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US Court finds Liberian Rebel Commander “Jungle Jabbah” Guilty of Crimes Linked to Atrocities in Liberia’s First Civil War
Written by PRESS RELEASE   
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 18:22

PHILADELPHIA - On 18 October 2017 a jury of 12 in a U.S. Federal Courthouse found former Liberian rebel commander Mohammed Jabbateh, aka “Jungle Jabbah,” guilty of two counts of fraud and two counts of perjury for lying to U.S. government officials about his role as a combatant in the Liberian Civil War. Jabbateh will be sentenced most likely within the next few months. He faces up to 30 years in prison.

In order to prove that Jabbateh provided false information to U.S. immigration authorities and procured asylum in the United States by fraud, the prosecution had to prove that he was a high-ranking rebel commander during the first Liberian civil war and committed criminal actions while in that position. Prior to immigrating to the United States, Jabbateh served as a battalion commander for the rebel group ULIMO (United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy), one of the key warring factions that fought against Charles Taylor’s NPFL (National Patriotic Front of Liberia) during Liberia’s first civil war (1989-1996).

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THE CASE FOR REFORM OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL
Written by FRANCIS GABBIDON, Lecture in Law Fourah Bay College and Senior Advocate of Sierra Leone   
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 16:41
  1. In recent years many UN member States have begun urging a change of the Security Council more so by demands of African states led by Sierra Leone.
  2. The main argument for reform is that change is necessary to make the Security Council more reflective of today’s International realities.
  3. Since the Council was created in 1945 more than a hundred and ninety two nations have come into existence and former defeated states in the last World War such as Germany, Japan and Italy have rejoined the World Community. While many developing states have become economic and trade dynamos yet the Security Council still operates on the same basic principles and with the same P5 (permanent Five) UK, USA, CHINA, FRANCE and USSR.

 

Sierra Leone has consistently and with farvour put the case for Africa at every fora upto some weeks ago in New York but it is difficult to assess the response of the UN or the P 5 respectively.

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How and Why I endorse Julius Maada Bio for President?
Written by Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw, Senior Lecturer in Media and Politics, Northumbria University, UK   
Monday, 16 October 2017 12:24

I have

I have endorsed Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio for the SLPP presidential ticket in the March 7 2018 elections because I strongly believe in his project and ability to succeed as our next president if given the opportunity.  Perhaps I need to provide  some context as to how, when and why I took this decision.

Maada Bio is the second presidential candidate I have ever endorsed in Sierra Leone. The first was late president TejanKabbah during the campaigns in the 1996 general elections, which he won. I was then publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Expo Times, which won the best-selling newspaper award from the National Vendors Association that year. At the time, my newspaper was the largest circulation and most widely read newspaper in the country and my nearest competitors were For Di People and Concord Times. When the presidential election campaigns became heated and the battle lines were clearly drawn with the three front-runners, TejanKabbah of the SLPP, Karefa-Smart of the UNPP, and Thaimu Bangura of PDP (SORBEH), For Di People declared for and endorsed Karefa-Smart and the UNPP while Concord Times declared for and endorsed Thaimu Bangura and the PDP. Dr Prince Harding and Banda-Thomas then approached me to endorse and help TejanKabbah of the SLPP, who was then the clear frontrunner according to Opinion polls, to win the elections. 

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CrPcEPd Life-saving jingle hits the airwaves
Written by press releaase   
Monday, 09 October 2017 19:21

Freetown- 9 October 2017 – A new jingle that forewarns Sierra Leonean about the dangers of residing in disaster-prone communities will be released on 10 October 2017.

The 1:30-second radio jingle, aired twice daily for 70 days will be aired on seven major radio stations across the country.

The radio announcement is in Krio, the country’s Lingua Franca, and Mende, Themne and Kono- the widely spoken languages in Sierra Leone.

When radio-lovers tune in on Tuesday morning and evening for the next 70 days they will be informed about the changes in the weather.

