The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Leonardo Santos Simão, concluded yesterday a three-day visit to Sierra Leone. The objective of the visit was to meet with the authorities following his appointment as the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, and to renew the support of the United Nations for peaceful, transparent, and credible presidential and legislative elections, conducted on 24 June 2023.
As part of UNOWAS’ engagement to support peaceful elections, the Special Representative held meetings with different national and regional actors. He was received in audience by H.E. Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone, and met with the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) candidate, Dr Samura Kamara. He also held discussions with the Chief of Defense Staff, the Inspector General of the Police, and the Chief Justice. He additionally met with the heads of the Electoral Observation Missions of ECOWAS, AU, and Commonwealth as well as with the Mano River Union, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, diplomatic corps, and the United Nations country team.
To his interlocutors, the Special Representative Simão reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to support the efforts of Sierra Leone in holding peaceful and inclusive elections and called for a reinforced partnership to safeguard stability and consolidate peace and development in the country.
The Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel commended the people of Sierra Leone for their active contribution and participation in the elections and urged all political actors to maintain a peaceful atmosphere during the announcement of the results.
In collaboration with its regional partners, UNOWAS remains committed to supporting the conclusion of peaceful, transparent, and credible elections in Sierra Leone.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).