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Archive for November, 2010

Exclusive Interview with Khadija Sesay : OGI heads for Nigeria and the UK

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Published on November 30, 2010 by Cocorioko News   ·   No Comments

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The Director of the Open Government Initiative , Ms. Khadija Sesay , last night held an exclusive interview with COCORIOKO during which she disclosed the successes and the way forward  for one of President Ernest Koroma’s pet projects. Madam Sesay delightfully said that the OGI  has been a tremendous success , having completed its jampacked program of holding town meetings in all the 12 districts of Sierra Leone and the Western Urban and Rural areas, as well as the United States of America.

According to Khadija Sesay, the OGI wrapped up its town meetings in Sierra Leone  for the first three-year review period last Saturday with a huge and successful meeting held at the Magburaka Town Hall  , Magburaka in the Tonkolili District . She said that hundreds of villagers and townsfolk came to the hall to hear about how their government and its three branches–Executive, Legislative and Judiciary -operate in Sierra Leone. They were also given the opportunity to air out their concerns and to ask questions about things they did not understand.

Having completed their scheduled town meetings, the OGI will be holding a big  Consultative meeting with stakeholders, civil society , representatives of political parties , the media and other groups and organizations in Freetown on Wednesday to prepare for the forthcoming Citizens’  Review and Report Card on the OGI and President Ernest Koroma’s Agenda For Change.  Asked to propound on the meaning of the Citizens’ Report Card, Khadija Sesay explained that what the OGI also did, apart from its regular town meetinhgs,  was to conduct meetings wherever the government was busy carrying out a development project. People were given the opportunity to evaluate the project in terms of its relevance and usefulness to them and  how successfully it was implemented.  The OGI  had prepared questionnaires through which citizens will evaluate the successes or failures of the OGI and the President’s Agenda For Change, and they will produce what will be known as a  Citizens’ Report Card  The review will help the OGI identify its successes , challenges and future plans.

KHADIJA IN  YELLOW OGI T-SHIRT HOLDING A DISCUSSION WITH   SIERRA LEONEANS IN THE OFFICE OF THE MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY ON THE EVE OF THE OGI TOWN MEETING IN THE U.S.  SHE IS SHAKING HANDS WITH THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE DAILY MAIL , FODAY MORRIS, WHILE COCORIOKO’S ASSISTANT CEO DR. WILFRED BANKOLE-GIBSON AND THE PAPER FEMALE WRITER ROSETTA ZIZER  FACE THE CAMERA.

NANNETTE THOMAS , THE IRON LADY OF THE APC TEXAS ,  ENJOYS FUN WITH KHADIJA SESAY WHILE FODAY MORRIS AND ROSETTA ZIZER WATCH .

OGI VOLUNTEERS MADINA RAHMAN (STANDING )AND FATU FOFANA POSE WITH CIVIL SOCIETY LEADER MRS. HARRIET TURAY  WHO CONDUCTED THE RECENT OGI IN NEW YORK

Khadija Sesay said that  the OGI was forging ahead with town meetings with Sierra Leoneans living outside the country. She will be leaving for Nigeria after Wednesday’s Consultative Meeting to prepare for a massive town meeting with Sierra Leoneans in Lagos in January. Ms. Sesay disclosed that she will visit even refugee camps where Sierra Leoneans live to sensitize them about events in Sierra Leone because President Koroma wants to meet with all of them ,  address them and give them the opportunity to ask questions  about issues of national concern . The Lagos OGI Meeting will be followed by another important one, this time in the United Kingdom.

Khadija said  Sierra Leone’s OGI Program has impressed many African countries and she has been invited to some African capitals to conduct town meetings.

WE WILL BRING YOU MORE REPORTS ABOUT KHADIJA SESAY’S NIGERIAN TRIP.

TOP PHOTO : FROM LEFT : SECRETARY TO THE PRESIDENT EMMANUEL OSHO-COKER; KHADIJA SESAY; PERMANENT SECRETARY AT STATE  HOUSE , A. KANU; AND MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY KABS KANU

APC Government mounts investigation into Kono chaos

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Published on November 29, 2010 by Cocorioko News   ·   No Comments

policehq

 

The Government of Sierra Leone has assured the nation that the Police has mounted investigations into the disturbances that took place in Kono on November 13-15. In a public statement on Friday, the Government assured that the Police will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion but warned that the Police must be given adequate time to conduct these investigations without undue pressure and interferance. READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

PRESS RELEASE

NOVEMBER 13-15, 2010 INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE IN KOIDU  

 IT HAS COME TO THE ATTENTION OF GOVERNMENT THAT DURING THE PERIOD 13TH TO 15TH NOVEMBER 2010, VARIOUS ACTS OF VIOLENCE WERE PERPETRATED IN KOIDU.

 THE POLITICAL PARTIES REGISTRATION COMMISSION (PPRC) WHICH WAS MONITORING THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS CONSTITUTIONAL AND STATUTORY MANDATES, ISSUED A REPORT ON 22ND NOVEMBER 2010 WHICH IS BEING CONSIDERED BY GOVERNMENT. GOVERNMENT WELCOMES THE ACTION OF THE PPRC WHICH IS A DEMONSTRATION OF THE EFFICIENT FUNCTIONING OF THE DEMOCRATIC MACHINERY OF THE STATE.

 BY VIRTUE OF ITS LAW ENFORCEMENT MANDATE THE SIERRA LEONE POLICE FORCE HAS MOUNTED INVESTIGATIONS ON THE SAID INCIDENTS AND IS EXPECTED TO PURSUE THE MATTER TO ITS LOGICAL CONCLUSION.  HOWEVER, THE POLICE MUST BE GIVEN ADEQUATE TIME TO CONDUCT THESE INVESTIGATIONS WITHOUT UNDUE PRESSURE AND INTERFERENCE.

 GOVERNMENT VIEWS WITH DISFAVOUR ALL ACTS OF  VIOLENCE THAT THREATEN THE PEACE AND SECURITY OF THE COUNTRY AND PERPETRATORS OF SUCH ACTS REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL AFFILIATION WILL FACE THE FULL FORCE OF THE LAW. 

 GOVERNMENT WISHES TO ASSURE THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT IT REMAINS COMMITTED TO THE MAINTENANCE OF LAW AND ORDER, DEMOCRATIC PLURALISM AND THE RULE OF LAW IN SIERRA LEONE.

 

SUNDAY SERMON : People will respect and admire us more when we try to be who we really are

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

SUNDAY SERMON : People will respect and admire us more when we try to be who we really are

Published on November 28, 2010 by Cocorioko News   ·   1 Comment

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By REV. WILFRED LEEROY  KABS KANU

I will never forget the wonderful message blazoned on a Poda Poda I rode the last time I was in Freetown. The message which I am always reminded about,  when circumstances cause it,  says  :  BE YOURSELF. It looks like a common and simple message but if examined closer, it is a wise saying with a deeper and more significant meaning than it appears on the surface. And it is the message that holds the key to peace in our communities. Most of our problems in life come when we decide not to be what we are. If only human beings would be honest with themselves,  and accept their limitations and do not pretend to be what they are not,  most of life’s problems would not exist.

In the world we live, no human being can ever have it all. Even in the area of education, nobody has it all. You meet somebody with two PH.Ds and you think he is the be-all and end-all of Education until you meet somebody else who has 5 PH.Ds. You watch a beauty contest and a lady comes up and you think she is the quintessence of beauty but wait until you see the next one. You watch Arsenal and you think that they are the best ball-playing team in the game. Though I am a Manchester United fan, I do not conceal my admiration of Arsene Wenger’s boys who dazzle with their flowing, immaculate , ball-passing game that sees the ball moving seamlessly from man to man , never mind they don’t often translate their beautiful soccer into goals . But watch  Barcelona , especially those days when  Samuel E’to and Ronaldino were at the heart of their attack  and Arsenal at once become novices in your eyes. Of course, I will not mention the Brazil of yester years with soccer artists  like Garrincha, Tostao, Gershon, Djalma Santos, Carlos Alberto , Jairzinho and the greatest player of all times, Pele. You simply run out of adjectives trying to describe their dazzling skills on the ball. And yet, they were never infallible. There were World Cup competitions where the likes of Italy, Argentina or Germany used to beat them soundly .

God, who made us, knows that we have limitations. Some of the limitations we can change but there are some we cannot. There are other limitations we can change but it takes a long time. However, the joy of life is knowing  our limitations and living within them  until we or God changes them for us. What is bad and troublesome in this world is when we  refuse to accept our limitations and pretend to be what we are not.

