Sierra Leone

This Sunday, Sierra Leoneans head to the polls where President Ernest Bai Koroma faces his main rival Julius Maada Bio. But key issues affecting the people have not featured in the campaigns.

Sierra Leonean polls slated for November 17, 2012 will be adequately secured. The assuarance came from the country's security chiefs, who also allayed fears of likely intimidation by security agents saying that the decision was a precautionary measures to avoid any likely chaos. According to the security officer, the polls will see over 15,000 security personnel deployed under the Integrated Elections Security Planning Committee.

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is no stranger to controversy, especially in Sierra Leone. This time round he has angered opposition supporters by openly endorsing and campaigning for the incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma ahead of elections set for November 17. The former Nigerian leader arrived in Freetown Sunday unannounced, reportedly aboard a presidential jet, and was flown out of the capital in a government-provided helicopter to where President Koroma was canvassing for more

President Koroma is expected to win a second term in next month's elections, but not because he has transformed the country; he has deployed clever tactics. The legacies of identity politics, violence, corruption, poverty and inequality remain.

Many Sierra Leonean women who are unable to repay small debts end up in prison for want of decent legal representation after their creditors report them to the police, meaning that civil disputes turn into criminal cases. An estimated 10 percent of all charges issued by the Sierra Leonean police involve the failure to repay small debts. The criminalization of debt upsets the livelihoods of the accused who are mostly petty traders. Their children at times are forced to live with them in more