In a briefing held on Wednesday, 31 January, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, expressed satisfaction with the results of her recent trip to Sierra Leone, describing it as “incredibly productive” and “meaningful.”
One of the key highlights of her visit was a meeting with President Julius Bio, during which they discussed shared priorities for the UN Security Council, particularly focusing on addressing conflict in Sudan and the situation in Niger. Additionally, they explored the topic of UN Security Council reform and Sierra Leone’s commitment to upholding the National Unity Agreement.
Highlighting key outcomes of her visit, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield welcomed Sierra Leone’s return to the UN Security Council and emphasized the significance of collaboration in addressing regional challenges.
She also emphasized democracy during her discussions with West African leaders, leading to a notable announcement – a $1.5 million commitment from the United States to support Sierra Leone’s electoral reform processes. This funding aims to provide technical and legal assistance, strengthening democratic processes and fostering civilian engagement.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also addressed peace and security issues during her engagements, discussing them with various heads of state, including President Bio. The focus on security aligns with broader efforts to empower AU missions in addressing Africa’s security challenges. Additionally, the visit included a notable stop at the Sierra Leone Peace Museum, honoring the victims of the country’s past conflicts and promoting lasting peace.
During the briefing, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield acknowledged the complexities of democracy in Sierra Leone, condemning the attempted coup and expressing the US’s commitment to working with the government to establish a path forward.
She expressed support for President Bio’s call for national unity and emphasized continued US assistance, including the recent $1.5 million contribution to support electoral reform.
Overall, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield’s visit to Sierra Leone reinforced diplomatic ties and showcased the United States’ commitment to democracy, development, and peace in the region. Both US and Sierra Leonean envoys aimed to convey their commitment to being perceived as reliable partners, bilaterally and on the international stage.