We all want to be rich and live the  bourgeoise  life.  Nobody wants to be poor but the reality of life is that everybody cannot be rich at the same time. Those who have studied Economics can tell you that the world economy will collapse if everybody becomes rich. However, it is never a crime to be a man of modest means or to be poor. There are many people who are poor, but they live  happier, more dignified and  more respectable lives. There is more to life than material wealth , especially given the fact that not all who are materially wealthy feel fulfilled or are happy. There is therefore no reason for one to pretend to be rich when he is not.

JESUS CHRIST warned : ” Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth..” ( Luke 12: 15 ).

As I have said , there is no crime in being poor . There are lots of poor folks who command far more respect in society than some rich ones.  There is therefore no excuse for us to pretend to be rich ; there is no reason whatsover for us to give people the false impression that we have millions in our bank accounts when we do not .  There is no excuse for us to claim to own businesses that belong to others. People will still respect us if we do not own those businesses.There is also no excuse for us to keep promising people and organizations  fantastic largesse that we never deliver  because we want them to think we are opulent. People will still respect us without those contributions  .There is no reason for us to go around claiming  credit for everything achieved by others . We will still be respected by society if we are not responsible for other people’s achievements. There is no reason for us to lie that we procured a job for somebody when the whole world knows that it is absolutely impossible for it to be true. People will still respect us if we did not help anybody get a job.  Respect is not something we earn by accomplishing impossible things . We earn respect by the honest manner we conduct business in public. We earn respect when we treat others with respect.

The reason we get ourselves in all these embarrassing situations is that our  ego is too big and we think that others will respect us more than they do if we attribute deeds to ourselves that we never accomplished. All this comes about  because we do not want to accept our limitations and we want people to think we are what we are not.

The master, JESUS CHRIST, though he was God in the flesh, humbled himself to his very death . In Mark 10:17-18 ESV the Bible says that :  “And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘ Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.’ ” Everybody knows that Jesus Christ personified goodness in every sense of the word  and in him no guile  or sin was found but he was so humble and selfless he eschewed the idea of somebody he did not know before  coming and larvishing praise on him.  It was not bad for the man to call Christ a good man because it was the truth .If somebody is doing a great job and we praise him it is nothing bad. It is the truth and people who are doing well need to be motivated. However, this man was a stranger . Jesus had not known him before and thus the man’s praise could not be sincere . And Jesus was so humble he put the man in his place.

I once shared an apartment at Bass Street, Brookfields , with a cousin of mine, a very famous Sierra Leonean then , who was the most creative individual I had met all my life, a dramatist and a playwright, who at the time had never darkened the doors of a university but I had not met or known anybody more skilful with the English word or  a Sierra Leonean who understood  how to produce Literature so profoundly like him . The Late Kolossa  John Kargbo, who gave Sierra Leone immortal plays like LET ME DIE ALONE, POYOTOGN WAHALA, AMINATA, ME PAPER IN SPEAR etc .  never used to conceal the fact that he had not gone to college and that he was just a  simple high school leaver. He was very honest with himself and this more than doubled the admiration people had for him. With his supreme intellect and capacity to write thrillingly and educatively, he could have easily gone around lying to people that he had been to college. Nobody would have doubted him.  Apart from being a dramatist, Kolossa was also Sports Editor of We Yone and the writer of the gossip columns LOOK GRON and ON THE SAFARI BEAT WITH JOE TEX.  John was simply the best in the business and I would see somebody with a PH.D in Journalism or Theatre Arts struggling to match his native talents and agility . But such is life. We do not have it all. And interestingly, I noticed that John Kargbo himself profoundly admired Yulissa Amadu Maddy and the Sports Editor of the DAILY TIMES of Nigeria, Tunde Oshuntolu.

I have humble friends who are PH.D holders but they don’t want you to call them Dr. at all. I have a former room-mate at Fourah Bay College who holds a PH.D and is the Departmental head of a prestigious university in the United States. Yet, in public gatherings , he is so common, simple and humble that he enjoys tremendous admiration for that. You will get into conflict with him if you let people know that he is a PH.D .

The Presidents of Sierra Leone and Liberia , Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf respectively are humility personified. I work with President Koroma and I used to know Madam Sirleaf since she was Minister of Finance in the 1970s under the late President William R. Tolbert jr. People admire these personalities for their humility and simplicity. President Koroma’s tolerance of freedom of the press and the fact that Sierra Leone has never arrested journalists or had political prisoners during his reign boil down to his humility. Egoistic Presidents are the ones who are intolerant of criticism. Some Sierra Leone journalists take advantage of President Koroma’s humility by writing all manners of defamatory things against him. But the President never grumbles about the press.

The Bible admonishes us in Philippians 2 : 5-8

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider  himself  equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. PHILIPPIANS 2:5-8 NKJ

And because JESUS CHRIST  humbled himself , God elevated him and gave him a name which is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2: 9 ).

Psalm 16 : 5  Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: They will not go unpunished.

JAMES 4:6   God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Let us learn to be humble and be true to ourselves and others about what we are. People will still admire us for what we are , as long as we are honest and good citizens. We don’t have to be what we are not for people to respect and admire us.

MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU  FOR READING THIS SERMON.

As Saudi promises medical facilities to Sierra Leone… Pilgrims Start Their Journey Back Home

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

 

By Alhaji Jalloh, Information Attaché, Sierra Leone Embassy Embassy,  Riyadh – Saudi Arabia : 

After a successful completion of the Hajj, Sierra Leonean pilgrims have begun their journey back home. The exercise started at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport Friday, 26th November, 2010.

The first two sets of pilgrims headed by Alhaji Salieu Mansaray , a member of the Sierra Leone Hajj Mission numbering 22 and  the other headed by the President of the Council of Imams, Alhaji Yayah Deen Kamara, numbering 9, departed the Holy land on board a Middle-East Flight – ME 0369 for Beirut- Lebanon at about 22: 30 P.M (Saudi Arabian local time).

2010 hadj 1

 

The group headed by Alhaji Salieu Mansaray was sponsored by Government whilst the Alhaji Yayah Deen Kamara group was sponsored by Physicians Across Continent (PAC).

According to Alhaji Yayah Deen Kamara, PAC intends to intensify its activities in Sierra Leone by establishing an Oxygen Factory, a Kidney Dialis Center, Axial Tomography and to link the Sierra Leone Medical Services to the Medical Services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as the Arab and Islamic World. The Sierra Leone Embassy in Riyadh is expected to follow -up these arrangements.

2010 hadj 2

 

The two groups are expected to arrive at the Lungi International Airport on board Royal Air Maroc in the early hours of Sunday, 28th November, 2010.

The leaders of the two groups described the Hajj as highly successful and praised the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the improvements on the facilities and the arrangements put in place for all the pilgrims. They also praised the Ambassador, H.E Wusu B. Munu, the Embassy personnel and the Sierra Leoneans living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, especially the students for the positive complimentary roles they played in assisting the pilgrims.

Meanwhile, about 650 Sierra Leonean pilgrims headed by the Chairman 2010 Hajj Mission, Hon. Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray who doubles as the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security are expected to depart the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Sierra Leone in the next few days.

Alhaji M.B. Jalloh

Information Attaché/ Public Affairs Unit
Sierra Leone Embassy,
Riyadh – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Cell- 00966-54-5519285/00966-56-7672815
Office- 00966-14643982
Email-slriyadhinfoattache.gov.sl@gmail.com

Sierra Leone 50th Independence Anniversary program launched in grand style in New York

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

By Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu :

The TRIBECA Cinema Hall  in New York was jampacked to capacity last night as Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary Planning Committee from Freetown unveiled and launched the golden jubilee celebrations program. In what was dubbed a CELEBRITY NIGHT , the Planning Committee used the grand occasion to sell  the vision of President Ernest Bai Koroma and the All People’s Congress (APC) Government to the galaxy of distinguished guests, who included  American and foreign friends of Sierra Leone, as the country prepares for perhaps the biggest national jamboree to be staged by the West African nation since Independence in 1961. With a big town meeting planned for Washington DC tomorrow , the Planning Committee is in the U.S. to sensitize , engage and involve  diasporan Sierra Leoneans  and the country’s foreign friends in the celebrations.

Addressing the big gathering yesterday, the Director of the Diaspora Initiative and also Chairman of the Planning Committee of the 50th Independence Anniversary Celebrations, Dr.William Konteh , said that there was a four-fold vision for the celebrations :

  • To revive national pride and patriotism by celebrating our unity and diversity.
  • To rebrand and showcase Sierra Leone in a positive light
  • To continue the process of consolidating peace and development
  • To implement a range of legacy projects which would serve as a memorial to the celebration.

The eloquent Chairman said that Sierra Leone wants to use 2011 as the moment when the country is showcased in a positive light to the whole world. The plan, he went on, is to showcase Sierra Leone as a new nation open to investment , business and tourism and as one of the safest places on earth today for doing business.

