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COCORIOKO » 2014 » March

Archive for March, 2014

President Koroma inspects new market and new Regent-Grafton Road

Monday, March 31st, 2014

The face of Sierra Leone continues to undergo a dramatic change under the progressive leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma.

According to the State House Communications Unit Boss, Jarrah Kawusu- Konte , President Koroma last Saturday inspected the ongoing construction site of the new market he is building at Victoria Park in the city centre, which would take traders out of the streets of Freetown.

According to Kawusu-Konte, Local contractor MKD JAZZ os expected to complete work by 20th April, 2014.
President Koroma also inspected the almost completed Regent-Grafton highway which would help to ease traffic in the city . The new highway will be commissioned during the next few weeks.

WE PUBLISH PHOTOS OF THE PROJECTS POSTED ON FACEBOOK BY JARRAH KAWUSU-KONTE.

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PRESIDENT KOROMA INSPECTING THE NEW MARKET STALLS

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THE NEW REGENT-GRAFTON HIGHWAY 

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Our Resolve for Country’s Prosperity!

Friday, March 28th, 2014

John Baimba Sesay
Sierra Leone is making tremendous progress in areas of development. This is more so when compared to the state of affairs President Ernest Bai Koroma inherited over six years ago. One is not, in anyway implying nothing was done by past Governments. However, much should have been achieved if the leaders at the time had taken the national interest above all else.

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Providing astute leadership for a country once brought down by the effect of a civil war is all a leader can do, to turn things round for the better. This was lacking, frankly. But the election of president Koroma helped change things for the better.

From our efforts in fixing our infrastructure, to trying to stabilize our economy, fostering the country’s ties with its development partners, President Ernest Bai Koroma continues to make inroads in all directions.

Legacies must serve as determinant factors in celebrating the life of someone. Failure to perform means, failed legacies left behind. As we have always submitted, the legacies of the Koroma Presidency are as tremendous and tangible as his desire to leave Sierra Leone in an enviable position.

But in all of this, there is the aspect of how those he brought in, should work hard to also make an impact in the administration of the affairs of state.

The Sierra Leone Embassy in China is no exception to those expected to provide a supportive role to the President if his drive towards a prosperous Sierra Leone is to be a success.

The Embassy is truly resolved to support the drive to National Prosperity. Take for instance, since Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh was appointed by President Ernest Koroma. He has been engaging relevant sectors in the People’s Republic of China in ensuring, Sierra Leone makes use of the available opportunities, therein, to not just foster the relationship between the two, but in also encouraging trustworthy investors from Asia (China) into Sierra Leone.

And the zest of the Embassy in doing this has transcended national interest but now takes into account the benefits some of these moves will bring at the Sub Regional Levels. For instance, the Embassy in China has been providing leadership towards an Economic Free Zone that involves countries in the Makona River. And only about three weeks ago, the Ambassador was in Sierra Leone with potential Chinese investors where they discussed the issue with President Koroma who has been providing leadership over the Project, on behalf of MRU Leaders.

The Makona River Free Zone (MRFZ) is designed to work on an area across Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in West Africa, and through construction of harbor, railway and energy related infrastructure works, promote the utilization and development of natural resources including mining, forest-agriculture fishing, amongst others.

Through MRFZ Cooperation, the three countries will work together to promote the local production, West Africa economic integration, cross boundary investment, and achieve the regional social and economic prosperity. Main components of the project include; (a) Foya, Koindu and Guekedou Free Zone, including land development, industrial facilities to build rubber processing plants in Liberia, urban infrastructure facilities, social service facilities and institutions and hydro power stations and development of natural resource.

The land of the Free Zone is expected to be 750 square kilometers, equally contributed by each of three countries; (b) Sulima Sea Port/Railway, including construction of Sulima Sea Port, railway from Sulima to the Free Zone to allow the three countries develop their natural resources; and (c) construction of railway from Free Zone (Foya, Koindu and Guekedou) to Siguiri and Voinjama, development of industrial park in Siguiri area, amongst others.

When fully implemented, this Free Zone will help in addressing the challenge of turning the natural resource advantage of the countries involved into a development advantage, thus bringing about a multiplier effect in the mining and other related infrastructure sectors.

It also will help accelerate urbanization; manufacturing and commercialization of the economies of the countries involved as well as facilitate easy and competitive relocation of Chinese industries into the trade and investment hub, coupled with the fact that it will help expand the pace of development of the areas to be affected.

