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Sierra Leone -- Elections: Challenges of a Transition & Beyond [July 19, 2007]

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Tension, acrimony and violence that have characterized the ongoing electoral campaigns in Sierra Leone remain a major cause for concern. One such classical case is the Sunday July 15 clash between the opposition Peoples’ Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) and the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in Kailahun in the eastern part of the country. Weapons were used and Charles Margai, the opposition leader reportedly escaped death narrowly. Sierra Leone is one of the two pilot countries where the newly created United Nations Peacebuilding Commission is kick-starting its mission to build peace and ensure that never again would the country glide into chaos and anarchy. Indeed, the peace that Sierra Leone enjoys began in earnest with President Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah’s declaration on January 18th 2002 in Lungi that the rebel war, which began on March 21st 1991, was finally over with the words “di war don done.” This feat was realized following the intervention of the international community, which provided peacekeeping troops, and the determination of the people of Sierra Leone to bring an end to the suffering caused by the war.

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