Propounding on the range of legacy projects to serve as a memorial of the celebration, Dr.Konteh pointed out some of the areas that need urgent attention. He mentioned Lungi International Airport which he said needs to be reconstructed to international standards as the gateway to the nation and the place where visitors to the country receive their first and lasting  impression about the country. He also mentioned the country’s road network which needs to be given attention to help the movement of commerce and goods and services as the government seeks to improve the national economy. Sierra Leone, he stated, now looks like a work yard with lots of road development projects going on.

Dr. Konteh spoke about the lofy plans of the APC Government for the socio-economic and political transformation of Sierra Leone but he regretted the fact that the country needs resources to implement its agenda .”We therefore want to appeal to everybody here tonight and anybody who understands the problems of Sierra Leone to help provide the support needed by the country”. The Diaspora Chief als called on all present to use their social networks to pass on  his appeal to 50 other people . “You can call it the 50×50 Network” , he joked.

DR. KONTEH ADDRESSING PROGRAM

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR KWAME YANKSON (RIGHT ) , AMBASSADOR OSMAN KEH KAMARA (CENTRE ) AND ANOTHER GUEST

PRESIDENT OF ORGANIZATION OF SIERRA LEONEANS IN NEW YORK AHMED KAMARA TALKING TO A GUEST

MADAM MILLIE TERRY –THE SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO DR. KONTEH–STANDING WITH GUESTS

AMBASSADOR I.S.CONTEH ( LEFT ), DIRECTOR KONTEH ( THIRD FROM LEFT ) AND GUESTS

MADAM MILLIE TERRY AND MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY KABS KANU

GUESTS RUB SHOULDERS WITH EACH OTHER DURING THE RECEPTION

TWO OF THE GUESTS

MORE OF THE GUESTS

THE BAND PLAYING S DELICIOUS SOUND

ANOTHER PHOTO OF THE GUESTS

FORMER AMBASSADOR SYLVESTER ROWE (LEFT ); AMBASSADOR KAMARA (CENTER) AND MR. BAMI PARKES

Dr. Konteh also said that the showcasing process last night was also being used to consolidate peace in Sierra Leone in a well-structured manner, adding :  ”We are now moving from the peacebuilding stage to the development stage .”  The nation, he continued , had  identified poverty allevation projects and so the Planning Committee has come to the United States to tell Sierra Leoneans and foreign friends about it and to solicit their support. “We will have a big peace march in Sierra Leone and we want everybody here to go there and take part “, he further disclosed . He  also  said that Sierra Leone is going to have peace monuments to demonstrate to the world that nothing like war will happen there again.

THE COMMITTEE MEANWHILE has appointed Golden Globe and Tony Award winning actor, Mr. Jeffrey Wright to be the PEACE AMBASSADOR . His duties will be to start to bring more people abroad; to help raise funds ; to help rebrand Sierra Leone and to broadcast the 50th Independence Anniversary Celebrations far and wide. He has a long and distinguished involvement with Sierra Leone where he has an NGO. He is Chairman of the Taia LLC and Taia Peace Foundation . He delivered a very beautiful and inspiriong statement which we will publish next.

TOMORROW’S TOWN MEETING will be held at the Tacoma Park Community Centre auditorium  , 7500 Maple Avenue ,Tacoma Park, Maryland 20912.

OFFICIALS OF 50TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS ARRIVE IN U.S. TO ENGAGE AND INVOLVE DIASPORANS

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

William-Conteh

DR. WILLIAM KONTEH

Top officials of the Planning Committee of Sierra Leone‘s 50TH Independence Anniversary celebrations have arrived in the United States to engage and involve Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora in the celebrations.

 

The delegation is headed by the Director of Diaspora Affairs, Dr. William Konteh , who was appointed by President Ernest Bai Koroma  to also Chair  the Planning Committee. Other members of the delegation are Mrs. Yeniva Sisay-Sogbeh , who is the Executive Secretary , Madam Milly Terry , the Personal Assistant to the Director and Mr.Kwame Yankson , the Communications Officer of the Committee.

 

They will organize a series of events which will include a reception on Friday November 19  at the Ambassador’s Club, Karma Lounge , 800 G Shoppers Way, Largo, Maryland where distinguished guests will join a select group of changemakers to preview the Committee’s plans for the 50th Anniversary Celebrations. This will be followed by a Celebrity Event in New York on Sunday November 21.This will be followed by a Town Meeting on Tuesday November 23  at 7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma ,Maryland ,where the Committee will unveil its plans for the Anniversary.

 

Madam Millie Terry said that the Committee had come to the diaspora to sensitize Sierra Leoneans and get their  views and ideas about the forthcoming celebrations .”We aim to update them , dialogue with them and engage them, because as President Ernest Koroma has been saying, the diaspora is very important and the President wants the 50th Anniversary celebrations to be of a national character “.

 

Diaspora Director and Chair of the Celebrations Committee, Dr. William Konteh, giving a synopsis of the Committee said that on May 18, 2010, President Ernest Bai Koroma appointed the committee and gave it a clear mandate:

 

  • To organize a year –long celebration, from January 1 to December 31.
  • That the celebration should be of a national character involving all Sierra Leoneans , including those in the diaspora.
  • It should  be non-political and non-partisan, involving all the political parties , interest groups and organizations.

 

The Chairman disclosed that a committee consisting of 40 persons was appointed comprising political representatives from all the parties to demonstrate its non-partisan nature.

 

The 50TH Anniversary Celebrations  have a four-fold vision, according to the Chairman.

 

  • To revive national pride and patriotism by celebrating our unity and diversity.
  • To rebrand and showcase Sierra Leone in a positive light
  • To continue the process of consolidating peace and development
  • To implement a range of legacy projects which would serve as a memorial to the celebration.

 

He stated that the Committee will engage in a range of sensitization events and informal functions within  the Washington, Virginia, Maryland and New York areas during the period of their stay in America “ We hope these activities will engender interest in Sierra Leoneans and bring into focus the importance of the Golden Jubilee celebrations, which we believe will be a major turning point for Sierra Leone in her move to higher heights “.

 

Dr. Konteh concluded by calling on all Sierra Leoneans to join His Excellency the President , Dr.Ernest Bai Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone at this momentous period in history.

 

LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU

MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY

SIERRA LEONE MISSION TO THE UN

The new face of Sierra Leone under President Ernest Bai Koroma

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

The new face of Sierra Leone under President Ernest Bai Koroma

Published on November 16, 2010 by Cocorioko News   ·   No Comments

roadconstruction

Written by Kabs Kanu Thursday, 10 June 2010 21:13 : REPRODUCED BY POPULAR REQUEST –

President Ernest Bai Koroma is receiving plaudits, congratulations and pats on the back from all sectors of the Sierra Leone society for the dramatic and magnificient manner he is changing the face of the country. Sierra Leone, despite all her natural resources was a country once synonymous with pitch darkness, poor infrastructure and dangerous roads filled with potholes. However, since President Koroma came to power in 2007, dramatic changes are going on in Sierra Leone that visitors to the country are spreading when they return abroad. Now, there is electricity in the country, thanks to the completion of the Bumbuna Hydroelectricity Dam by President Koroma. There is still much room for improvement but one joy that Sierra Leoneans have today is that their nation no longer has the shameful distinction of having the darkest capital city in the world.

 PHOTO : THE BO/MASIAKA HIGHWAY IN SIERRA LEONE 

With Bumbuna Phase 11 in the works and more megawatts of electricity expected to shoot light to all pars of the country, the government has also turned its attention into road construction and architectural projects and gradually, in so short a time, Sierra Leone is now boasts of  some of the best and safest highways in the subcontinent. There was a time in Sierra Leone (In the early 90s to as recent as 2006 ) when travelling around the country was the most annoying and dangerous enterprise one could embark upon. The beautiful roads system built by the late President Siaka Stevens had deteriorated into potholes and unnegotiable trenches and gutters. A journey of just 164 miles from Freetown to Bo was a hair-raising torture that lasted forever ; the potholes and the tarmac that had been eaten off the roads by age and erosion made travel slow, very bumpy and irritating. The situation was no different with the Freetown/Makeni, Makeni/Kono and the Bo/ Kenema Highways. They were all death traps and many lives were lost needlessly when vehicles summersaulted or had head-on collisions while trying to negotiate the trenches and potholes.

PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA : THE MARCH OF VICTORY

I can remember travelling on the Bo Waterside death traps to Kenema and then to Freetown with Liberian refugees fleeing the war in Liberia in the early 1990s. I could not disguise my shame and embarrassment at the pitiful and disgraceful state of the roads in Sierra Leone . Though running away from war, my Liberian friends could not help taking snipes at Sierra Leone for such a deplorable and dangerous road system. Some of them began wondering whether they were doing the right thing stirring up the protests that led to the 1980 bloody military coup that kicked off the political chaos in the country that led to the Civil War. That was because despite all the country’s problems, Liberia had far better roads. Travelling from Monrovia to Gbanga in Suacococo and then to Nimba County was comfortable . One of them complained to me : “Ma meh, why is your country so backward ? We thought we had problems in Liberia but from what I am seeing, I think Liberia is Europe, compared to your country. If we had these kinds of roads in Liberia, war would have started long ago ” .