The involvement of China as economic power, second to the United States, is crucial. This is because the magnitude of financial resources and the industrial capacity needed for producing the expected result makes it the most appropriate partner.

In fact the Sino-Africa ties have, for decades given a new roadmap for development cooperation between the two. The FOCAC Beijing Action Plan (2013-2015) makes clear China’s will to continue in supporting Africa’s development.

On the 11th March, His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma committed the will and support of the leaders of Mano River Union towards this Free Zone Project. All things being equal, a summit of MRU Leaders is expected where this crucial and timely Sub Regional Development project will be discussed. This is positive development.

Also, by working with Chinese state financial institutions like the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) and the China Development Fund (CADFund) the Embassy knows that it has got a leading role to play by providing a strong advocacy support in seeking fundings and support from China towards the full implementation of development projects in Sierra Leone.

Foreign Minister Samura Kamara visits recuperating Cocorioko Publisher

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation , Dr. Samura Kamara, who is in New York to attend the United Nations Security Council Meeting on the completion of the Unted Nations Integrated Office ( UNIPSIL ) mandate in Sierra Leone, took his time to travel all the way to New Jersey yesterday to sympathize with the Publisher of the Cocorioko Group of Newspapers, Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, who is recuperating at home after a recent heart surgery.

The Publisher , who is also Sierra Leone’s Minister Plenipotentiary to the UN and Coordinator of the African Union Committee of 10 ( C-10 ) on UN Security Council Reform, on Wednesday February 26, 2014  underwent a critical heart surgery at the RobertWood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

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FOREIGN MINISTER SAMURA KAMARA SHAKES HAND WITH THE PUBLISHER

Dr. Samura Kamara was accompanied by the two Deputy Permanent Representatives –DPR ( Legal) Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara ;  DPR (Political ) Ambassador Amadu Koroma and  Counselor Saidu Nallo.

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FROM LEFT–AMBASSADOR KOROMA, COUNSELOR NALLO AND AMBASSADOR KAMARA

Minister Samura expressed sympathy to Rev.Kabs-Kanu and wished him a speedy recovery. He is the second cabinet minister in the ruling government of President Ernest Bai Koroma to have visited the Publisher to sympathize with him.  Last week, the Minister of Social Welfare, Children’s and Gender Affairs, Hon. Moijueh Kai-Kai also travelled all the way from New York to New Jersey to see the Minister Plenipotentiary. He was accompanied by Ambassador Keh Kamara and the Head of Chancery, Mr. Alhusine Sesay.

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THE FOREIGN MINISTER AND DELEGATION COMFORTING THE PUBLISHER

Before that, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the U.S, H.E. Bockarie Stevens, also paid a  visit on the publisher , accompanied by the opposition leader of the United Democratic Movement, Mr. Mohamed Bangura and the Spokesman of the Government and Outreach Coordinator, Mr. Abdulai Bayraytay.

Rev. Kabs-Kanu thanked the Foreign Minister and the ambassadors ( who were making their third visits ) and Counselor for coming to see him as he recuperates from a difficult surgery and noted that it was a demonstration of the commitment of the President Ernest Koroma Government to care for one of its own in distress.

“NO CONFIRMED CASE OF EBOLA VIRUS,” SAYS HEALTH MINISTER

Friday, March 28th, 2014

 

Siraju Bah MIC News:

The Minister of Health and Sanitation Madam Miatta Kargbo has announced that no confirmed case of the deadly Ebola virus has been reported by the surveillance team of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation adding that her Ministry has instituted an emergency response plan as a precautionary measure to effectively address any incidence of Ebola virus in the country. He made this announcement on the 27th March, 2014 at the weekly press briefing of the Ministry of Information and Communications at the Ministry’s conference hall at Youyi Building in Freetown.

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THE MINISTER OF HEALTH HON. MIATTA KARGBO

She reiterated that the Ministry is on high alert to ensuring that the virus is contained if any incidence is confirmed in the country as they have set up a national task force that include officials of the Ministry, World Health Organization WHO, Office of National Security ONS, Health Development Partners and Civil Society Organizations to ensure effective coordinated response in case the virus spills over.

The Minister said that the Government is serious about the threat of Ebola and is working relentlessly on a number of issues to ensuring that the virus does not spill over from Guinea where it has been confirmed saying that the Ministry, WHO and ONS are working with their Guinean counterparts to concertedly strengthen efforts to avert the spread of the disease.

