Statement on Mediated Dialogues

The United States of America welcomes the opening of a dialogue between the Government of Sierra Leone and the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party, facilitated by the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion and supported by international mediators from the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Though the talks may be challenging, they also present an opportunity. We encourage Sierra Leone’s leaders to take steps to build trust, eschew pursuit of personal or partisan interests, and seek outcomes that benefit all Sierra Leoneans and safeguard the country’s democratic path for future generations.  Compromise in the best interests of the Sierra Leonean people is a shared responsibility of government and opposition.

On the eve of the dialogue, we call on all stakeholders to agree to an inclusive process for reforming democratic and electoral laws and institutions to better protect the rights and reflect the aspirations of the Sierra Leonean people.  We urge all of Sierra Leone’s elected leaders to take their seats in parliament and in local government bodies.  The presence of a robust and constructive political opposition that is provided space to represent the interests of their constituents is important for a healthy democracy.

The United States remains committed to supporting the dialogue process and to working in partnership with Sierra Leone’s political leaders to advance the country’s democracy.