Today, things have changed in Sierra Leone. Going by the road construction going on presently under the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma , Sierra Leone is becoming the envy of many West African nations.  The country is moving towards the glorious achievement of having the best road network in West Africa.

The All People’s Congress (APC ) Government  , led by President Koroma, is cognisant of the fact that transportation is a fundamental component of the expeditious transfer of food products, goods and services throughout the country. The government is aware that good roads will   boost commercial activities and stimulate socio-economic and political development ; furthermore, when a country has  a magnificient road network system , the quality of life of the people is improved. Commuting becomes easier for the citizens and even the lives of vehicles plying the good roads become lengthened . The government’s infrastructural and road development projects which are contained in President Koroma’s Agenda For Change are therefore  designed to spur socio-economic and political development and improve the lives of the people.

As construction works on  the Freetown/Conakry Highway, and the Kenema-Koindu Road gain pace and the Freetown Peninsular Highway takes shape  , work will soon start on the ambitious hillside road which will significantly reduce the traffic jams in the city. It will be a by-pass road that will start from Blackhall Road, winding through the hilly expanse of  Ginger Hall, Mount Aureol and ending at the junction of Pademba Road. The road , along with the Peninsular Highway , will boost commerce, movement  of people and tourism in the city and the country.

President Ernest Koroma is thus a blessing to Sierra Leone. Through his many development projects he has restored the pride of the Sierra Leonean people and provided hope that Sierra Leone is not a lost cause after all.

Talking to many Sierra Leoneans in New York, Washington DC, California and New Jesey at the weekend, this writer had an earful of the sentiments of appreciation for President Koroma  being expressed by citizens of the country all over the world. Though some disaffected people are using the internet to promote negativity and spread fear and apprehension about life in Sierra Leone, the truth continues to slap them in the face that Sierra Leone, under President Ernest Koroma,  is moving on to become one of the most progressive countries in Africa. For once, donor money and national funds are being put into good use in Sierra Leone.

The world economic meltdown is wreaking havoc on the economic well-being of people all over the world, even in the industrialized nations like the United States , Britain, France, Germany , Russia and Asia. Sierra Leone is no exception , AND those trying to use our economic problems to underplay the achievements of the present government are further thwarted by the fact that whatever economic problems bedevil them today, Sierra Leoneans are hopeful that there is now a silver lining in the cloud with President Koroma’s socio-economic and political reforms , backed by more positive signs like the resumption of mining activities all over the country .

A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step .Sierra Leone , under President Ernest Koroma, has taken that one step . By the time President Koroma completes his second term, Sierra Leone would have marched to the commendable  heights of social, economic and political advancement.

PBC : UN Secretary General calls for support for Sierra Leone

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission last week  held the  High-Level Stakeholders Meeting of the Peacebuilding Fund at the UN Headquarters in New York. The purpose of the meeting, according to the UN Secretary General, was an opportunity to review the achievements of the Fund and to discuss how best to strengthen its role in peacebuilding.
BAN KI MOON 2
Sierra Leone’s delegation at the meeting and other sessions  of the PBF included the Permanent Representative to the UN, Mr. Shekou Toure ; the Deputy Permanent Representative for Legal Affairs , Mr. Osman Keh-Kamara ; the Minister Plenipotentiary Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu ; and Counselors Victoria Sulimani and Saidu Nallo.
In his statement during the opening session, the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, called for generous contributions to the UN Peacekeeping Fund ,which he said was set up in 2006 to support efforts to augment peace and stability in countries emerging from conflict. Peacebuilding, he went on, means “addressing some of the most sensitive issues facing a given society-issues that, indeed, have previously proved so charged and intractable that led to armed conflict “. The Secretary General said that the Peacekeeping Fund has so far received $342 million ,which exceeds the initial target of $ 250 million and 46 countries contributed . Mr. Ki-Moon went on to say that 60 percent of the $206 million already allocated by the fund, went to the following  countries on the agenda of the UN Peacebuilding Commission , which are Burundi, Sierra Leone,Guinea Bissau and the Central African Republic. The UN Boss went on to say that the goal now is to raise ,allocate and spend $100 million per year for the next three years .
In addition to the statement delivered on behalf of Deputy Finance Minister,  Dr. Richard Konteh, who is Govt of Sierra Leone Co-chair of the PBF, by the Permanent representative , Ambassador Shekou Touray, a presentation on the Peacebuilding activities in the justice Sector of Sierra Leone , was made by the Consultant Master and Registrar of the Judiciary of Sierra Leone and Coordinator of PBF Project for the Justice Sector, Madam Julia Sakodi-Mensah. She stated that problems in the Justice Sector of Sierra Leone also contributed to the war and it was therefore important in the country’s judicial reform process to develop a sector-core reform to develop capacity. According to her, The main thrust of the Peace Building agreement , which was signed with the Justice Sector, is ‘capacity development of the justice system to prevent delays in trials and to clear existing backlog of cases of approximately 700 cases ; which could also help to decongest the prisons’ . She outlined 5 outcomes of the project which included the successful disposition of 698 cases, through the setting up of backlog courts throughout the country; improvement of the functioning of the courts with activities like the recruitment of judicial staff, provision of logistics and vehicles,specialised training for judicial and legal staff , limited legal aid fund ,witness support fund etc.etc; improvement of a functioning Law Officers’ Department through the recruitment of more state counsels and training of police prosecutors , among others; providing increased access to justice for all especially the more vulnerable -women and children.  
In his statement, Mr. Robert Heifer , the Executive Coordinator of the Peacebuilding Fund , said that the Fund  has two dimensions : Rapid interventions and structural changes. He said that the Fund has turned its attention to the second phase which is structural changes and this includes social, economic and political transformation, democratization, inclusion, social reform etc.
Many countries delivered statements. Some like the World Food Program ( WPF ) stressed the need for credible peace dividends like the creation of employment ,development of infrastructure ,job and food security .  Speakers  underlined the fact that food security provides the basis for stability.The UNSCR talked about community and peace-improvement projects as well as improved community leadership as essential elements for the prevention of the recurrence of conflicts. Luxemburg placed emphasis on the catalytic role peacebuilding has played and called for quick-impact projects that will stem the problem of relapse into war.
During the pledging segment of the meeting, countries and organizations that are contributing to the Peacebuilding Fund made commitments to continue their support while calling for enhanced coordination and cooperation between the PBC and the PBF. Some of them made outright pledges while others promised to indicate in due course how much they will continue to give to support the fund. The countries which made pledges were : Sweden.   China , Luxemburg  ,Ireland ; Belgium ; Germany ; Australia; Canada ; Russia ; Quatar ; Finland ; Egypt; Chile  ; Korea ; Pakistan ;
Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu
Minister Plenipotentiary
Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN
245 E 49th Street, New York, NY 10017
Tel:  (212 ) 688 – 1656 Ext. 18

 

Case for war crimes tribunal in Liberia

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

 

LIB WarCrimes 082108

 

ARCHIVES OF THE WICKED

 

(Meet Liberia’s Foremost Human Butcherers)

 

 

Massacre, Summary Execution, And Other Gruesome Acts From 1990-2003

 

Submitted to:

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia

 

