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COCORIOKO » 2016 » January

Archive for January, 2016

President Koroma Calls For Unity On All Aspects Of The UN Security Council Reform Process

Sunday, January 31st, 2016


By State House Communication Unit

President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has called on African leaders to stay the course, continue to speak with one voice and remain united on all aspects of the UN Security Council reform process.



He made these remarks in his capacity as Coordinator of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council during a closed session of the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Meanwhile, President Koroma also held bilateral talks with the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina on the margins of the summit.

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They discussed the possibility of quick intervention in the areas of energy within the short and medium term. Dr. Adesina agreed to provide support to Sierra Leone in the energy and agricultural sectors and also proposed to address the issue of unemployment among young people.

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Globally, there are about 350 million unemployed youth which means that there is a lot of work to be done to address the issue.

The president said he will send a team to AfDB to look at specific proposals on the way forward.

The AfDB president recalled his days working as a researcher at the Rokupurr Rice Research Institute, and noted that he was impressed with the strides made by the government in the fight against Ebola.

President Koroma and delegation will return to Freetown today Sunday 31 January.

Stay tuned for more updates on this and the activities of His Excellency President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma.

At AU Summit, Mugabe blasts “Imperialists “

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Addis Ababa — African leaders have told the United Nations (UN) that the continent will fight for its own identity, integrity and personality.

They called on the United Nations to reform the Security Council by making African nations its permanent members.

mugabe blasts imperialists

The outgoing chairman of the AU, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, made the call Saturday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the commencement of the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, with the theme “2016: African Year of Human Rights, with Particular Focus on the Rights of Women”.

Mugabe, who spoke before he handed over to Chadian President Idriss Deby, told the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, that African nations are independent and are supposed to be free.

He said a time will come when African countries will decide that they can no longer continue to be “artificial members” of the United Nations.

 He maintained that if the United Nations must survive, African countries must be equal members of the global organization, stressing that “there should be real uniformity in the UN Security Council”.
 Mugabe, whose speech ignited a round of thunderous applause from his colleagues, asked Mr Ban to tell the United Nations that Africans are not ghosts, but humans who also belong to the world.

In a veiled reference to Mr Ban’s call on African leaders to respect constitutional term limits, Mugabe, who has been ruling Zimbabwe since 1980, said the only thing “the imperialists” were persistently preaching to Africa was regime change.

Mugabe decried that the imperialists are still everywhere in Africa “if not physically, but through spies and pretenders who come to us and say they are our friends. What else is coming from them? Regime change!”

He said: “Mr Ban Ki Moon, we are independent nations and we are supposed to be free. We go to the UN General Assembly every September. We pay a lot of money to the UN year in year out, but the body in the Security Council says we shall never have the power they have. Reform the Security Council! I want to tell you, Mr Ban Ki Moon, that you are a good man, but of course, we can make you a fighter. We shall fight a fight for our own identity, integrity and personality as Africans. If we decide, as we shall certainly do one day, that we cannot continue to be artificial members of the United Nation.”

“If the UN must survive, we must be equal members of it… We have said that we have to be permanent members (of the UN Security Council) with a veto power, if the veto must be retained. Mr Ban Ki Moon, tell them (the UN) that we are also humans and not ghosts. We also belong to the world. Africa shall no longer tolerate slavery by any means; by denial of rights… I hope you will hear from us on the issue of the United Nations reform. You’re a good man, you’ve visited our countries where diseases have visited and where calamities and terrorism have taken place. We say thank you. That distinguishes you from others. We know where you come from,” Mugabe said.

He thanked other African leaders for supporting him throughout his reign as chairman of the African Union.

Once dusty and dark Koidu now enjoys paved roads and electricity , thanks to President Ernest Koroma.

Sunday, January 31st, 2016


Koidu, the capital of diamond-rich Kono District, never reflected the economic status of the district.

You would hardly believe that it was the part of Sierra Leone where the rich diamond mines that make Sierra Leone both famous and infamous reside.

Streets in the main city of the diamond-prosperous district were unpaved and full of potholes, an ironic commentary of abuse, neglect and callousness to areas where countries get their riches, so common in Africa. It was the same story in Liberia where the streets of Bong Mines failed to reflect the economic importance of the area. In DR Congo, the story is no different.