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BONTHE DISTRICT COUNCIL AND MDAs SET TO DECLARE ASSETS, INCOMES AND LIABILITITES
Written by ALIMAMY LAHAI KAMARA   
Monday, 09 October 2017 15:46

“Before now we were afraid to declare our assets, incomes, and liabilities. We thought it is meant to witch hunt public officers; we thought monies and properties obtained from family members cannot be declared; we even thought our ‘Osusus’ and loans in banks should not be declared, even our farms. Now that we know asset declaration can save us from litigations; can save us from malicious reports; we are at liberty to declare," Chief Administrator Bonthe District Council told ACC team during a three-day visit to the District.

Chief Administrator, Bintu Vangahun said, she takes responsibility to ensure every single staff at Council declares his or her assets, incomes, and liabilities so that Council staff will begin to enjoy the benefits of declaration.

Deputy Director Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said he was also uncomfortable with the asset declaration regime, and used to find the Forms difficult to fill. Mohamed Kamara said, notarization of the Forms is perceived as a burden to public officers in Mattru Jong.

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Editorial

26th IPRA Conference in Sierra Leone Ends on a High Note

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development Debate’ in collaboration with the 10TH Dealing With Disasters Series, Northumbria University (UK)and Sakarya University (Turkey) and  the University of  Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.

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Business News

PARLIAMENT RATIFIES TWO AGREEMENTS TO IMPROVE ON PORTS FACILITIES

The Parliament of Sierra Leone on Monday 04th December 2017 debated and ratified two additional agreements aimed at improving and expanding Ports facilities in Sierra Leone to be at par with international best practices.

Presenting both Agreements prior to ratification, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Balogun Koroma said that the additional Agreements are geared towards addressing some of the concerns raised by MPs, in respect of expanding our Ports facilities to accommodate larger vessels, and the issuance of license with the view of combating money laundering, contra-band goods, and attracting more funds for Government.

Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader of the House, also supported the ratification of the two Agreements, saying if our Ports are not developed, we would not be able to attract huge vessels; thus the need for the continuous improvement of our Ports facilities.

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Media News

"President Koroma is a big disappointment to press freedom" - SLAJ

Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, has said that President Ernest Bai Koroma has disappointed the media on press freedom in the country. 

“Successive governments have given us false hopes on the repeal of the criminal libel law. The politicians have lied to us. They have taken us to be big fools. President Koroma is our biggest disappointment. We had high hopes in him but he failed us woefully. So we will not trust any politician again, because when they get into office they forget about their promises,” said Nasralla.
 
Nasralla was speaking last Friday while formally launching a report on criminal defamation laws in Africa by PEN Sierra Leone at the SLAJ Harry Yansaneh Memorial Hall, Campbell Street, Freetown. 
 
He recalled that before he was first elected President of the Republic in 2007, President Koroma was a staunch campaigner against criminal libel law in Sierra Leone, but when he became President he suddenly had a different view.
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Commentary

Reasons why Sierra Leoneans Must Think beyond Tribal and Regional Lines Before Casting their Ballots This Time

As the national or general elections loom in Sierra Leone and, as a true citizen, I solemnly pray and hope with all hopes that Sierra Leoneans of the voting age will consider carefully who they would vote for, come March 2018. The divisive and immature nature of politics as it exists in Sierra Leone has, to a greater extent, contributed to the country lagging behind nearly all other countries in terms of progressive development. My readers should be mindful of the fact that certain countries in Africa would rather develop retrogressively than progressively, a situation wherein governments embark on ego-boosting programs that aren’t beneficial to the average citizen.

A government which expends its energy for the benefit of the people is a progressive government and that is what Sierra Leoneans want at this time after being in the doldrums for ages. It is therefore absolutely necessary for fellow citizens to refrain from casting their valued votes in favor of candidates because of tribal or regional affiliations but on how genuine and capable that candidate is, otherwise stagnation in progress is bound to follow.

