This is a joint report produced by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) in partnership with Clingendael - the Netherlands Institute of International Relations and the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding-Sierra Leone (WANEP-SL).
During the 1990s, Sierra Leone was a synonym for violence, with a major war ravaging the country. It has since seen an increase in public safety and security. There are early signs, however, that political violence in the country is on the rise. Newly collected data on political violence in the country indicates that political violence levels have started to increase around 2014 and2015 and are presently at high numbers.
The reason - this report finds - is that building democratic institutions has resulted in institutions that breed constant political competition. As was the case before Sierra Leone's civil war, violence has again become a tool to compete in political contests for control of these insitutions. To protect Sierra Leone's advancing democracy there is an urgent need for national politicians and international policymakers to stop the cycle of violence. To do that the political calculus for using violence has to change. This report provides suggestions on how that can be achieved.