The Integrated Elections Security Planning Committee (IESPC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with institutions operating other situation rooms during Sierra Leone’s electioneering period.
The MoU is in the interest of professionalism, collaboration, cooperation and the need to prevent mismanagement of information, misinformation, disinformation and other issues that have the propensity to undermine the integrity and credibility of the elections.
The IESPC was set up in 2012 by the National Security Council (NSC) as a specialized sub-committee of the National Security Council Coordinating Group (NSCCG) to coordinate security sector support in the conduct of general elections.
Its main objective is to provide security sector planning, develop strategies and mobilize resources for the security sector ahead of every general or public election in Sierra Leone.
It comprises representatives from the security sector (the Office of National Security (ONS), the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), the Sierra Leone Correctional Service (SLCS) and the National Fire Force (NFF), Election Management Bodies (EMBs), relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and development partners as observers.
The IESPC is serving as a conduit between the National Situation Room (NSR) at ONS and the other Situation Rooms operated by other institutions. These other situation rooms are expected to promptly share relevant information with the IESPC Secretariat; seek clarification from the Secretariat on security-related information before further use and maintain liaison with the Secretariat at all times.
Among the institutions that are operating situation rooms are: the West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP), the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC), the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (EC-SL), and the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC).
The Chief of Staff of ONS, Francis Langumba Keili who also doubles as the Technical Lead of the IESPC, signed the MoU, on behalf of the National Security Coordinator of ONS, Abdulai Caulker.