The Sierra Leone Web


Date: June 14, 1999.

The direct and unlimited use of violence through which political power may fall more readily to any group who could most effectively use force cannot be the basis of any government, or justification for participating in government. However, in view of the years of fighting in which the innocent people of Sierra Leone have been the prime victims in terms of loss of life and destruction of property, the APC welcomes the recent ceasefire that came into force on the 24th of May, 1999 between the government of Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). This should provide the necessary space to engender an enabling environment in which the future of the country can be more realistically and constructively addressed.

In this connection the APC notes the proposals of the RUF and the reaction of the government of Sierra Leone thereto in the current negotiations between the two sides, in particular, those relating to power sharing or the participation of the RUF in the governance of Sierra Leone.

It is the cardinal belief and principle of the APC as a political party that the powers of government reside in the people of Sierra Leone. It is their sovereign and inalienable right to bestow this power in any group through the free, fair and democratic process. Only thus can any resulting government lay claim to legitimacy and be entitled to the obedience, allegiance, support and cooperation of the people of Sierra Leone.

It is therefore the view and position of the APC that without prejudice to the sovereign right of the people of Sierra Leone to choose a government of their choice, the present negotiations between the government of Sierra Leone and the RUF can, as an INTERIM measure, result in an all inclusive government, including, in particular elements/personnel of the RUF. This, it being clearly understood, is only an interim arrangement that will result in national elections through which the people of Sierra Leone will freely elect a president and parliament of their choice consistent with their political aspirations and democratic principles.

The APC as a political party therefore will welcome any resulting transitional/interim government on the basis that is clearly agreed and understood by all that it will put an end to the years of fighting that has laid waste the country, its people, economy, infrastructure and institutions. Everyone, in the meantime, shall scrupulously observe and abide by the rule of law and the principles and purposes of the country's Constitution.

As a priority there should be immediate and unimpeded access by agencies both local and foreign to provide humanitarian relief and assistance to help refugees and displaced persons within and outside Sierra Leone.

The APC beliefs that there is room enough for everyone in Sierra Leone and with peace and political stability the people and their freely elected government can together work to rehabilitate, reconstruct and reconcile our once fair country.


Hon. Edward M. Turay.
Secretary General, APC.

Dr. Abdulai O. Conteh.
Former vice-president, APC.