Madam Kargbo also informed the press that the Ministry has mounted a robust community sensitization campaign about the need to be cautious about the contagious disease and to be wary about the type of meat they eat, especially the bat meat which is the main carrier of the virus.

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DEPUTY INFORMATION MINISTER THEO NICOL

The Deputy Minister of Information and Communication, Mr. Theo Nicol urged the press to help sensitize the public about the need to take precautionary measures in order not to get infected by the virus and to also help in disseminating the right information to avoid rumour mongers passing on the wrong information that will cause panic.

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DR. BRIMA KARGBO

The Chief Medical Officer Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Brima kargbo reiterated that no incidence of the disease has been confirmed by their surveillance team noting that all the suspected cases of Ebola has been tested negative and assured that a competent surveillance team has its ears on the ground and is prepared to address any reported case.

He said that Ebola is a highly infectious disease with no specific cure but whose preventive measures include, to promptly report any suspected case to the nearest health facilities.

He admonished his audience not to eat animals found dead, especially monkeys, Chimpanzees and bats adding that people who have died of Ebola should be buried safely.

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DR. UMARU JAMBAI

The Director of Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Umaru Jambai dismissed rumours about Ebola cases in Kambia, Kono and other places in the country as untrue confirming that all suspected case has been tested negative.

He observed that the best thing to do in a time of emergency is to share the right information so that the issue will be addressed adequately.

President Ernest Koroma attends 44th ECOWAS Meeting

Friday, March 28th, 2014

By State Communications Unit

The 44th Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government has commenced today in the Ivorian City of Yamoussoukro.

Leading a 12 man delegation to the Summit, President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma will join his colleagues from ECOWAS member states at the President Hotel in Yamoussoukro to endorse the recommendations that emanated from the 31st Ordinary Meeting of the Mediation and Security Council of ECOWAS and the 13th Extra-Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers which were held on the 25th and 26th March, 2014 in Yamoussoukro respectively.

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Amongst the critical issues that emerged from the Mediation and Security Council Meeting of ECOWAS were the political and Security situation in the regions, with particular emphasis on the recommendations emanating from the review of ECOWAS initiatives and responses to the multidimensional crises in Mali, and the latest developments in Guinea Bissau.

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The Meeting of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers on the other hand was convened to consider the report of the conclusions of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between ECOWAS and European Union as well as to consider the final report of the Meeting of ECOWAS Ministers of Internal Affairs on the Biometric Identity Card and Abolition of Residence Card.

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President Koroma  was received by Prime Minister of La Cote D’Ivoire, Daniel Kablan Duncan.

The recommendations that arose from both Meetings which were adopted by the ECOWAS Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Finance will be examined by the Heads of State and Government today for their endorsement.

LETTER TO DR DAVID TAM-BARYO PRESENTER OF THE POPULAR MONOLOGUE RADIO SHOW.

Friday, March 28th, 2014

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Anthony K. Kamara (Sr) Winnipeg, Canada : 

Dear Dr Tam Baryo,

Thank you for the good work on this show and thanks also go to Mr Alex Terina CEO of Star Radio Sierra Leone the one and only Radio station with reception in many parts of the world. You will agree with me that there are always two views to any situation in life , those who like your show and those opposed to it for different reasons. That’s what life ia all about. In any country, there are always two groups of journalists, those who support the current political establishment  and see nothing wrong in what it does and those who loathe it and never see any good in its performance. This is normal and we got to accept it that way without any feeling of rancour. For unless there is criticisms of a system, the Government may feel it is always on the right path. Criticisms make a Government behave properly.

There are times I personally dislike the way you cover certain episodes simply because of its one sidedness. I was in Freetown when you covered the A K K versus a lady in China who sounded tearful on the show concerning her encounter with her former benefactor the Ambassador. The unfortunate thing about listeners is that the programme does not allow phone-in calls to give their opinion of the that unfortunate incident. Up to the time of my return A K K was never given a chance to give his side of the story. You even promised to buy her a ticket to go home and give her whole account on Monologue. No problem with that.  All listeners heard was one side of a story with the lady in tears be it fake or real as no one saw her. Monologue can be much more popular if you can feed the nation and listeners with a Pro and Con of any situation. You make a person seem guilty without getting his own side. Otherwise there is no doubt that Monologue has a World-wide popularity because of your investigative skills, your sense of humour and manner of presentation. The only ‘but’ is not allowing another side of the coin. For this it’s ‘kudos’ to you.

