Saturday, September 01, 2007

Looking ahead at next weeks run-off elections...

A week from today many Sierra Leoneans will again make their way to the polling station. This time they will choose between two candidates – Solomon Berewa (SLPP) and Ernest Koroma (APC).

To be honest, the tension in Sierra Leone is rising. Generally speaking life in Freetown continues as usual. Upcountry life seems a little more unsettled. News comes in daily about incidents that have taken place in various parts of the country (mainly the east and south- Kenema, Kono, Bo). It’s hard to know if the news is accurate. Reports came in yesterday that there was unrest in Bo and that houses were being burnt down. Today I heard that it was a rumor. I guess for the most part we don’t really know what is taking place.

There is much talk about the upcoming run-off. A lot of people are anxious. Only time will tell…

Here are some quotes from various news agencies online:

“The risk that Sierra Leone could again descend into the chaos and civil war of the 1990s remains unlikely ahead of the second round of presidential elections on 8 September, according to international officials - even after outgoing president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah threatened to impose a state of emergency following election-related riots in the main diamond town of Kono on 27 August and the stabbing of at least six people in Freetown.”

“However, as the September 8 election day draws nigh and the contest narrowed down to two contending gladiators, tension has again resurfaced in the land. Reports of clashes between supporters of the rival candidates have been rife in recent days, prompting the imposition of curfew in the eastern district of Kono. President Tejan Kabbah has threatened to declare a state of public emergency if the two rival candidates do not rein in their supporters.”

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