governance, one of the civil society group spearheading the non-violence campaign.
WADR’s Freetown correspondent Mohamed Konneh speaks with Sahr Kendema, Program Officer of the group.
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