I listened to your show of March 15 which followed the passing away of the Late Alhaj Ahmed Tejan Kabba, former President of our country. I was particularly interested in your interview with Sheikh Swarray, the questions you put to him and how he tried to dodge the response. To remind readers here is a paraphrase of the questions:

President Kabba lived his life as a staunch muslim and according to the teachings of Islam as contained in the Holy Quran. Why is President Kabba not given the burial of a Muslim, that is, have him buried within 24 hours of his expiration?

Why is President Kabba not going to be burried in the grounds of Parliament on Tower Hill? This question was for Jarra Kawusu-Conteh who promised to get back to you in 25 or so minutes, but never came back.

President Kabba has been ailing for quite a long time prior to his death at his private home at Juba Hill. Even persons known to be his best friends, persons known to have been catapulted into positions where they licked their hands and fingers  never visited him while in his sick bed. Why?

On the Late President’s delayed burial, Sheikh gave his reason as President Koroma’s absence from the country. The question for the shekh is, Why does the country have a Vice President a staunch Muslim and an Alhaji for that matter? does the Vice President nor normally act in the absence of the President? President Koroma for whom the burial was delayed, according to Sheikh Swarray, is a practising Wesleyan Christian (not even a pastor) expected to lead mourners and sympathizers in prayer for the deceased? In my humble opinion, Religion should be above politics and the two must be completely separated and observe the teachings of the Quran for the muslim, otherwise what’s the point in a man struggling throughout his life time observing the teachings of a religion, praying five times a day, Fasting throughout his whole life, going on pilgrimage, helping the poor and needy only to be given the send off of politics. Sheikh is one of those who had the privilege of travelling to study in one of the countries of the Middle East given the Ph.D to return home and preach and interprete the religion to his people as he was taught, but only to give his personal interpretation of the Religion of the Holy Prophet. I am firmly convinced that President Ernest Koroma did not request delay of the internment of the Late Leader due to his absence because he knows he has someone to always represent him and do things in the right way. But the Sheikh was able to persuade the National Council of Imams to score political points for himself. What the Council of Imams did was not based on quranic teachings but on politics. I believe  President Tejan Kabba would not appreciate his delayed burial because when a man dies he needs immediate rest in his final resting place, hence the final universal wish R.I.P. (Requiescat in pace) or REST IN PEACE in the english. Sheikh Swarray must practise what the Holy Book says and not deviate. Tam-Baryo reminded him of Sanni Abacha’s death. Abacha died at about 0100 and by 0600 that very morning he had been buried. What about Omar Yaradua, his remains were immediately disposed of within 24 hours. Islam is no respecter of a corpse. Immediate burial saves the nation of thousands of dollars which might have been spent on elaborate, unnecessary and expensive ceremony to give the impression that he was very much loved. True as a human being, he was the darling of many and also the hated person  of perhaps many more. After all a corpse is a corpse; nobody wants it anymore, not even family members.  Funeral homes are not for muslims, but for Christians ( a people with a passion to display their wealth in death). Let us not perform double standards when we expire  for politics. Sheikh Swarray’s response was unconvincing.

On why President Kabba is not burried in the grounds of Parliament. First,  no country anywhere in the world turns its grounds of Parliament into a cemetry for present, past, or future leaders. Jarra Kawusu-Conteh could not get back to you as promised because  his bosses from whom he tried to get answers did not know the answers either.  Rather than tell the anxious nation he doesn’t know which would have been embarrassing for the young Communications Director he preferred to remain silent rather give a response which would one day come back to hunt State House. But let’s also not forget the fact that over 50 percent of staff at State House were born after 1964 and so have no answer to many if not most of these things. I’d be even surprised if anyone up there even knows why or give a convincing response.

The simple logical answer: the first Prime Minister Sir Milton Margai deserves that place as his final resting place. This was a unanimous ‘yea’ by our national parliament. Why? Sir Milton not only freed us from colonial bondage, but left us with the most important infrastructure a new country needed, I mean  that modern House of Parliament, a Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL), the SALPOST and the LODGE at Hill Station. He also built out of pocket the MMCET at Goderich, the Milton Margai School for the Blind, the Chesire Home in Bo. That’s the way we, the nation os Sierra Leone chose to say our thanks to him. His achievements for this country are unparalleled. He is second to none. He is a true Sierra Leone soldier, a political champion for us. His successors take it from where he left off.