But the narrative is changing in Sierra Leone , thanks to President Ernest Bai Koroma , a man in a hurry to modernize and develop his country. Since he came to power in 2007, President Koroma has embarked on massive infrastructural development projects that have rid the country of the shame of once being one of the most underdeveloped and backward nations in Africa.

Sierra Leone has become a tremendous works yard with construction machines rumbling everywhere .



The President who has changed the face of Sierra Leone has made Kono District one of his priority concerns. It was therefore no surprise when the caterpillars, road graders and heavy construction machines rolled in . Today, Kono is a city changed , with paved roads to add to the electricity that President Koroma had also restored in the city.

Many sons and daughters of Kono are now delighted with their city. Koidu is beginning to reflect its importance in the socio-economic and political structure of Sierra Leone.


Deputy Health Minister Madina Rahman talks to Sierracast-Cocorioko TV

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Hon. Madina Rahman, was at the Sierracast/Cocorioko TV studios on  Thursday January 28, 2016 to discuss the meeting of the UNFPA  she attended at the UN and Sierra Leone’s Post-Ebola Recovery program.

President Koroma gives message of hope to Sierra Leoneans in Ethiopia

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Sierra Leone Will Rise Again – President Koroma

By State House Communication Unit

President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma in a social interaction dinner at the residence of Sierra Leone’s Ambassdor to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Osman Keh Kamara, gave a message of hope to the Sierra Leone community in Ethiopia that Sierra Leone will definitely rise again.


Addressing the Sierra Leone community, he thanked them for their contribution towards the fight against Ebola. He noted that the country now has the capacity to fight the virus pointing out that the recent case in Tonkolili has been isolated. President Koroma described the development as expected but however assured that government is on top of the situation. He also informed that government is rolling out a recovery programme that is focused on strengthening the health care delivery system, education, social protection, rebuilding the economy as well as accelerate private sector development.

The president explained that the 24 months recovery plan will improve on the 6-9 months programme that will specifically focus on increased access to water and energy across the country. The focus, he said, is to bring the country back on its feet and work on social delivery systems.

President Koroma told the gathering that the Ebola outbreak brought the country together and urged all to replicate similar efforts and strides in the county’s development aspirations. “We have come to know that any project that is owned by the local people, will definitely succeed,” the president also encouraged Sierra Leoneans to come together in transforming the country into middle income status by 2035.

With airlines resuming operations and restarting development programmes and activities across the country, the president confidently expressed the conviction that Sierra Leone will rise again.

Welcoming the president, Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara praised President Koroma for effectively steering the ship of state throughout the turbulent Ebola outbreak to calm waters. He expressed confidence that with the virus almost defeated, government will continue to engage communities and resume the development and transformation of Sierra Leone.

President Ernest Koroma attends Peace and Security Council meeting

Friday, January 29th, 2016


By State House Communication Unit

Sierra Leone’s President, His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma is currently participating in the Peace and Security Council meeting on the margins of the 26th Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa.



The summit is looking at the activities of the council and the state of peace and security in Africa. The summit, which is being chaired by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, is expected to discuss the broader issues of peace and security (Development) within the context of the increasing spate of terrorism, particularly the recent terrorist activities in South Sudan, human trafficking, xenophobia, the environment, human rights abuse and political stability as the current situation in Burundi and the continent’s response to these challenges.



Immediately following this meeting, President Koroma will attend a dinner interaction with the Sierra Leone community in Addis Ababa where he is expected to showcase government’s strides in the fight against the Ebola virus disease and ongoing efforts in the implementation of post-Ebola recovery programmes.

African Union urges ICC to respect the immunity of sitting African presidents

Friday, January 29th, 2016


The African Union, AU, is following with keen interest, the trial of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo at the International Criminal Court.

The AU Political Affairs Commission reiterated the stands of the body concerning the ICC during a press conference on Thursday in Addis Ababa.

“The African Union as the Union of African people does not condone impunity. President Kenyatta and President Omar Al Bashir- are serving sitting presidents that enjoy immunity. Presidents should be respected so long as they are serving.” Julia Dolly Joiner, AU commissioner for political affairs said.

The Ivorian Minister of Foreign Affairs said the ICC verdict on the case is highly expected , adding the government is following all the developments keenly.