DATE EVENT PLACE ALLEGED MASTERMIND ORGANIZATION HISTORY
Feb/1990 Massacre & arson Yarsonnoh,Nimba County Capt. James Chelly, Hon. Donzo, Commissioner resident in Ganta Armed Forces ofLiberia(AFL) A group of AFL soldiers led by Capt. James Chelly, Hon. Donzo, Commissioner residing in Ganta, Massacred 71 persons in Yarsonnoh and burned 52 houses in that town.
Feb/1990 Massacre Ganta, Nimba Co. A group of soldiers headed by Edwin Voker, Commissioner of Sacleapea Mah, Vakaba Bility and Mr. Biabia Armed Forces ofLiberia(AFL) A group of AFL soldiers headed by Edwin Voker, Commissioner of Sacleapea Mah, Vakaba Bility and Mr. Biabia entered Karnwee, NimbaCounty and arrested 18 young men under the guise of being NPFL facilitators. The victims were taken to Ganta and murdered.
March/1990 Murder Nimba County  Paul Vaye, George Mansuo, and one Tarkpor National Patriotic Front of Liberia(NPFL) In March 1990 Paul Vaye, George Mansuo, Tarkpor Gweh and men assigned with them arrested Moses Duopue, Stephen Daniels and some of their family members and murder them in Tiaplay, NimbaCounty. They allegedly acted on the orders of the then Maj. Charles Taylor.
June/1990 Massacre Monrovia,BTC Moses Thomas, Moses Wright, James Chelly, George Dweh and Tailey Armed Forces ofLiberia(AFL) In June 1990, Moses Thomas, Moses Wright, James Chelly, George Dweh and Tailey, in consultation with President Doe, massacred 27 Gio and Mano families that were members of the AFL and residing at the BTC barracks. They were buried on the beach behind the BTC.
July 29,1990 Massacre Monrovia,Lutheran Church Edward Slangar, George Dweh, Moses Thomas, commander of the SATU & Gen. Tailey Armed Forces ofLiberia(AFL) on July 29,1990, Edward Slangar, George Dweh, Moses Thomas, commander of the SATU, Gen. Tailey & members of the AFL allegedly massacred over 500 persons at the Lutheran Church in Sinkor under the guise that they were Gios and Manos in that Church who were in support of NPFL advances on Monrovia and the overthrow of the Samuel Doe regime.
July/1990 Massacre Bakedu, LofaCounty G. Anthony Mehn and  Joe Doe National Patriotic Front of Liberia(NPFL) in July 1990 ,G. Anthony Mehn, Joe Doe and their bodyguards murdered about 32 persons of the Mandingo ethnic group inBakeduLofa County. The murderers were fighters of NPFL.
1990 Murder Monrovia  George Dweh Armed Forces ofLiberia(AFL) In 1990,George Dweh eliminated the Johnny Nah family in Monrovia.
August 2, 1990:  Massacre Monrovia, JFK George Dweh Armed Forces ofLiberia On August 2nd,1990, George Dweh led a group of AFL soldiers to the JFK hospital and massacred 250 persons, most of who were Gios and Manos ethnic groups. majority of them were seeking refuge at the hospital compound while others were arrested at the gate that was placed on the boulevard at the hospital entrance.
1990 murdered Wanlema, LofaCounty Gen. Jack the rebel National Patriotic Front of Liberia In 1990, Gen, Jack the rebel went to the remote town of Wanlema, Lofa County and murdered Chief Mamadee Kamara and family members.
Sept 10, 1990 Murder & massacre Monrovia  General Prince Y. Johnson Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia On September 10,1990, the  INPFL, captured, totured and  butchered  ex-President Samuel K. Doe and massacred several others for alleged corruption .
1990 Murder Caldwell  General Prince Y. Johnson Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia  (INPFL) In 1990, the INPFL killed one ofLiberia’s musical celebrities, Tecumsay Roberts for  allegedly practicing homosexuality.
1990 Massacre Freeport,Monrovia General Prince Y. Johnson Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia(INPFL) 1n 1990, the INPFL massacred more than 100 innocent civilians who had gone to seek food at the Freeport of Monrovia. He accused them of looting food.
1990 massacre Bong Mines General Prince Y. Johnson Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia(INPFL) 1990, the INPFL killed 200 innocent persons on grounds of their alleged support for NPFL. This massacre was carried out at the orders of Gen. Prince Johnson
1990 Conscription and illegal recruitment of child soldiers Caldwell base General Prince Y. Johnson Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia(INPFL) In 1990, the INPFL under the brutal command of General Prince Johnson recruited and used child soldiers to wage reign of terror on innocent people, contrary to the Geneva Convention.
1990 Looting of banks and properties Monrovia  General Prince Y. Johnson Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia(INPFL) In 1990, general Prince Johnson masterminded and ordered the looting of various banks inMonrovia. Stores at water side, ware houses atFreeport, were also affected.
May, 1991 Massacre Zorzor, LofaCounty Mangouhb Menior of the NPFL murdered National Patriotic Front of Liberia ( NPFL) In May 1991, Mangouhb Menior of the NPFL murdered 16 persons of the Mandingo and Gbandi ethnic groups in Zorzor. The victims were accused of being enemies of the revolution launched by Charles Taylor. Menlor was temporarily detained by Isaac Musa and later released on parole.
1991 Massacre Kakata, MargibiCounty An NPFL fighter code named “Mike Tyson” National Patriotic Front of Liberia ( NPFL) In 1991, on Bong Mines Highway an NPFL fighter code named “Mike Tyson” placed 73 person in a house and burned them to death in a place called “compound” on the Kakata – Bong Mines Highway. The victims were arrested as suspected ULIMO fighters.
October 20, 1991 Murder Zorgowee Town,Nimba County Paul Vaye, Henry Kerdiah, George Mansuo and George Karsuo National Patriotic Front of Liberia ( NPFL) on October 20, 1991: Paul Vaye, Henry Kerdiah, George Mansuo and George Karsuo arrested Jackson F. Doe in Buchanan,Grand BassaCounty, on the orders of Charles Taylor and murdered him in the Nimba Town of Zorgowee. 
October,1992 murder Gardnersville,MontserradoCounty Christopher Varmo and Edward Wowah National Patriotic Front of Liberia ( NPFL) in October 1992 during the infamous “Operation Octopus” launched by NPFL, five Catholic Nuns were murdered . Christopher Varmo and Edward Wowah carried out this operation.
October,1992 Summary Execution Horton’s Farm, Kakata, Margibi County Martina Johnson National Patriotic Front of Liberia ( NPFL) in October 1992: Martina Johnson, NPFL artillery commander ordered the execution of 23 person arrested in Bong Mines as suspected fighters of ULIMO.
December 26,1992 Massacre firestone, Margibi county Joseph Zackor, alias “Gen. Zack”, Nixon Gayor, Francis Duanna and men assigned with them massacred National Patriotic Front of Liberia ( NPFL) 

 

 

