Sierra Leone senior security officers benefit from Election Security training

March 6, 2023

Photo showing the Director of Training of Sierra Leone Police, AIG Sylvester M.N Koroma

UNDP/Fatmata Katta

One hundred senior security officers have undergone a four-day training of trainer’s workshop on Election Security and Simulation Exercise held on March 2, 2023, in the Kenema District to equip them with skills to secure the upcoming general elections.

The training programme was organised by the Office of National Security (ONS) and Integrated Election Security Planning Committee with funding from the UN Peacebuilding Fund. It is the first of a series of similar training activities to be organised across Sierra Leone before the upcoming elections.

The exercise was attended by senior personnel from the ONS, the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), the Sierra Leone Correctional Centre, the National Fire Force, and the Chiefdom Police across the eastern region of the country.

The goal of the training is to ensure that elections security personnel possess the core competencies, skills, and knowledge to fulfil their duties during the 2023 electoral process, in line with the county’s Standard Response Guidelines for the National Security Architecture.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the ONS Chief of Staff, Francis Langoba Keili stressed the need for the trainees to replicate the training in their respective duty stations, and to ensure they are prepared and equipped for the upcoming June 2023 general elections.

“Previous elections in the country have always been marred by violence and intimidation perpetrated by even some of our security personnel. That is why this training is especially important and timely in our efforts to prepare our personnel for the elections,” Mr. Keili emphasized.

The Chief of Staff added that the participants would be handed three key documents developed by IESPC -the Elections Security Strategy, the Communication Strategy, and the Training Manual.

In his statement, the Brigade Commander, 2nd Infantry in Kenema, Colonel Mohamed Sahid Fofana called on his fellow Army Officers to take the training very seriously so they would be able to replicate it to majority of personnel who will be joining other forces to man the elections effectively and professionally. “Our duty is to serve our country diligently and apolitically,” said Col. Mohamed Sahid Fofana.

The Director of Training of the Sierra Leone Police, Assistant Inspector General, Sylvester M.N. Koroma on his part, urged his colleagues to be active participants during the training. “We will be at the forefront of the elections providing security for the general public including elections observers, party agents, the Electoral Commission Personnel, and other key players in the electioneering process,” Mr Koroma said

The training is a nationwide intervention targeting 600 security personnel (100 per region). This forms part of the technical support provided by the joint United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) /UNICEF UN Peacebuilding Fund Project - “Promote the creation of an enabling environment for the conduct of peaceful elections and the strengthening of social cohesion in Sierra Leone.” The fund is supporting national institutions in the conduct of peaceful general elections in 2023.

Photo showing senior security officers at the election security training in Kenema

UNDP/Fatmata Katta