The new Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sierra Leone, Manuel Müller, has presented his letters of credence to President Julius Maada Bio, in a ceremony held at State House on the 7th September 2021.
In his statement, President Bio said that the EU is a strong partner of Sierra Leone and Sierra Leone is deeply grateful for the EU’s longstanding support to the country. He added that the Sierra Leonean Government is committed to continuing to implement the reforms that will make a “vibrant democratic nation”, and the Government will follow up on the implementation of the electoral reform recommendations of the EU Electoral Observation Mission deployed to Sierra Leone in 2018. He stressed that Sierra Leone values the support of the EU to address the challenges that lie ahead.
Ambassador Müller, on his side, said that the partnership between the EU and Sierra Leone is strong and based on shared values. He added: “The EU will continue to be a reliable partner of Sierra Leone, including democratic and electoral support”.
In this regard, after the Electoral Observation Mission deployed in 2018, an Electoral Follow-Up Mission led by a member of the European Parliament will visit Sierra Leone in October, which will be an opportunity to monitor and discuss together with the Sierra Leonean authorities progress in electoral reform before the 2023 general elections.
Ambassador Müller also said that the EU acknowledges the important efforts and reforms made by the Sierra Leonean Government to strengthen the rule of law and protect human rights, like the recent abolition of the death penalty.
It must be noted that the EU remains committed to continuing to work together with Sierra Leone to strengthen democracy, elections, rule of law, education (including girls’ access to education), an enabling business and investment climate, and job creation. The EU encourages the Sierra Leonean Government to continue progress in the aforementioned areas.
Following the work of his predecessor, the new Head of Delegation aspires to continue to deepen the EU-Sierra Leone partnership.
(C) The Calabash Newspaper