The European Union Ambassador in Sierra Leone, Manuel Muller, has shed light on their operations in Sierra Leone and the recent deployment of EU Election Observers in the country ahead of the June 24th general elections.
In an interview with African Young Voices Television on Monday, May 15th, 2023, the EU Ambassador described the mission as a long-term one that will not only be present on election day but also have long-term observers.
He confirmed that the first set of members of the delegation has arrived and long-term observers will arrive next week. He also confirmed that the mission will start deployment all over the country because they are not only present in Freetown.
“The European Union has deployed Election Observation Missions for the last 20 years at four previous elections and now is the fifth election with a full-fledged mission. I think it is important to see how these missions work. They are usually headed by a member of the European Parliament. They follow a determined methodology and finish with a report on the overall situation, including giving recommendations to the government and the Election management body in the country,” he said.
Amb. Muller revealed that the European Union has a longstanding partnership with Sierra Leone and has accompanied the country for many years, mainly after the Civil War. Their current program, which spans from 2021 to 2024, is worth 245 million Euros and will mainly be implemented in the areas he described as the Green Economy, which includes sustainable energy and agriculture.
He also pointed out Education, which is a flagship program of the current government, and the area of governance, which includes support to different institutions and in the framework of support to Election Management Bodies.
Speaking on the EU interventions in the area of governance in Sierra Leone, he affirmed that they are working on a project that deals with EU decentralizations and they are working there with the district councils in six different districts and with Civil Society Organizations.
He justified that these projects aim to give the possibility to the District Councils to implement better service delivery to the people in partnership with Civil Society Organizations.
Citing on some examples Amb. Muller Confirmed that in Kenema, the District Councils have built two markets and recently inaugurated the markets in Blama and Tongor. He added that these two markets will help to revamp the local businesses in the area.