on December 26, 1992: Joseph Zackor, alias “Gen. Zack”, Nixon Gayor, Francis Duanna and men assigned with them massacred 35 persons at the Firestone Plantations, division No. 31 while escaping the ULIMO incursion in Kakata.
January 2, 1993 Massacre Voinjama, LofaCounty Cllr. Lavella Supuwood National Patriotic Front of Liberia ( NPFL) On January 2, 1993,  Cllr. J Lavelli Supuwoo, ordered and witnessed the execution of 18 persons in Voinjama. The blood of the victims was drained in a white bucket for unknown reasons.
June 6/7,1993 Massacre Carter camp, Margibi County AFL(Black beret) under the command structure of Brownell J Samukai Armed Forces ofLiberia(AFL) on June 6/7, 1993 as established by the  Wako commission, the AFL/Black beret under the command structure of Brownell J Samukai  slaughtered close to 600 men, women and children in cold blood from 0100hrs to 0300hrs. . The victims are said to be buried on the outskirts of the camp.
May 11, 1993 Summary execution Gbarnga,BongCounty Saar Gbollie National Patriotic Front of Liberia(NPFL) on May 11, 1993: Saar Gbollie executed 17 persons in the Gbarnga MP cell while serving as deputy MP commander for the Executive Mansion Presidential Guard Force (EMPPGF). The victims were arrested in Lofa on suspicion of being ULIMO fighters.
August, 1993 Massacre Ganta, NimbaCounty Matthew Cheplay National Patriotic Front of Liberia(NPFL) in August 1993: Matthew Cheplay, commander of “Wild Geese” and his men killed 21 persons in Ganta while in route to Sinoe and wanted to loot fuel from a trader. This incident claimed the lives of William Gensee, the wife, and three children of Samuel Luogon.
August 19,1993 Massacre LAC, Grand Bassa county Coo-Coo Dennis National Patriotic Front of Liberia(NPFL) on August 19,1993: Gen. Coo coo Dennis killed 26 persons in LAC when they were accused of being supporters of LPC.
1993 Massacre GreenvilleSinoeCounty George Boley Liberia peace Council(LPC) in 1993 more than 100 human skeletons were discovered at theFrancis J. Grant Hospital inGreenville, SinoeCounty. According to Mr. David Swen, the acting hospital administrator at the time, the skeletons were of people taken captive and slaughtered by LPC  upon the orders of George Boley in 1993.
1993 Murder Vahum, LofaCounty Charles Taylor and Thomas Worwiyu National Patriotic Front of Liberia(NPFL) in 1993, Six Senegalese ECOMOG soldiers were murdered by Oliver Varnie, Timothy Mulbah and Joe Doe in Vahun on orders of Charles Taylor and his then defense Minister J. Thomas Wuworyu following ECOMOG’s deployment in his controlled areas. Their bodies were dumped in a valley in Vahun and NPFL authorities refused to turn the bodies over to. It was based on persistent international pressure that the bodies of the six Senegalese were turned over to the ECOMOG High Command. Their bodies were flown to Senegal for proper burial.
January 15,1994 Massacre Neeswen Town,Rivercess County NPFL National Patriotic Front of Liberia ( NPFL ) on January 15, 1994 ,the NPFL fighters killed 32 persons after they were accused of being supporters of the LPC. The fighters were said to have entered the town at about 3:00am and began slaughtering occupants of houses marked by the LPC.
February,1994 Massacre KpakolokuyaTownBongCounty in iafa Normah National Patriotic Front of Liberia ( NPFL ) In 1994, Siafa Normah ordered the execution of 15 men inKpakolokuya Town,Bong County during his term as army chief of staff of the NPFL. Abel Normah and Wogbagii implemented the order.
May,1994 Massacre Gbarnga, BongCounty Cassius Jacobs. National Patriotic Front of Liberia ( NPFL ) in May 1994, Andrew Koah, Alosius Sackie, Gaye Getteh, Saturday Tuah, J.J. Doeh, and Marcus Seebo tied 19 men in a Tarpolin and hung them over a pile of fire until they died. The culprits acted on the orders f Cassius Jacobs.
1994 Summary Execution Zorzor, LofaCounty  General Apolo J. Swen, ULIMO Summary Execution in Zorzor,Lofa County in 1994: General Apolo J. Swen, front line commander for ULIMO, murdered 69 POWs of NPFL in Lofa. More than 100 civilians were also murdered two days after.
June 19, 1994 Massacre Moulton Corner, Brewersville,MontserradoCounty Alhaji G.V Kromah ULIMO-K on June 19, 1994 Nine persons, including an entire family, upon the orders of Alhaji G.V Kromah, were slaughtered in the areas that was controlled by Mandingo fighters of ULIMO-K who recaptured the area from  Krahn fighters.
September, 1994 Massacre Kpoloppai, BongCounty George Boley LPC In September 1994, LPC massacred about 300 persons “allegedly” when they fled the fighting in Gbarnga between ULIMO – K and NPFL.
September, 1994 Massacre Phebe, BongCounty LPC LPC Massacre at Phebe,Bong County in September 1994 as reported by residents of the area: LPC allegedly massacred over 100 persons who were hospitalized and or seeking shelter at the PhebeHospital after fleeing fighting between ULIMO –K and NPFL.
October/1994 Massacre Duoh, NimbaCounty Coo-Coo Dennis National Patriotic Front of Liberia( NPFL) in October 1994, Chinese Japper, a then commander under Coo coo Dennis, murdered 86 persons in  while retreating from Bassa with about 1700 fighters escaping from LPC.
October,1994 Murder Beilah, Bong county Saturday Tuah National Patriotic Front of Liberia( NPFL) in October 1994, On the orders of Saturday Tuah of the NPFL, Junior Vaye dumped the wife and children of James Glasco in the St. John Riverin Beilah during the fall of Gbarnga to ULIMO.
November1994 Massacre Sendin Crossing Point in NimbaCounty Dominic Sayeh and Bleh Vah National Patriotic Front of Liberia( NPFL) in November 1994: A group of NPFL soldiers led by Dominic Sayeh and Bleh Vah killed 176 persons at the Sendin Crossing Point in NimbaCounty. The victims were of the Bassa ethnic group.
November 11,1994 Massacre Ganta NimbaCounty  General Liberty National Patriotic Front of Liberia( NPFL) Massacre in GantaNimba County on November 11, 1994: General Liberty killed 21 unarmed boys in Ganta during the fall of Gbarnga. He accused them of being disguised ULIMO fighters.
December 15,1994 Massacre Cow Field, Duport Road,MontserradoCounty Paul Vaye, Sam Lartee National Patriotic Front of Liberia( NPFL) on December 19, 1994, About 48 persons (civilians were massacred by Paul Vaye, Sam Lartee and other soldiers of NPFL, while they were asleep at their home. Cow Field,Duport Road in the Paynesville area. The bodies were buried in a mass grave in thePalm GroveCemetery on Center Street.
January,1995 Murder Grand KruCounty  Liberia Peace Council LPC in January 1995 as reported by Isaiah Momboe Sackor, Ni LURD commander alias K-1 ffu Borta Community Development Association/ The Inquirer Newspaper, January 3, 1995 Vol. 4 # 241: The Liberian Peace Council fighters killed 18 citizens
Sept. 27, 1995 Massacre Tappita, NimbaCounty Gen. Jack the Rebel NPFL on September 27, 1995 reported by JPC: Gen. Jack the Rebel acting upon the orders of Charles G. Taylor killed 105 persons in Tappita. These people were killed because they refused to give up their only sawmill in their town.
March, 1996 Massacre Bokomu District,Fassama Town,Lofa County Maj. A.C. Dorley held ULIMO In March 1996 as reported by an escapee/Monrovia Daily News Vol. 3 # 61: Several person lost their lives in six villages and towns by fighters of ULIMO. The commanders Maj. A.C. Dorley held separate meetings in the area at which time he accused the villages of being informants for the Lofa Defense Force (LDF) and retreating remnants of NPFL.
April 18,1996 Massacre Zuanna Town/Bloun Town, Roycesville,BomiCounty ULIMO ULIMO in on April 18, 1996 as reported by several residents including the block leader/The News Newspaper, December 11, 1996 Vol. # 47: Twelve persons were killed when a group of fighters of ULIMO stormed the area and burned down the displaced camp and Karmo Town.
August, 1996 Massacre BTC, Monrovia AFL AFL Mass Grave found at Barclay Training Center (BTC) Beach, Central Monrovia, Montserrado County in August 1996 as reported by Chief Pathologist, Dr. Isaac Moss/ The National Chronicle, August 29-30, 1996 Vol. 1 #31: A team of medical doctors and health practitioners involved in the exhuming and reburying of dead bodies revealed that over 500 bodies were exhumed at the BTC beach and reburied at the Center Street Cemetery. Some of the people died from bullets or blunt objects while some were beheaded.
August,1996 Massacre Matadi Estate, Airfield and Unknown Unknown in August 1996 as reported by Chief Pathologist, Dr. Isaac Moss/ The National Chronicle, August 29-30, 1996 Vol. 1 #31: Mass grave were discovered in these areas by a team of medical doctors.
March 28, 1996 Massacre Sinje, Grand CapeMount County ULIMO ULIMO On March 28, 1996, according to a UN press release issued by the Special Representative of the Secretary General Amb. Anthony B. Nyakyi, about 17 civilians were killed and many were injured while about 1000 civilians escaped the bloodbath. But other reports put the number at 25 to 48.
Sept., 1996 Murder Robertsport,Grand CapeMount County Unknown Unknown More Killing in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County in September 1996 as reported by fleeing residents/The Inquirer Newspaper October 4, 1996 Vol. 5 # 75: Unidentified fighters reportedly killed
1996 Brutal killings Robertsport,Grand CapemountCounty ULIMO ULIMO Nine prominent citizens of Robertsport were executed by men of ULIMO on  claims that their victims gave money to another armed group to attack their positions.
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October,1996 Gruesome Killings seyon TownBushrod Island  Unknown Unknown in October 1996 as reported by residents of Seyon Town/The News Newspaper October 18, 1996 Vol. 7 # 24: Three ex-combatants who had lured the market women from the Freeport of Monrovia where they had gone to buy rice and bulgur wheat slaughtered the two women; Doris Dekeh and Louis (surname not known). The three after they had killed the women, sprinkled kerosene on their remains, covered them with tires and set them ablaze. LD $2500 was taken from them.
December 11, 1996 Massacre Zuanna TownBloun, Royesville, BomiCounty ULIMO-J ULIMO-J in Zuanna Town Bloun, Royesville, Bomi County on December 7, 1996 as reported by the News Newspaper December 11, 1996 Vol. 7 # 47: Eight persons were killed. ULIMO-J is accused of committing the act.
November 28, 1997 Murder Gbarnga, BongCounty Benjamin Yeaten NPFL on November 28, 1997 an opposition politician and former Deputy Speaker of the TLA, Samuel Saye Doke, his wife Janet, his sister Serena and nephew Emmanuel Voker were arrested at a security checkpoint in Gbarnga while in route to Sanniquellie, NimbaCounty to attend a welding. It was alleged that the SSS Director, Benjamin Yeaten ordered their arrest. Following their arrest, Mr. Dokie was brought toMonrovia for investigation and subsequently take back to Gbarnga. Three days later, the burnt bodies of the Dokies, the government said it never ordered the arrest of Mr. Dokie. The SSS Director, Benjamin Yeaten, however, admitted ordering Mr. Dokie’s arrest, but not his murder. Yeaten was temporarily relived of his post to assist in the investigation. The court for lack of evidence acquitted two security personnel Richard Saydee and Kennday Fineboy, who had been named as prime suspects. Their bodies are said to be buried around a place called Barbecue Corner on the Gbarnga-Kokoy Road
