AYV News May 25, 2023
The Office of National Security (ONS) has assured that they have the requisite capacity and preparedness to fully and adequately provide the much-needed security for the upcoming general elections.
National Security Coordinator (NSCoord), Abdulai Caulker assured that by intelligence and security estimate and assessment, the general security situation in the entire country remains relatively calm and quiet.
The NSCoord outlined the activities of the Security Sector in preparation for the provision of security before, during and after the elections.
The NSCoord furthered that the National Security Council Coordinating Group (NSCCG) had activated the Integrated Elections Security Planning Committee (IESPC), which is coordinated by the ONS and charged with the responsibility to provide administration and coordination for the security of the upcoming elections.
As part of its mandate, the IESPC had conducted district risk mappings, development of three key election security documents, conducted threats assessment to identify hotspots and potential spoilers during the elections.
The documents developed have all been rolled out in a series of Training of Trainers exercises for security personnel across Sierra Leone. As part of enhancing effective productivity, the UNDP has supported the ONS through the provision of tablets to all ONS Coordinators for reporting on all elections and other security related issues.
The NSCoord also informed the EU team that quite recently, he led a team of the NSCCG for engagements with the decentralized security structures across the country.
The purpose of the engagements was to further enhance the synergy among the security sector agencies, assess the level of security preparedness in supporting the Electoral Commission for the successful conduct of the elections.
The outcome of the engagements has resulted in the reactivation of Incident Command Centers at the Provincial and the Forward Control Points at the District levels. These structures will work alongside the National Joint Operations Center for the operationalization of security information and intelligence.
The NSCoord also ceased the opportunity to further inform the EU team that the National Situation Room (NSR) and the IESPC secretariat have also been activated to support information and intelligence collection, analysis collation and dissemination for operationalisation.
The NSCoord expressed that the NSR, which runs on 24/7 basis and manned by officers from the primary security forces, will be the main information hub from which all other Situation Rooms feed. He furthered that only the ECSL and other accredited Radio/TV stations will be allowed to announce election results.