- The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has issued a warning to all political parties in Sierra Leone to commit themselves to peace, expressing its zero tolerance to any form of violence during or after presidential and legislative polls scheduled for Saturday, 11 August.
“ECOWAS will apply zero tolerance to any acts of violence in the electoral process,“ the ECOWAS Chairman, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, warned all parties to the Sierra Leonean elections.
“The international community hopes Sierra Leone will emerge from the process with credibility by putting the bitter past firmly behind you and joining the rest of the West African countries in consolidating peace and democracy throughout the sub-region,” he said.
The regional grouping has dispatched 60 election observers to monitor elections in the diamond-rich country, which had been the scene of the worst human brutality.
As the election fever grips the country, media rights watchdogs say an attack on the presenters of an evangelical radio, 'Believers Broadcasting Network' (BBN0, is untimely and uncalled for.
The Freetown based radio’s two presenters were badly injured after they were shot.
"Coming just a few days before general elections on 11 August, this armed attack should be taken seriously," Leonard Vincent of Reporters sans frontières said, urging the police to quickly establish the motives, so that BBN is able to cover the elections without its staff feeling in any danger.
The attack resulted when 10 gunmen burst into BBN’s studios at 4 a.m, pointed guns at the presenters, Mohamed Kamara and Patrick Thomas, demanding money. The attackers disarmed the radio’s security guard when he attempted to intervene. “They ordered Kamara and Thomas to lie down before shooting at them,” said a staff.
The assailants took to their heels with two computers and other equipment belonging to the station.
The two injure presenters were then rushed to hospital for treatment. Doctors do not see their gunshot wounds as life-threatening.
The police are said to be investigation the case and there has been no proof that the attack was politically motivated.
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