December 16,1997 Murder Free port,Monrovia State security GOL on December 16,1997 as reported by eyewitnesses: Daniel Nyankan, a businessman was found dead around the Freeport of Monrovia with bruises all over his body. His death sparked off controversy, with the police authorities accusing ECOMOG soldiers of killing Nyankan. Family sources, however, quoted eyewitnesses as saying that state security forces killed Nyankan after he had been severely flogged.
April,1998 Massacre( pregnant woman and others buried alive) Zorzor, LofaCounty NPFL NPFL in April 1998 as reported by Zorzor citizen youth leader George/ The Heritage, April 28-30, 1998 Vol. 2 #53: NPFL fighters killed several people including pregnant women. The youth leader (George) claimed that the victims’ hands and legs were tied before they were buried alive in shallow, thin graves of about three to four feet deep.
June 28, 1998 Murder Paynesville,MontserradoCounty SSS personnel GOL on June 28, 1998: Nowai Flomo, a market woman, disappeared from her residence inKpelle Town, Paynesville. She was allegedly abducted from her house at about 11:00am by nine officers of the SSS, led by one David Daniel, who had gone to visit Ms. Gormie Jartu, a housemate of Ms. Flomo. The SSS officers allegedly murdered her after an exchange of words over the manner in which the security personnel drove in the yard. Her corpse has not been found. The police later released all those arrested in connection with the disappearance for what the police termed “lack of evidence”.
Sept. 18,1996 Massacre Johnson Road,Monrovia  Security forces GOL on September 18, 1998 as reported by resident in the Camp Johnson Road Area: State Security forces attacked Gen. Roosevelt Johnson, a former warring faction leader, onCamp Johnson Road. The government within 24 hours gave three different reasons for the invasion, which eyewitness accounts say, claimed the lives of over 100 persons. The government put the casualty figures at 53. The government first said that its security forces went to evict illegal occupants in private houses when they came under attack. Then, State Security Officials alleged that they were on patrol in theCamp Johnson Road area when they came under attack from supporters of Gen. Johnson.
September 19, 1998 Massacre Camp Johnson RoadMonrovia  Col. Junior Fania, Leo Jebo, Saa Gbollie, Joe Tuah, General Eric Sway, and Arthur saah GOL On September 18th, President Taylor ordered the eviction of Mr. Roosevelt Johnson from his residence. Several persons of the Krahn ethnic tribe ran into the Episcopal Church. SSU allegedly executed about 1500 persons, mostly young men at dawn of September 19, 1998. Col. Junior Fania, Leo Jebo, Saa Gbollie, Joe
August 11, 1999 Massacre Nikagabozu, LofaCounty LURD/NPFL LURD/NPFL about 100 persons were massacred  in Nikagabozu. This was believed to be a reprisal of a recent massacre of elders and Chiefs of Lawalazo by dissident forces (LURD) when they entered Liberia on August 11, 1999. The students blamed the massacre squarely at the feet of Defense Minister, Daniel Chea as a result of an interview he granted the BBC Journalist Robin White.
October 10,1999 Massacre Swen, BomiCounty Siafa Norman NPFL on October 10, 1999: Siafa Norman massacred about 20 civilians who were accused of being LURD supporters in Swen Mechan District,Bomi County.
January 2000 Massacre Zorzor District,Lofa County Security forces GOL Massacre in Bawon Town, Zorzor District, Lofa County in January 2000 as reported by UL students from Quardu-Gboni Mandingo Chiefdom/New Democrat Newspaper, February 4-7, 2000 Vol. 6 #145: Armed militiamen massacred 18 persons of the Mandingo ethnic group in Lofa County. Government announced an investigation into the extra-judicial killings, but nothing was heard beyond the announcement.
January,2000 Massacre Gbarnga, BongCounty Melvin Sobani GOL in January 2000: Melvin Sobani ordered the execution of 26 unarmed civilians in Gbar, Bomi County. They were accused of being supporters of LURD
May,200 Summary Execution Voinjama, LofaCounty Joe Gbala LURD in May 2000: Mr. Joe Gbala ordered the execution of 42 captives in Voinjama. They were considered GOL soldiers who had surrendered in a battle between John Town and Zorzor. Others were brought from Foyah
March,2001 Summary Execution Kornia, LofaCounty Momo Jebah ATU in March 2001, Momo Jibba ordered the execution of 14 persons in Kornia,Lofa County when GOL recaptured the town from LURD. He also planned and executed the death of François Massaquoi, the then Youth and Sports Minister. 
June 9,2002 massacre Bopolu, GbarpoluCounty Sekou Damante Conneh LURD on June 9, 2002, Ofourie Jay alias “Iron Jacket” upon orders of Sekou Damante Conteh , massacred 110 young men and women in Bopolu, Gbarpolu county. They were accused of being sympathizers of GOL
July 20,2002 Massacre Tubmanburg,Bomi County Benjamin Yeaten GOL in Marhair RiverBridge, on July 20, 2002 as reported by two of the survivors, about 175 persons were massacred allegedly on the orders of Gen. Benjamin Yeaten. They claimed that the people were sympathizers of LURD.
Sept. 18, 2002 Summary Execution Congo TownMonrovia Charles Taylor, Jr ATU on September 18, 2002: Isaac Gono of the ATU, Chief Driver of Charles Taylor, Jr. “Chucky”, was beaten to death on the morning of September 18, 2002 for allegedly hitting a dog with Chucky’s car.
October 21, 2002 Incursion into Ivory Coast Ivory Coast  Charles G. Taylor on October 21, 2002: Charles Taylor mandated Benjamin Yeaten Joe Tuah, Liaison officer, Edward T. Zamay, Training Officer, Walloe, death squad commander, Osebo Demain, logistics officer, and Matthew Karn, artillery commander to cross into Ivory Coast to assist Felix Doe, leader of the Western Rebel, as mercenaries
February 28, 2003 Massacre Toe’s Town, Grand Gedeh County General Gbor Vaye GOL on February 28, 2003 as reported by JPC Monitor/The Inquirer Newspaper, March 17, 2003 Vol. 13 #39/ The News Newspaper, March 17, 2003 Vol. 14 #222: General Gbor Vaye of the GOL slaughtered three employees of the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) namely: Kara Lund, a Norwegian, Arty. Emmanuel Sharply, a Liberian and Country Director, and driver Muse Keita, another Liberian were massacred while in route to Maryland County to pay their employees. The perpetrators were never brought to justice
June 4, 2003 Murder Paynesville,MontserradoCounty Gen. Benjamin Yeaten. GOL Murder in Paynesville, Montserrado County on June 4, 2003 as reported by the deceased wives and relatives: The Deputy Ministers for National Security and Public Works, John Yormie and Isaac Vaye were arrested on the night of June 4, 2003 by a group of armed men under the command of one “Bababa” of the SSS which it was alleged he was acting on the orders of Gen. Benjamin Yeaten. They were allegedly brought toMonrovia, interrogated and later driven back on the Gbarnga-Ganta highway (CNC Logging Company area) and later killed. Their bodies were allegedly dropped on the train track by a container in the Ganta area. Their wives are demanding their bodies to give them a befitting burial
May 26, 2003 Massacre Gbarn, NimbaCounty Adolphus Sampson GOL on May 26, 2003: Adolphus Sampson, special bodyguard to Gen. Benjamin Yeaten murdered a family of five at the railroad bridge near Gbarn, NimbaCounty upon seeing then with $75,000LD, and two pieces of diamonds
May 2003 Summary Execution Lofa Bridge  Sekou Kromah LURD In May 2003,General Sekou  Kromah and his men murdered 24 persons on LofaBridge. The victims were arrested in the Tubmanburg area and charged with reconnaissance. On the same day,  the perpetrator forced a boy to killed his father and suck up his brains.
June-July 2003 Summary execution Monrovia  Lomax, artillery crew commander of Wild Geese and Marcus High Grade GOL Summary execution in Monrovia in June-July 2003: Lomax, artillery crew commander of Wild Geese, Marcus High Grade, bodyguard to Yeaten and Nyan murdered 42 persons on theJohnson StreetBridge for looting. The victims were accused but never tried.
June 9, 2003 Summary Execution Stockton Creek bridge, Monrovia Charles Taylor, Jr. ATU on June 9, 2003, Charles Taylor, Jr. “Chucky” murdered 18 persons at theStockton CreekBridge. Gen. Roland Duo men arrested these people as POW of LURD.
July, 2003 Massacre Combat Camp Gen. Yeaten GOL in July 2003: Marcus High Grade and Gola-Red acting on instruction of Gen. Yeaten transported 78 wounded soldiers from Monrovia to Combat Camp, under pretense of going to pay them and killed them. The victims were demanding to be paid by Charles Taylor.
July, 2003 Summary Execution Klay, BomiCounty Cllr.J  Laveli Supuwood LURD in July 2003, General Abbas of LURD ,said to be acting upon the orders of Cllr. Laveli Supowood,vice chairman/operation, LURD, murdered 26 persons in Klay. The victims were arrested on BushrodIsland as POW of GOL. Most of their bodies were chop to pieces.
September 8-20, 2003 Massacre Tubman Farm,Bong County Gen. Benjamin Yeaten GOL On September 8-20, 2003: Zeezah Mazah, special bodyguard to Benjamin Yeaten fed Mr. Charles Taylor’s lions with 26 living persons on his farm in Maleki,Bong County. This was a prescribed punishment for those who committed crimes.
October 11-26, 2003 Summary Execution Po-River, BomiCounty General Wasue Donzo LURD On October 11-26, 2003: General Wasue Donzo of the LURD ordered the execution of over 26 persons on the Po-River Bridge,Tubmanburg Highway and dumped some of their bodies in the Po-River.
2003 Massacre Buchanan, GrandBassa County Thomas Nimley MODEL In 2003, upon the instructions of  the high command of MODEL, over 1 60 persons were placed in a house custody, and the house set on fire on suspicion of being fighters of GOL
October, 2003 Massacre Greenville, Sinoe Alphonso Zeon MODEL In July, 2003, fighters of MODEL under the command of one General Alphonso Zeon arrested 86 civilians, tied them up in a tarpaulin , lighted fire under them and roasted them to death. Most of the victims were men whose women were seized and raped.
November, 2004 massacre River gee County General zero MODEL In November, 2003, 20 persons were arrested , accused of being Charles Taylor sympathizers, and skinned to death with their hearts extracted and eaten by child soldiers of MODEL
2003 Massacre River Gee County H. Don Morias GOL In 2003, more than 500 innocent persons were slaughtered upon orders of H Dan Morias and others in Glawlo, RiverGee County.
2003 Massacre Liberia/Ivorian border Thomas Nimley MODEL 300 persons who refused to join the MODEL fighting group were executed. Some of them were amputated and left to die while others were beheaded. Most of these acts were carried out by child soldiers on orders from  Boi-blajue-Boi of MODEL
2003 Summary execution Clara Town,Bushrod Island LURD commander alias K-1 LURD In, July, LURD commander alias K-1 ordered the killing of over 25 civilians for allegedly looting.
COURTESY OF THE FORUM FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A WAR CRIMES COURT IN LIBERIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country’s brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. –Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people – Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward …

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of “President of the Republic of Liberia” must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come – Bernard Gbayee Goah 

Liberia’s greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability – Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.

Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole – Bernard Gbayee Goah

 

Liberia’s Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point – Bernard Gbayee Goah

 

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption – Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truth – Bernard Gbayee Goah

DISCLAIMER

Statements and opinions expressed in articles, reviews and other materials herein are those of the authors. While every care has been taken in the compilation of information on this website/blog, and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, I cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this website/blog. The content of any organizations websites which you link to from this website/blog are entirely out of the control of Inside Liberia With Bernard Gbayee Goah, and you proceed at your own risk. These links are provided purely for your convenience. They do not imply Inside Liberia With Bernard Gbayee Goah’s endorsement of or association with any products, services, content, information or materials offered by or accessible to you at said organizations site.

President Koroma delivers impressive four-year report card at UK OGI Meeting

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

 By Sorie Sudan Sesay in London :

 President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma last Saturday won the hearts and minds of Sierra Leoneans in the United Kingdom, when he delivered an impressive four-year report card about his government’s achievements.

PRESIDENT KOROMA LEAVES THE HALL AFTER OGI MEETING

The programme organised by the Open Government Initiative (OGI), took place at the Globe Academy hall on Harper Road, South-east London – and it brought together Sierra Leoneans from across the United Kingdom.

Addressing the audience, President Koroma said in seeking his mandate to rule Sierra Leone, he promised Sierra Leoneans that he was going to effect a positive change in the country and that he was in the United Kingdom to tell Sierra Leoneans the change he has so far effected in the country.

PRESIDENT KOROMA (LEFT ) SITTING BY HIS SECRETARY MR. OSHO COKER

The President recalled on October 5, 2007, when he pledged before the House of Parliament that he will ensure that officials of his government will be made to be transparent and accountable to the people of Sierra Leone.

“I believe the people have a right to know what is going on in their country,” the President said adding that that was the reason why he initiated the Open Government Initiative.

CIVIL SOCIETY’S VICTOR LANSANA AND OGI DIRECTOR KHADIJA SESAY

He declared that the OGI is a non-political organisation and that he was not in the United Kingdom to talk about politics.

“This is not an APC, SLPP or a PMDC affair,” the President declared, adding that “I was not elected as President of a particular political party or group, but as President of Sierra Leone.”

The President therefore called on Sierra Leoneans to come forward and ask questions on national development after his address.

President Koroma said that the days of talking about aspirations and manifestos are gone and that he was in the UK to tell Sierra Leoneans about his government’s achievements over the past four years of his rule.

Addressing the jam-packed hall (which was full beyond its 800 capacity), the President said when he took over office there were so many challenges, but he decided to deal with them on the basis of priority starting with electricity, food security and then health.

He said this is not because the other areas are not equally important but because the three priority areas would lay the basis for development and growth in Sierra Leone.

ELECTRICITY

In the area of electricity, the President said he inherited not more than 10 megawatts of power generation which saw Freetown being classified as the ‘darkest city’ in the world; but within 100 days in office, he transformed Freetown into a city of light.

The President said his government increased electricity generation when they completed the Bumbuna Hydro Electric Project – thanks to the outcome of a meeting with donor partners who helped his government raise $42million that was badly needed for the completion of the project.

In a show of sincerity and honesty, the President said the Bumbuna dam will not provide the required power generation expected for the country and that was why his government has embarked on the second phase of Bumbuna electric project which, if completed, will generate power supply of 300 megawatts.

The President said his government has also provided solar panels for people in inaccessible areas that will see about 149 chiefdoms benefiting. He disclosed that plans are currently underway for all chiefdom headquarters to have access to electricity.

According to the President, his government is working alongside an Indian company Barefoot College which is currently giving professional training to old people to be able to manage and provide power supply for their communities.

INFRASTRUCTURE

As part of efforts to ensure a free flow of movement, President Koroma said that his government has embarked on the biggest infrastructural development drive ever seen in the history of the country.

The President mentioned some of the major road construction projects – some currently underway while others have been completed. They include: the Masiaka – Bo, Kenema Highway, the abandoned Freetown – Conakry highway, the Lungi – Portloko which is currently in progress; the Lumley – Tokeh and the Wilkinson Road, to mention but a few.

These are all first class roads and not sub-standard ones, the President said, amidst thunderous applause.

HEALTH

President Koroma said that Sierra Leone had maintained a permanent bottom place in the United Nations Human Development Index over the years which according to him; was partly because of the terrible death rate of children and pregnant women in the country.

“I have visited hospitals and clinics throughout the length and breadth of the country and I saw the miserable conditions patients have been subjected into – people are dying because they could not provide a meagre Le30, 000 for drugs,” the President lamented.

He said he was delighted that things have changed in the last four years with a record 85% reduction in death rate after his government initiated the Free Health care programme.

The President disclosed that his government had succeeded in encouraging 40,000 pregnant women to give birth in established registered clinics.

“One would imagine how many of these 40,000 would have died if this health care programme had not been established.”

President Koroma also highlighted his government’s successes in the areas of education and agriculture as well as the private sector.

In a confident mood, the President said although the tasks ahead are quite great and challenging, he was confident that Sierra Leone will be a level income country in the next 25 years.

The President however warned that this is not going to happen overnight because the challenges ahead are great, adding: “the fact remains that with commitment and your support together we will get there one day.”

The rebuilding of Sierra Leone is not a day’s job; the President said and reminded Sierra Leoneans that Rome was not built in one day.

Earlier, OGI Director Khadija Sesay gave a wider picture of her organisation’s activities both in Sierra Leone and in the Diaspora as well as its concept and objectives among which are to promote communications between government and the people as well as to compliment the Civil Society Movement.

Civil Society Movement Chairman Victor Lansana, while introducing the Chairman of the programme said as members of the Civil Society, they form part of the OGI to represent the interest of the people of Sierra Leone.

Secretary to the President Emmanuel Osho Coker who chaired the programme said the OGI is the brainchild of the President and that nation-building requires the participation and coorperation of all.

Ade Daramy, a Sierra Leonean historian and journalist based in London, gave the welcome address and seized the opportunity to announce the presentation of an award to the President by Sierra Leonean-born Mayor of the London Borough of Lambeth Elizabeth Valcassel.

Overall, the programme turned out to be the most successful Presidential town hall meeting ever organised by the OGI in the Diaspora; and quite apart from the fact that many Sierra Leoneans in the UK have been looking forward to a question and answer session with the President, most of the attendees stormed the Globe Academy to see and hear from the man who has brought so much positive changes and pride to the country now widely referred to as the NEW SIERRA LEONE.