The only other leader who deserved a place on Tower Hill is President Siaka Stevens. Why? He went further to completely free us from the British Crown and gave us REPUBLICAN STATUS with our own Sierra leonean Head of State, he becoming the FIRST EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT of the  nation. Furthermore he transformed the former BROOKFIELDS STADIUM into what it is today. He gave us YOUYI BUILDING where most ministries are housed.l He started the 15 storey Sam Bangura’s Tower though completed under Ahmed Tejan Kabba. These achievements put the two leaders in a commanding position to deserve the two places on the grounds of Parliament.  No other president has a place in Parliament’s grounds except there is a future President who would build the Dream Bridge connecting   Kissy Terminal  to Tagrin.  Either you are the First or you are not or do something that excels all the others combined because of its huge expenditure. In this case  I hope the public will now understand why no other present, past  or future president will have a place on Tower hill. It does not matter if a President dies in office or as retiree. President Kabba knew he would not be burried on Tower hill hence he chose to lie by his Mom’s grave at the Kissy Road Cemetry. The nation has done what he willed in his life time. People must have the right to choose their place of burial except choosing Parliament’s grounds. If a leader forgot to choose his final resting place, his wife will decide or in her absence, family relations. Some people argue that because he he brought peace to Sierra Leone, he deserved burial up there.

The situation compares to the Olympic games. Either one is a gold medalist or is not. Silver and Bronze are consolation awards to encourage athletes to try again next time. If not the gold medal, one is a loser. Therefore in our national politics, there are only two political Gold Medalists, Sir Milton Margai and President Siaka Stevens, and no one else.The rest  till the end of time will have to make arrangements for their places of burial, and their choices will be respected. Can one imagine what the grounds of Parliament would look like 100 years from now  if every deceased President is buried up there. The area would be infested with ghosts who would be terrorizing the MPs and disrupt debates.

President Joseph Saidu Momoh like Sir Albert Margai have no place on Parliament. Hence Sir Albert chose his home town in Gbangbatoke. The place of birth is the best place to bury a leader who is not among the FIRST if he so chooses. Otherwise there is always a place at Kissy Road cemetry or even Race Course Road but surely not King Tom cemetry. The country has lost three former Heads of State who died out of office. President Stevens, Joseph Saidu Momoh, and now President Kabba.  Let’s not also forget that President Momoh was toppled in a military coup and therefore did not even deserve a cent of retirement benefits. For a leader to be treated and receive Retirement benefits, he must exit the stage gracefully; but once toppled, all benefits are lost. It means his people have rejected him. But President Kabba out of sympathetic considerations allowed President Momoh to return home and receive retirement benefits; a very humanitarian gesture by President Kabba.  Captain Valentine Strasser is not lucky to have similar compassionate treatment probably due to the summary executions that opened his rule. The nation cannot therefore reward a killer.

On President Kabba’s loss of friends during his period of retirement and ailment, honestly it is normal. He built up very many Sierra Leoneans to day, but once one retires, he ceases to be a magnet. No one cares about a retired leader. He remains unvisited by anyone except his family members. Power is gone and will never come back to him. The leader may not even be given a State funeral. If the system does not favour the idea, forget it. This explains the reasons why leaders try to make themselves irremovable from office with periodic amendment of constitututions and also explains why the military intervenes because when the people want change and the leaders refuse to accept. The army remains the only strong force to punch out a stubborn government. Once retired, no one cares about what they may have benefitted from a leader of yesterday. No more political favours, political appointments. What makes him a magnet is gone. True no one wants to be called former President because he looses friends and contacts, and it’s really a painful and saddistic experience. But our leaders know fully well that they are in for 10 years at the end of which they got to exit the stage or multiply  enemies.

I also listened to the commentary from Star Radio, thanks to Mr Terrina’s Star Radio. Throughout, I did not hear any mention of a single Head of State from the Sub region attending the funeral. Perhaps I missed that part of the commentary. But assuming that no foreign Head of State attended, it again sends the message that one loses even fellow Statesmen or neighbouring Heads of state. They are sitting Heads of State, while you are are described as Former. That adjective ‘Former’ or ‘Past’ Head of State makes you unmagnetic and  and therefore unattractive. You no longer talk the same language. While in office a Leader has hundreds of friends but with power slipping away friendship flies out of the window. Many may not even attend their funerals because no one’s presence seems to matter in a funeral of hundreds or thousands.

