Giving an overview of the three documents, the Chairman of the Integrated Elections Security Planning Committee (IESPC), Mr. Francis Langumba Keili, stated that the documents seek to ensure that a conducive environment is created that is free from insecurity for a peaceful electoral conduct on 7 March, 2018.
He explained that the Integrated Security Strategy covers areas like national threat assessment, election security requirements of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), required interventions in support of the security sector in electioneering process, while the training manual on the other hand looks into issues surrounding election violence and security needs, the roles of security institutions roles and their responsibilities, and conflict prevention during elections.
Mr. Keili stressed that these documents are guidelines to enhancing a peaceful elections come 7 March 2018.
According to Mr. Samuel Doe, Country Director of UNDP, the centrality of security is key to any election. He added that the criteria for success in election security, is that security should be owned by the people themselves. He therefore charged the leaderships of the security sector to demonstrate professionalism, fairness and integrity at all times.
Doing the official launch of the three documents, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Retired Major Alfred Palo Conteh described the documents as timely, owing to the amount of inter and intra party violence the country has witnessed in recent times.
He commended the security forces in the way they have handled issues of political violence so far. He however charged them not to be complacent as we approach the 7 March, 2018 general elections.
The Internal Affairs Minister maintained that the national threat assessment document will help in directing resources to hotspots in the country, while the training manual on the other hand will help security personnel in maintaining professionalism in upholding the country’s security, while asserting that these documents will ensure a peaceful electioneering process on 7 March, 2018.
He concluded by noting that security issues should be everybody’s concern and therefore appealed to the general public to be vigilant in ensuring peaceful elections on 7 March, 2018.