In early January 2018 a team from the Rondine International Peace Lab in Italy visited UNIMAK and other stakeholders in Makeni City, Sierra Leone . The week long visit comprised of Rondine staff, International Peace Lab Alumni and a journalist for the implementation of an initiative for a peaceful and democratic elections project in Sierra Leone . During their stay the team held fruitful discussions with various stakeholders in the March 2018 elections.
Meeting With Traditional Leaders
The team met the Paramount Chief of Bombali Sheborah Chiefdom, Bai Sheborah Kasanga the 2nd. Paramount Chief Kasanga praise the effort of the team to facilitate the process of achieving a free, fair and transparent election in Sierra Leone. “Everything we strive to achieve will not hold if our elections are not always peaceful” the paramount Chief noted. He said their role as Paramount Chiefs is to be neutral and to ensure the right of all citizens is respected in any democratic dispensation.
In Sierra Leone traditional leaders play a major role in promoting peaceful and democratic elections because the majority of the people live in rural areas of the country. The chieftaincy institution over the years has displayed neutrality.
Paramount Chief Bai Sheborah Kasangha the 2nd promised to inform fellow Paramount Chiefs across the country about the significance of the visit of the Rondine team in the country.
Visit To The National Electoral Commission Bombali Distrct Office
The team met the Bombali District Electoral Officer, Sahr Samuel Kellie, and his team during the nominations of local councilors contesting the March 2018 local council elections in Bombali District. While covering the nominations process the District Electoral Officer said the team was among the very few international organizations that brought international journalist to cover the nominations process which is key in the electoral calendar of the March 7 2018 elections. He said the commission will do all it can to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in Sierra Leone.
According to the 2015 Sierra Leone Housing and Population Census there are over 7 million people in Sierra Leone. The NEC 2018 voter registrar indicate that there are over 3 million registered voters in the country. Majority of whom are first time voters.
The Association Rondine Cittadella della Pace has been working with Sierra Leone, specifically with the University of Makeni, since 2003. As a result, 9 youngsters from different areas of Sierra Leone have been accommodated at the International Hall of Residence in Arezzo – Italy while completing a Master Degree in Italian Universities. These youngsters have undergone a personal transformation, and now are part of the network of the Alumni Association of Rondine (Rondine International Peace Lab). They are the best resources that will give back to their communities, transmitting the message of peace and dialogue by implementing projects of local development. In this case, they will contribute through preparing the environment for safe, democratic, and informed elections.
Witnessing The First Round Table Discussion For Students Of The University Of Makeni.