It was 26 February this year, three days after Nigerians voted in the General Elections in which President Muhammadu Buhari was seeking a mandate for his final term. It was not Sierra Leone’s elections, but for Mohamed Mansaray and members of his Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors (SLAES), their eyes and ears were glued to Nigeria for a different reason.
I recently spoke at a Harvard Law School panel about the work of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). The panel followed a screening of Rebecca Richman Cohen’s very powerful documentary on the work of the SCSL “War Don Don.” I had a pleasure of sharing the panel with Rebecca herslelf along with other notable Harvard faculty. In speaking on the Court’s legacy, I had cause to reflect on a recent piece by prolific writer Osman Benk Sankoh on the embarrassing state of the former SCSL courthouse—now in a state of dilapidation.
By Osman Benk Sankoh Time, they say, “passes as if it does not exist,” but the events of women and men will always serve as a true testimony to one’s life experience. We were driving along some busy and dusty streets of Freetown. It was with my good old friend, Daniel Bunting Johnny. Le Bunt (Bunting's alias), son of a retired Colonel in the Sierra Leone Army was born and raised at Wilberforce Barracks and later, Tengbeh Town. An affable fellow who is relaxed, and blessed with extraordinary skills of effortlessly putting the clock on hold to satisfy and making his buddies jolly- jolly.
Dr. Denis Sandy explains refined processes and procedures in acquiring State and private lands in the country to journalists at a recent press conference
For the past decades Sierra Leone has had more than enough trouble and deadly disputes emanating from the issue of land acquisition, ownership and grabbing. The courts are awashed with land cases, people have been duped, and others brutally killed over land issues. At the heart of all of these is the Ministry of Lands (for short) which has the principal responsibility to protect, preserve, maintain and effectively distribute state lands in the country in a free and fair manner.
As President of Sierra Leone and Leader of the SLPP between 1995 and 2007, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah embraced all those who contested against him for the Leadership of the Party in 1995. In fact, after emerging as Party flag bearer in 1995, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, who understood the essence of working together, called on all Party members and supporters to unite behind his leadership in the interest of the Party.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is indispensable for developing a country like Sierra Leone for the purpose of economic growth, which should help lessen the shameful burden of abject poverty in Sierra Leone.I commend the administration of H.E. President Bio for making FDI an integral part of its strategy to “plan, coordinate and monitor government’s development programs to ensure they have maximum positive impact on the lives of citizens” and for launching the excellent 2019-2023 Medium-Term National Development Plan!However, a brilliant strategy that is not flawlessly executed to deliver desired results for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans is as worthless as having a great law that is not equitably enforced for the good of all Sierra Leoneans.
This is the tale of two captains. One who threw his sailors overboard for the sharks to devour and the other who after realising his mistake of ditching them threw them life rafts.
It was a lesson in contrasts to listen to Radio Democracy yesterday. Honourable Ibrahim Bundu of the APC, ex Majority Leader of the House was a guest together with Dr. Prince Harding, Deputy Chairman of the SLPP. Hon. Bundu told listeners about his new appointment as ACP President and Co-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA). He appeared only too happy to do this as this signified the high regard in which he was still held.
The UN Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 1270 (October 1999), establishing the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL). Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council decided that UNAMSIL could act to ensure the security and freedom of movement of its personnel and protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence. The United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) completed its mandate in December 2005, ending seven years of UN peacekeeping in the country. The Mission helped the Government and people of Sierra Leone rebuild from the ruins of a devastating decade-long conflict. Over the course of the mission’s mandate, Sierra Leone underwent a remarkable turnaround from a war-ravaged country to a state steadily heading towards a future filled with hope and the promise of a better life for its people.
In the twilight of the first half of 2014, Sierra Leone was hit for the first time by the Ebola virus, unknown to its people and healthcare. Sierra Leone was not the only country assailed by the mysterious virus. Other West African nations of Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria also recorded cases of the virus. There were more than 30,000 recorded cases of infections and a total of about half of those cases succumbed to the virus in the said West African nations. It took Sierra Leone more than a year and half plus loss of about 4,000 of its people to get to zero infection from the inception of the outbreak. Experts and activists opined that very weak health infrastructures combined with its then ailing economy accounted for Sierra Leone’s highest recorded deaths.
