19 January 2021, Freetown—Speaking at a courtesy call on the Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police, Mr. Ambrose Michael Sovula, at the George Street Police headquarters in Freetown, the UN Resident Coordinator (RC) in Sierra Leone, Dr Babatunde A. Ahonsi, acknowledged the fruitful collaboration that the UNCT has maintained with the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) around several initiatives over the years, including on conflict prevention and support to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) survivors through One-Stop centres and engagement in support of access to justice.
Given that sustaining peace is a pre-condition for sustainable development, the SLP will remain an important partner for the UN as it supports the Government and people of Sierra Leone to recover better from the impact of Covid-19 and pursue the national quest to become a middle-income country by 2035.
“Preventing conflict and violence and ensuring sustainable peace is central to reducing poverty and achieving shared prosperity as articulated in Sierra Leone’s Medium-term National Development Plan and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the RC added.
The RC also informed IGP that the UN Country Team (UNCT) will be starting a new project, aiming to reintegrate youth engaged in cliques and gangs into their family and communities. The project which is being funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) and has been endorsed by the Minister of Youth Affairs, will be implemented in four chiefdoms in Kenema and Tonkolili.
“The project also aims at supporting the Government to promote solutions that could help to decongest the correctional centers,” said the RC.
While thanking the RC for the courtesy visit, IGP Sovula assured him of the SLPs’ continued support to the work of the UN in Sierra Leone. “We are here to provide for the safety and security of the people of this country,” he said.
He also used the meeting to inform the RC that gender-based violence cases are now highly reported. “People now have the confidence that their reports would be treated confidentially,” said IGP Sovula.
The IGP thanked the RC for the several projects that the SLP have benefited from the various UN agencies in the country over the years while calling for further support for various training programmes that have been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.