Let me conclude that Monologue is a popular weekly Radio programme, but whatever your personal opinion of a situation, let listeners get the other side of a problem, and they will pass the verdict. Listeners never feel bored bvecause it’s a once a week affair. Otherwise, thank you for Monologue.

 

 

President Ernest Koroma meets security chiefs

Friday, March 28th, 2014

President Ernest Bai Koroma has held wide ranging discussion with senior officers of the Sierra Leone Police force and other members of the security sector.

The meeting at the Kingtom Police Officers Mess brought together top ranking personnel of the SLP, Office of National Security, Prisons Department and the Department of Immigration.

President Ernest Bai Koroma informed security personnel that the interactive session of the meeting served as an opportunity for frank discussion, as a way to exchange views on critical issues.

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PRESIDENT KOROMA IS MET ON ARRIVAL

He commended the SLP for transforming itself into a force whose overall performance has improved, citing the Global Peace Index which identifies the SLP as one of the best forces in the world.

President Koroma cited the rapid improvement of the Police by the outstanding role being played in United Nations and African Union peacekeeping missions.

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PRESIDENT KOROMA MEETS VP SAM SUMANA ON ARRIVAL

The President raised grave concern about the level of lawlessness, the use of the Police to promote personal interests, the reliance on orders from above for the execution of certain orders, which are all odd perceptions that need to be cleared from the minds of the public.

These, President Koroma said, will ensure that everybody is subjected to the law, recalling when a constable Police insisted on checking his car even when the security attached to him disclosed the identity of the VIP.

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THE SECURITY CHIEFS

“I don’t want anybody to say that I acted because of orders from above as Police have to work in the interest of the state, which is why we have increased allocations to the force to carry out its duty independently as expected, so that in return we should see a professional Police force,” he maintained.

President Koroma appealed to the public for continuous support to the Police, noting that the Police must work towards acquiring public confidence and respect, whilst reiterating that every personnel has the responsibility to transform his/herself.

He assured the Police of government’s continuous support as it is moving towards the right direction.

President Koroma said he want to have an opportunity to have a feel of what happens in the public and encouraged all to work together so that at the end a way forward will be mapped out.

Inspector General of Police Francis Alieu Munu pledged the continued loyalty and hard work of the Police, observing that the force always considers the President as a role model.

He said the SLP has recorded series of successes at both local and international levels, amidst emerging challenges of corruption now being drastically minimized within the force.

Mr Munu disclosed plans to introduce city wide monitoring through CCTV cameras and informed the meeting that the force has established a cyber crime unit and gender directorate.

He stressed the need for further innovations in the SLP, describing policing as a controversial job as sometimes people praise the Police for doing one good thing and then later criticize the force for another bad thing.

The Inspector General of Police welcomed the establishment of the Independent Police Complaint board and thanked President Koroma for increasing financial allocation and salaries for the force as he called for more support, especially in implementing activity based budget to further develop the needed security environment.

He disclosed that the force needs to open social media accounts to monitor crimes and potential terrorist threats as there are many people on Facebook and Twitter, noting that there is more money in cyber space reiterating that security and development are close partners.

Earlier, welcoming President Ernest Bai Koroma and entourage, Deputy Inspector General, Richard Moigbeh chaired the ceremony, described the visit as the fulfilment of his promise for a dedicated engagement with the SLP, noting that President Koroma has made it clear that he wants to leave the SLP with a legacy take the lead in the war against lawlessness, indiscipline and corruption which it is fully committed to.

The DIG stressed that the Police has learnt a lot of lessons from the President’s visit and motivated the Police to fulfil its complex objectives.

By State House Communications Unit

New Zealand Envoy pays courtesy call on Ambassador Bangali

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

 

New Zealand’s Emissary to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Dr. James Kember on Tuesday 25th March, 2014 paid a courtesy visit on his peer,   His Excellency Andrew Gbebay Bangali, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Addis Ababa and Permanent Representative to the African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa.

The two main objectives of Ambassador Dr. Kember’s visit were to bid farewell to his colleague and to thank him for supporting him during his tenure in Addis Ababa. Ambassador Bangali is going home to take up a new assignment at headquarters as the new Director General and Ambassador-At- Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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He said Ambassador Bangali would be his point of contact in Sierra Leone, adding that they had worked at the United Nations in New York in the 1990s and have now found themselves working together again in Ethiopia.

Ambassador Dr. Kember pointed out that his country has participated in so many peace support operations in the world.

