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Sierra Leone: ONS reacts to US embassy security alert

10 December 2018 at 20:29 | 1267 views

Office of National Security_ OAU Drive, Tower Hill
Freetown
Sierra Leone
Tel: 229974 Fax: 224585

Government of Sierra Leone

Office of the President

Press Release From the Security Sector On The Security Advisory Note From The United States Embassy In Freetown Dated 6th December, 2018.

The attention of the Security Sector has been drawn to a "Message from United States Embassy, Freetown" addressed to All United States of America Citizens travelling to Sierra Leone dated 12th April, 2018 at 08:30 a.m.

The contents thereof portray a scenario as if there is total breakdown of security attendants with incidents of violent crime, armed robberies and assaults. The release further purports to claim that the police lack the capacity, resources and training to respond to criminal incidents.

This scenario creates a distorted picture of the current security situation in Sierra Leone. Clarifications have been sought from the American Embassy which claimed that this is an Advisory Note and not a Warning. This Advisory Note is a standard requirement being put out twice a year and the release of 12th of April, 2018 was as a result of the electioneering activities that were ongoing.

Furthermore, the Embassy revealed that they have an Advisory note scale which ranks from 1_ 4, namely one signifying normalcy, two increase caution, three reconsidered travel and four do not travel. Sierra Leone is ranked two which signifies that their citizens should only take normal precaution whilst travelling within Sierra Leone.

On the contrary, it must be noted that even during the electioneering periods, there were heightened security provisions put in place and the Security services were sufficiently trained and resourced to provide security for all residents within the state of Sierra Leone. Citizens can attest to the robust security provision put in place for the electioneering processes.

Sierra Leone Police has primacy for internal security and has over the years been working with the Security Sector family and has improved considerably. Hence Sierra Leone has been ranked FIRST in West Africa, THIRD in Africa and THIRTY FIFTH in the World in the Global Peace Index Survey conducted by the Institute for Economics and Peace in 2017.

Since the transition and the new government taking over the mantle of governance, adequate security provision has been put in place ensuring that the Security Sector create a balance between ensuring the civil liberties of individuals and maintaining public order and safety.

As we are in the festive period, extra security provision has been put in place to ensure that individuals with no ill motive to national security enjoy their freedom of movement and association without hindrances.

The Security Sector wants to reassure the public and the international community that adequate provision of security is in place for the festive period and that individuals are encouraged to go about their Normal activities as long as they act within the confines of the law.

Be rest assured that the Security Sector will always avail itself of its constitutional mandate to provide adequate security for all persons resident within the state of Sierra Leone.

Signed:

Brig. Gen. (Rtd.) J.A.O. Jah- Tucker
National Security Coordinator, ONS

DR. Richard Moigbe

Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police

6/12/2018

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