WANEP’s Next Strategic Direction: 2015 - 2020

WANEP on Facebook

WANEP on Youtube

Community Monitors Charged to Contribute to Peace and Stability in Sierra Leone

  • PDF
NNC WANEP-Sierra Leone, Dr. Isata Mahoi addressing participants at the training.

The National Network Coordinator (NNC) of WANEP-Sierra Leone, Dr. Isata Mahoi has charged Community Early Warning Monitors in the country to ensure objectivity, accuracy and impartiality in the discharge of their duties in preparation for the 2018 general elections in the country. In a goodwill message to the second batch of monitors who are undergoing training from July 5 to 6, 2017 at the Bintsumani Conference Center, Freetown, Dr. Isata stressed the importance of effective monitoring of the electoral process in order to avoid actions that may result to the escalation of violence.

“The maintenance and promotion of peace in Sierra Leone is our collective responsibility,” she said adding that everyone has a stake in ensuring a peaceful electoral process as no meaningful development can be achieved in a situation of conflict.

Speaking in the same vein, Mr. Ifeanyi Okechukwu, WANEP Regional Coordinator Early Warning and head of the USAID/WANEP NEWS Project reiterated the relevance of early warning as critical to preventive diplomacy. He said WANEP’s expertise in this field is now widely recognized to the extent that continental and regional bodies as well as companies are relying on the organization’s risk assessments for their short and long term planning.

A participant, Mohammed Kanneh making his point. 

A major focus of discourse during the training was on the issue of youth violence. Research has shown that the youth can easily be manipulated to perpetrate violence during the elections. Commenting on this, one of the monitors Mr. Mohamed Kanneh from the Sierra Leone Debating Council, called on the leaders and civil society to ensure greater involvement of the youth in planning and decision-making. “If the society becomes a problem for the youth, the youth population will definitely pose a problem for the society,” he said.

A total of 55 team leaders, regional, district and community conflict monitors from the four political regions of Sierra Leone were trained in two batches under the USAID/WANEP Project. The training is geared towards strengthening their skills for effective data gathering and reporting in preparation for the 2018 general elections in the country. It provided the platform to improve the monitors understanding of the USAID/WANEP NEWS Project, clarify their roles and enhance their skills of networking, leadership and coordination.

It was also to enable the monitors have a clearer understanding of the communication lines between the regional, district and community monitors, WANEP-Sierra Leone and WANEP regional office for effective NEWS reports before, during and after the 2018 elections in Sierra Leone. After the training, the monitors received smart phones and Tablets to aid them in monitoring and reporting security threats both on/offline.