“With the small number of Embassies we have to stay in touch,” he said, adding “I am looking forward to have a cordial working relationship with your successor.”

Responding, Ambassador Bangali who also doubles as the Dean of the Group of ECOWAS Ambassadors said that New Zealand and Sierra Leone have some similarities citing that both countries are Common Wealth members and they are also small countries.

He assured his colleague that he would stay in touch with him and that the latter was free to consult him on any issue for which he may need his support.

The duo also spoke about New Zealand’s Candidature to the United Nations Security Council non-permanent category and Ambassador Bangali made it clear that the two other countries (Spain and Turkey) which are vying for the same positions are yet to approach Sierra Leone for her support.

The meeting was also attended by Mr. Ismael Koroma and Mrs. Juliana Fallah, the Deputy Head of Mission and the Acting Counsellor and Head of Chancery of the Sierra Leone Embassy in Addis Ababa respectively.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday 26th March, the Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Ismael Koroma attended an African Union/United Nations Joint Briefing for Troops and Police Contributing Countries on the security and political development in Darfur.

The meeting took place at the African Union Commission.

Mr. Koroma spoke about the political will and commitment on the part of the Khartoum Government in order for the hybrid mission, the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to succeed.

He recalled that the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) succeeded in Sierra Leone because there was a strong political will and commitment on the part of the former Government to restore peace in the country.

He added that without the political will UNAMSIL would not have succeeded in Sierra Leone.

UNAMID’s Force Commander, Lieutenant General Paul Mella gave an update on the security situation in Darfur whilst Ambassador Abiodun Bashua, the Director and Head of Joint Support Coordination Mechanism of the Mission proffered comments on the political and mediation efforts in Darfur.

 

Abdul Karim Koroma

Information Attaché

Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone

Addis Ababa

Ethiopia
Email: akk23222@gmail.com

 

 

Late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah Glorified In USA

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

 

Some of the good works of Sierra Leone’s past President, late Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah have been expressively underscored in different quarters and among compatriots in the United States of America.

Throughout last week, several distinguish personalities including senior officers from the United States Department of States, Deputy Chief of Protocol of the United States, Ambassadors of different Countries from different Continents (Nigeria, Ghana, Vietnam, Zambia, Benin, Tanzania, Guinea, Djibouti, Cote d Ivoire, Libya, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Royal Thai Embassy, South Africa, Kenya, The State of Qatar, Philippines. etc. with Embassies in Washington DC not only eulogized the late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, but also signed a book of condolence that was opened at the Embassy of Sierra Leone on 1701 19th Street NW, Washington DC.

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On Friday March 21st, a very strong and well known  Muslim religious body MASJID KHALEED AL-GAMDY of 3307 Hubbard Road Hyattsville in Maryland joined the week of National mourning declared by President Ernest Bai Koroma in honor of late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and held a prayer service after Juma (Friday Prayers) at the Ebilleh Cultural Organization.

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That prayer saw distinguished men of God including Alpha Ali Sesay,Alhaji Alie Sesay, Sheik Fuad Conteh,Sheik Muhammadou Cole,Alhaji Ibrahim Kamara, Alhaji Amadu Nabay,Alpha Mohamed Swarray Kallon,Alpha Gibril Tejan,Sheik Alusine Kamara Alpha Nfa Alie Badara Sheriff Alhaji Sikiru Oki,Sheik Said Swarray, Alpha Momodu Columbus Williams and the officiating clergy, Alhjaji Teslim Alghali recited several Quranic chapters and verses including  Surah Al – Mulk”, “Surah Yasin” and  Sura  waqiah for the Almighty Allah to forgive the late President his sins and use his goodness to grant him “Janna” (Paradise).    

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In his tribute, Ambassador Bockari kortu Stevens replicated the exact words of President Ernest Bai Koroma by describing late President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah “a great giant of peace and democracy in Sierra Leone.”

Quoting President Ernest Bai Koroma, “we are also honoring all those Sierra Leoneans and international partners whose sacrifices made his presidency possible. “Sierra Leoneans and friends of Sierra Leone whose support gave him strength to push through the peace process; Sierra Leoneans whose willingness to forgive ensured the success of his efforts to heal the nation.”

“Pa Kabbah’s actions as President” were aligned with the aspirations of the overwhelming majority of Sierra Leoneans who said enough was enough to the atrocious military rule. “Enough was enough to an evil rebel war; enough was enough to extra-judicial killings, enough was enough to human rights violations”.

