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Big Fish incident, a lesson for Sierra Leoneans

Big Fish incident, a lesson for Sierra Leoneans By: Kembay Those always clamouring for War after seen yesterday random shooting on Charlotte and Lightfoot Boston Streets in Freetown by a desperado should now know such is just a tip of an ice bag in a warfare.  Big Fish after forcefully snatching, the riffle from the female police officer didn't go on looking out for APC or SLPP but was determine to shoot at anyone who dare stand his way irrespective of your political loyalty, Religious trait, tribal or Regional connection.  The few minutes he spent with the gun while moving up an down, saw almost all the streets in CBD deserted with everyone indoor except the security forces who were positioning themselves at intersections point to end the menace.  What caused the desertion and the indoor staying was that everyone knew that either by mistake or intention coming in contact with Big Fish at that moment, would have been your end. That is

Very important security updates for Sierra Leoneans


– A Statement By The National Security Coordinator,
Mr. Abdulai Caulker, On Behalf of The Security Sector, Dated Friday, 
16th June 2023

1. Members of the Fourth Estate, Elections observation Missions, Colleagues in the Security Sector, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon and welcome to this very important gathering,

2. Ladies and gentlemen, we are very close to the June 24 multi-tier elections, and so we have deemed it necessary to call this press 

3. The statement, which I am going to make, is on behalf of the security 
sector, and it is in two parts. The first part is to give you an update on 
the state of preparedness of the security sector for the upcoming 
elections in terms of our professional readiness to deliver security. The  second part will highlight some of the critical issues we are paying  special attention to as a sector during this election and after, and the unfair condemnation of the security sector.
Let me start with the first - our level of preparedness:

a) The Security Sector has the constitutional responsibility to ensure the peace and security of Sierra Leone, and to protect lives and property. An adjunct to this strategic responsibility is to provide the  conducive environment for the holding of democratic elections. This is a responsibility that the sector has always carried out with professionalism and immense success, leading to the peaceful conduct of four democratic elections in the country between 2002 and 2018, accompanied with smooth and peaceful transfer of political power. And so, the Saturday 24th June, 2023 elections will not be radically different from previous general elections, and we will not reinvent the will.
b) In line with our mandate, we have undertaken a number of activities 
in order to get ourselves adequately prepared for the June 24th  2023, elections, and I feel delighted to outline the following:

i.We have reactivated the Integrated Election Security Planning 
Committee (IESPC) to ensure a focused coordination of the 
efforts of Elections Management Bodies (EMBs), support 
security sector planning and actions through the development 
of appropriate strategies and mobilize requisite funding 
support for the Security Sector to cover the elections.

ii.About one and a half years ago, we conducted a National Threat Assessment/District Risk Mapping leading to the development of three strategic documents pertinent to the  effective and efficient management of the elections. These 
include: the Elections Security Strategy, Elections Communications Strategy and Elections Training Manual, all of which are now being implemented.

iii. In respect of the elections training manual in particular, which 
deals with election security ethical issues such as  professionalism, impartiality, adherence to the rule of law and 
human rights principles, etc., for senior security personnel, a  Training of Trainers (ToTs) roundtables were held all over the country. These in turn were replicated to hundreds of junior security personnel that are participating in the elections. 

iv. We have also reactivated the National Situation Room (NSR) to 
support the Security Sector Early Warning and Early Response Mechanism relating to the electoral process and  related national security issues. The NSR has a Toll-Free Line 
of 119 accessible by all mobile networks in the country, and  the public can call this number to report any election securityrelated concerns. 

v.The National Joint Operation Centre (NJOC), the Incident 
Command Centres (ICCs) and the Forward Control Points 
(FCPs) have all been reactivated to plan, coordinate and 
execute elections security operations both at the national and 
regional levels of the country.

4. We recognise that election is a civil process, and so it is not our plan to 
over-securitize it. As a result, security for the elections will be 
predominantly provided by the SLP supported by other auxiliary forces. 
However, the RSLAF is supporting the SLP under the Military Aid to 
Civil Power (MACP) policy.

5. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, members of the Fourth Estate, you 
can now see that the Security Sector is adequately prepared to provide 
security for the upcoming elections. The public should rest assured that 
the Security Sector will remain professional and impartial in the 
execution of its duties, and every political party will be treated fairly in 
line with our respective mandates and codes of conduct. 
6. Let me now turn to the second part of my statement – that is, critical 
issues we are paying attention to and the unfair criticisms levied 
against members of the security sector. 

7. The first is Social Media which has become one of the greatest threats 
to our national security today. There is no denying the fact that social 
media platforms have been largely misused to circulate misinformation, 
lies, tribal bigotry, hate speech, invectives and all manner of incendiary 
messages, especially WhatsApp. Divisive and ethnic messages 
expressed through social media have proved very unhelpful for national 
unity ad cohesion.

8. The second threat is lawlessness and indiscipline. These are mainly 
exhibited by acts of disobedience to the laws of the land and state 
institutions, wanton violence, drug peddling, abuse, and other forms of 

9. Another key threat is political intolerance which has led to unnecessary 
tension in the country, undermining national security and the integrity 
of the elections. Assessment indicates that most of the violent 
confrontations between political party supporters stem from their 
inability to accommodate one another. 

10.I wish to conclude my statement by expressing our concern about 
the disturbing assertion by some members of the public and political 
parties that some security sector member institutions are bias, 
impartial, and vindictive in the discharge of their functions. Whilst such 
assertions could be said to be based on perception and figments of the 
imagination, they can be demotivating to sincere and hardworking 
members of the security sector. I would like to clearly state that the 
operations of the security sector are guided by prudence, integrity, and 
professionalism. The security sector is not a political party and has 
always tried to remain neutral and not to be influenced by external 
factors to make it act outside the law. Groupings that are infested by 
lawbreakers and members who ordinarily want to take the law into their 
own hands have always been subjects of arrest, detention, and 
prosecution by law enforcement agencies. 

11.Whilst we pledge to remain apolitical and professional, we will be 
emphatic that, as a Sector, we will not sit by and allow miscreants to 
subvert either our democracy or the state. We are poised to hunt them 
and impel them. Just recently, our security architecture uncovered the 
activities of some groups with the aim of undermining national security. 
Some of their members have been arrested, and the security sector will 
continue to effect arrests.

12.Let me end by encouraging you all to support the work of the 
Security Sector and the EMBs so that we will deliver on our respective 
mandates to get a peaceful and credible electoral outcome on 24th June 
2023. That way, we would have once more vindicated Sierra Leone 
honourably for the fifth time in our democratic dispensation after the 
civil war. In all of this, the role of the Fourth Estate is crucial.

13. To the Security Sector Family, I encourage all of us to remain 
strong and steadfast in protecting our country. 
Thank you all, and kindly let this message be circulated widely


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