“We have had 10 years of difficulty in Ivory Coast. We are working on the reconciliation process. All of this must be consolidated on the basis of justice,” Albert Toikeusse Mabri, Ivorian minister of foreign affairs told Antoine Galindo, Africanews correspondent in Ethiopia .

Laurent Gbagbo is being tried alongside youth leader Charles Blé Goude. They are standing trial for their alleged roles in the post electoral violence in 2011 which led to the death of nearly 3000 people.


Health woes for Ebola survivors in Liberia

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Liberia Races To Expand Ebola Treatment Facilities, As U.S. Troops Arrive

Although Liberia – the hardest-hit country with some 4,800 deaths – was declared Ebola-free for a third time last week, the nightmare is far from over for those who survived the epidemic.

Ebola can lie dormant and hide in parts of the body such as the eyes and testicles long after leaving the bloodstream – raising questions about whether it can ever be beaten, with West Africa’s 17,000 survivors acting as a potential human reservoir.

While experts say the risk of Ebola re-emerging in survivors and being transmitted to others is low, the fact the virus is able to lurk in the body can cause various health problems.

Many survivors suffer from memory loss, joint pain, and eye inflammation that can lead to blindness, as well as trauma, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

They have also had to endure abuse and rejection from friends and families, communities and even health workers.

“There is often fear, paranoia and stigma in other health facilities,” said Emmanuel Ballah, a counsellor and team leader at the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) survivor clinic in Monrovia.“Survivors come here as we care about our patients, we follow up on them and offer psychosocial support,” he added.

The MSF clinic, one of four survivor centres in Monrovia, diagnoses illnesses, prescribes medication and refers patients to specialists for severe problems like loss of vision.
Around two thirds of those who visit the clinic suffer from eye problems, joint pain or mental health problems, MSF said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says 3 countries remain at high risk of additional small outbreaks of Ebola, like the most recent one in Liberia. To date, 10 such flare-ups have been identified that were not part of the original outbreak, and are likely the result of the virus persisting in survivors even after recovery.

WHO further says there is evidence that the virus disappears relatively quickly from survivors, but can remain in the semen of a small number of male survivors for as long as 1 year, and in rare instances, be transmitted to intimate partners.International Medical Corps country director in Liberia, Anouk Boschma says although financial aid is given to many survivors, Liberia should prioritise widespread clinical care and mental health support.

Sierra Leone Army to help contain Ebola

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Sierra Leone’s army has been requested to assist to better protect the country against the ebola epidemic, following the World Health organisation’s confirmation on January the 23rd of yet another case -the second since West Africa was declared Ebola-free the previous week.

“This is part of military duty to the civil community, it is one of the instruments we have in the safety measures department. When there is a need for military aid, any ministry and department can call the army and use these instruments among the security measures,”
said Ismeil Tarawally, coordinator of national security

Sierra Leone’s Health Ministry has blamed the winding down of international attention to the country for it being unable to stop Ebola from reemerging.

The virus has claimed over 11,300 lives in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia since the outbreak began in December 2013.

Obituary : Ibrahim Barrie

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Ibrahim Barrie


The death is reported of Mr. Ibrahim Barrie in Freetown on January 25.  He was 40 years old. Mr. Barrie passed away at Connaught Hospital after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife Mrs. Binta Barrie and his children including, Mariama Binta Barrie, Ismiru Barrie, Abubakar Barrie, and Mohamed barrie all of Freetown: His mother, Haja Marie Barie, currently in Texas, the United States. His brothers and sisters include, Umaru Barrie, Adama Kanyako Barrie, Jeneba Jalloh Barrie, and Fatmata Samura Barrie all of Texas, USA.  Other family members also in Texas are including his uncles, Mr. Mustapha Sesay, Mr. Sanpha Sesay, and Mr. Abdul Kamara.

The late Mr. Ibrahim Barrie was a successful police officer and has been very active in his duty in the law enforcement.  He was also active in the area of discipline in raising up his children. His contemporary describes him as splendid man of great intelligent and big heart.

The family and friends of Mr. Ibrahim Barrie at home and all across the world regret at his death and have expresses their profound grief about this sudden death.  The fortieth day ceremony will be announced later.