Catholic bishops in Sierra Leone called on citizens to refrain from actions to destabilise the West African nation and to come together before next year’s elections in the same spirit that helped end the country’s civil war and overcome its Ebola epidemic.
The elections, set for 7th March, are seen as key to maintaining the fragile peace that has existed since the 11-year civil war ended in 2002.
‘We appeal to all Sierra Leoneans to work for the common good. We have to assume responsibility for our own development and not wait for others to do it,’ the bishops’ conference said in a pastoral letter published in mid-July.
‘We call on all Sierra Leoneans, especially those of voting age, to strongly reject all acts of violence, unnecessary provocations, various forms of fraud that distort results, and anything leading to destabilisation and disorder,’ said the letter.
It also called on people to remain united and dedicated to address poverty, illiteracy, food insecurity and corruption.
Picture: Amputees of Sierra Leone’s civil war play football in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in this 2006 file photo. Catholic bishops there called on citizens to refrain from actions to destabilise the West African nation and to come together before next year’s elections. (CNS photo/Nic Bothma, EPA).