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View Point

THE LIBYAN/NORTH AFRICAN “MODERN SLAVE TRADE” SAGAS

Your Excellency Sir,

I write this piece with extreme emotive disdain, in reflection on the “Libyan/North African Modern Slave Trade” horrendous saga - enjoining it with the “Mediterranean Genocide.”  Let me commence by lending my voice to that of countless Africans, who have risen in gross condemnation of this barbaric and heinous “subhuman” trade and phenomenon across the deserts and seas. Those inhumane treatments have lately been also condemned by the UN system, the AU, the ECOWAS and the EU, (alongside several international human right actors); after these ruthless human trafficking syndicates and desperate refuge seeking adventures were graphically brought to the glare of the entire world by the international press.

It is extremely appalling and unimaginable that some of our fellow Africans and Arabs could morally degenerate to such an extent in the 20th and 21st centuries, as to treating their fellowmen in such gruesome, despicable and horrific manner, as inflicting terrible physical tortures, only comparable to that of the “Nazi concentration camps” in the 20th century, infamously referred to as “the holocaust.” Sadly though, this trade that has just been recently trumpeted, has been going on for over half a century right at the fringes of the so-called “civilized and free world,” and under the watchful eyes and impassivity of our continental and global organizations and actors. As such, I could rightfully refer to these dastardly trades as the “neo-colonial slave trade.” What absurdity and aberration!!   

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News - Press Release

PPRC and UNDP Re-activate District Code Monitoring Committee

The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) in league with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Thursday 7th December 2017 re-activated the District Code Monitoring Committee (DCMC).

At a ceremony held at the Family Kingdom in Freetown, the programme brought together members from the fourteen registered political parties, the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), the Office of National Security (ONS), Traditional Leaders, the Media and Civil Society Organizations from the sixteen districts in Sierra Leone.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Programme, Commissioner Babatunde Pratt says Sierra Leone has come a long way in building our democratic process. This he says has however not been an easy task as we are still faced with the horrors of our past. Regional divide, violence, political intolerance among others he says have marred our political space and if not nip on the bud will affect the growth and political stability of the country.

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Society -Local News

Ambassador of The Islamic Republic of Iran takes formal leave of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

(MFAIC Press Office, 6thDecember, 2017). His Excellency Lotfollah Bakhtiari, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran accredited to Sierra Leone and resident in Freetown, has taken formal leave of the Minister of State 1 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr.  Mohammed Gibril Sesay, at the Ministry’s office, Tower Hill, Freetown.

In his farewell statement to the Minister of State 1 and Senior Management staff of the Ministry, His Excellency Lotfollah Bakhtiari on behalf of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran conveyed sincere gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the warm reception given to the Iranian community and organisations/or institutions operating in the country.

The outgoing Ambassador underscoredthat in spite the devastating impact of the Ebola scourge in Sierra Leone, coupled with the international challenges facing his country, he has always remained focused and committed in the cause of maintaining, strengthening and broadeningthe  bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Iran and the Republic of Sierra Leone through the implementation of a variety of programmes and projects.

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Development

UNITED STATES COMMISSIONS 151 SCHOOL STRUCTURES TO SUPPORT GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE EDUCATION PRIORITIES

On November 21,2017 the United States Department for Agriculture (USDA), through Catholic Relief Services (CRS), commissioned 151 school structures to support the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST)in promotingquality learning environments within five vulnerable chiefdoms of Koinadugu District, northern Sierra Leone.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by the Honorable Minister of Education, Dr. Minkailu Bah,other senior MEST officials, and 6 Paramount Chiefs and Regents from the “All Pikin for Learn” intervention area.

The program ‘All Pikin for Learn,’funded by USDA’s McGovern-Dole (MGD) International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program since 2008, is a food assistance and education program that seeks to improve the enrollment, attendance and literacy,along with health and dietary practices, of primary school-aged children.

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Politics

President Koroma outlines his government achievements in closing address to Parliament

President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Supreme Head of State and Grand Commander of the Order of the Republic, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Fountain Head of Unity, Honour, Freedom and Justice at Parliament Building, Tower Hill, Freetown

on Thursday, 7th December, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. On the Occasion of the Dissolution of the Fourth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone in the Chamber of Parliament Building, Tower Hill, Freetown

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