A delegation of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) visited Sierra Leone on Saturday in support of the electoral process.
Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the Commission’s President, led the delegation and was accompanied by the Foreign Ministers of Burkina Faso and Nigeria and the High Commissioner of Ghana to Sierra Leone.
Among the objectives of this “solidarity visit” as Dr Chambas called it, was to observe the status of preparations for the September 8 presidential run-off and to encourage a smooth and successful conduct of this final round of the elections.
The visitors met with the Executive Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Sierra Leone (ERSG), Mr Victor Angelo, and had discussions with President Kabbah, representatives of the electoral bodies and political parties.
Dr Chambas addressed a consultative conference on the impact of the media on peace, security and development, organized by the Office of National Security. In his statement the ECOWAS president, who is closely affiliated with the development of Sierra Leone in his former capacity as Ghana’s foreign minister, expressed his gratitude to the United Nations and the international community in further responding to the needs of the people of Sierra Leone through effective means such as the Peacebuilding Fund. Referring to a peaceful presidential run-off and its importance for advancing education, economy and infrastructure in the country Dr Chambas recalled the words of Dr. Christiana Thorpe, Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission, who said that “elections are not war – and ballots are not bullets”.