Rape is disgusting. Abuse and exploitation of children is particularly repugnant. I have been on the forefront of those fighting the scourge of what I have called the “culture of rape” in Sierra Leone. So naturally, President Julius Maada Bio’s historic declaration of rape and sexual violence as a national emergency in Sierra Leone made me ecstatic. Here’s a president who’s listened, consulted and made a bold declaration that will elevate this critical issue and hopefully lead to concrete steps that will help us defeat this malaise. I therefore fully support the declaration and I am indeed very proud of our President for this move.
Sierra Leoneans might be adept at discording with one another on many issues not least which is the better premier league team—the dangerously lethal Killers “East End Lions” or the self-declared “Mighty Blackpool” or the seemingly frail Eagles of “Kamboi Hills” or the missing in range “Bo Rangers”. But certainly, one opinion which enjoys trans-regional appeal is the part the judiciary played in fueling the disenchantment which provoked the more-than-a-decade-long civil ire.
The Author: Boima Morray – Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Corruption has decimated the fabric of Sierra Leone as a country and it has annihilated the hopes of the vulnerable, forgotten and hapless majority of Sierra Leoneans who continue to suffer the indignity of extreme poverty.The commission of inquiry, in my strong view, will be valuable to Sierra Leoneans if the outcome of the commission will have the wherewithal to serve as a panacea for the country’s endemic corruption (negligence, embezzlement, bribery, kickback, nepotism, patronage, extortion, money laundering, et cetera) in terms of driving accountability for past and current corruption, putting measures in place to minimize or prevent future corruption and using recovered funds to address the dire need for food security, pipe-borne water supply and quality healthcare system in Sierra Leone.
Three Commissions of Inquiry were recently established in Sierra Leone by Constitutional Instruments Nos. 64, 65 and 67 of 2018 (“COIs”). The three COIs are characterized by the appointment of a Chairman and Sole Commissioner respectively toexamine the assets, inquire into and investigate the lawful acquisition of assets, and inquire into matters of unexplained wealth for “persons who were President, Vice President, Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers; and Heads and Chairmen of Boards of Parastatals, Departments and Agencies within the period from November 2007 to April 2018”. (See common paragraph 4 of the COIS Constitutional Instruments).
In 2015, all countries in the United Nations committed to reducing the number of deaths from these conditions by one-third by 2030. A new analysis predicts that more than 80 percent of the countries will fail to honor this reduction. The findings are published in the Lancet. In order of prevalence, cardiovascular conditions, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes are the four key deadly chronic diseases that account for 80 percent of all premature deaths due to NCD. The new report notes that the target will be achieved only in 35 countries for women and in 30 countries for men, as long as these countries maintain or surpass their 2010-2016 rate of decline in mortality due to chronic diseases. Most of these are high-income countries with an already low mortality rate from these conditions.
Hon. Members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, United Kingdom (CPA-UK) on Wednesday 19th September 2018 at Committee Room One Parliament Building engaged a cross section of first time MPs in the Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone in an interactive experience sharing on parliamentary practices and procedures.
Since the shock of former United Nations’ Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s death, I have been reflecting on what made him so special. To my mind, it is simply this: Kofi Annan was both one-of-a-kind and one of us. He was an exceptional global leader — and he was also someone virtually anyone in the world could see themselves in: those on the far reaches of poverty, conflict and despair who found in him an ally; the junior UN staffer following in his footsteps; the young person to whom he said until his dying breath “always remember, you are never too young to lead — and we are never too old to learn.” Like few in our time, Kofi Annan could bring people together, put them at ease, and unite them towards a common goal for our common humanity. There is an old joke: The art of diplomacy is to say nothing especially when you are speaking! Kofi Annan could say everything, sometimes without uttering a word.
By Sia Tiyaama It is becoming increasingly evident that Maada Bio’s victory in the past elections has conjured up the worst in the average supporter of the defeated All People’s Congress (APC) party. This is particularly the case with APC Diaspora supporters who it seems are willing to stop at nothing to destabilize the governance of the nation by making up incredible stories to anyone willing to listen. One such willing and evidently gullible listener is a seemingly obscure member of the British House of Commons called Hon. Neil Coyle who claims to represent Sierra Leoneans living in his constituency of Southwark and Old Bermondsey. This MP’s existence first came to my attention when a video clip showing a session of question time in the British Parliament was sent to me.