 

Amr.Bockari Stevens then called upon Sierra Leoneans residing in the USA to “dedicate their remembrance of this great Sierra Leonean to sustain the partnership and entreated all of them, from all political parties, everybody from every region and religion, every civil society group, every profession and every organization to mourn the late man with a commitment to building upon his wonderful actions for this land that he so dearly love.” Ambassador Stevens quoted President Koroma.

 Alpha Saidu Bangura described the late President as a committed Muslim who happened to be the first Muslim President of Sierra Leone, who wasted no time to congratulate the victor of the 2007 presidential race President Ernest Bai Koroma, from an opposition Political Party.

He said the late President Ahmad Tejan Kabba willingly and peacefully handed over the mantle of leadership to him in a timely manner in a bid to avert any unforeseen circumstances.

Several other mourners including All People’s Congress Washington Metro Area chapter Mrs. Beatrice Conteh, Masjid Khaleed Al-Gamdy Secretary General Alpha Saidu B. Yansaneh, Chairman Alieu Dausy Wurie and many others spoke very highly of the late man.

 On Saturday March 21st, 2014, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) North America Washington D.C. Metro chapter held a Quranic reading for the Late Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah at the Ebileh cultural organization’s Masjid on 3307 Hubbard drive, Hyattsville, Maryland.

The three hours thirty Minutes program which started at 8.00 Eastern Time, ended on Sunday 1:30 saw several distinguished Imams, Sheiks, and other Muslim clerics prayed for the departed soul to rest in peace.

Several mourners including  Mr. Julius Aruna, chairman SLPP North America, Mr. Alpha Saidu Bangura, vice Chairman SLPP Washington DC Metro Chapter, Mr. Alieu Dausy Wurie, Mr. Ibrahim Kamara Chairman All People’s Congress (APC) north America all poured glowing tributes to the late President.

The Washington DC metro regional Muslim community recited a lot of Quranic Surah’s and verses.

In his Tribute, Ambassador Bockari Stevens reiterated his call for peace and collectivism among Sierra Leoneans and prayed for the soul of the faithful departed to rest in perfect peace.Mr. Alieu Dausy Wurie gave the closing courtesies, while Mrs. Alpha Timbo & Mrs. Kadie Jalloh gave the vote of thanks.

 

Pasco Gerald Temple
Information attaché
Embassy of Sierra Leone
Washington DC
20009 USA
Tel- 2024466958
pasco_temple@outlook.com

US Doctors to monitor Ebola in Sierra Leone

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

an medical team from “METABIOTA” contracted by the United States Department of Defense on Monday March 24th, 2014 took leave of Ambassador Bockari Kortu Stevens at the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington DC. Dr. Joseph Fair and Dr. Jean Paul Gonzales as experts who will investigate assess, evaluate, and help combat the Ebola virus that broke out in areas in West Africa.

 

It can be recalled that on March 23rd 2014, Guinea confirmed reports that samples from victims of “viral hemorrhagic fever” tested positive for the Ebola virus.

 

Dr. Joseph Fair, PhD, MPH, Corporate Vice President of METABIOTA said, “We  are working in partnership with the government of Sierra Leone  and in particular, the Ministry of Health to help assess, investigate and provide strategies to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

 

“There are four suspected cases in Sierra Leone, and we are departing this week to test and prove any available information to ascertain its existence.”

 

Responding, Ambassador Stevens said “It is good that we now have a medical team that is proceeding to Sierra Leone to ascertain the facts, whether or not Ebola virus exists in our country” adding, “It is good that we have early responders: that is, Professionals are going to Sierra Leone without any delay to see if we have it, if not they will prevent it: If it is there it will be contained”.

 

He said the areas affected in Guinea are in Southern and South East of Guinea, near Sierra Leone and Liberian borders.

 

“I am particularly delighted for them to go because it is expected that by the middle of the year they are going to construct a Center for Excellence in Kenema to provide training for some of our personnel,” the esteemed Ambassador noted.

 

L- R: Dr. John Paul Gonzales (Center) Ambassador Bockari Stevens & Dr. Joseph Fair

METABIOTA assesses and investigate infectious disease threats through pathogen discovery, disease detection and threat characterization. The pioneering science begins in viral hot spots where they conduct endemic and epidemic outbreak investigations. The Ebola virus leads to severe hemorrhagic fever in its victims and has no vaccine or specific treatment.