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A Tribute To A "COMRADE" Ambassador Ibrahim Bakarr Kamara (Orsoya) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ambassador Siray Alpha Timbo, Sierra Leone Envoy to the United Arab Emirates   
Thursday, 16 February 2017 11:03

Yes, our "Comrade" has gone! And it's hard to accept it. But whether he had died some years ago or his death had occurred in Kuwait, we would still have grieved our brother,friend, dad and husband, Amb. Ibrahim Bakarr Kamara, aka Orsoya. Yes, we would wish it would have happened as late as possible. For a heart that loves, it is hard to accept the death of a dear one.

On transit in Paris, at CDG airport, on my way to Freetown to pay my last respects to a brother, friend, senior colleague Ambassador and a "special comrade", I felt compelled by my inner voice to pay a tribute to a fallen hero, Ambassador Ibrahim Bakarr Kamara, affectionately known as "Orsoya". Our last telephone discussion, focusing on the bilateral frameworks of some of our infrastructure project financing, was about 4 pm UAE time on Tuesday, February 8, a day before the tragedy struck. Going by that privileged conversation, nothing by any shred indicated that a week later, I will be writing a tribute to his colourful  legacies.

Many a time, humanity gets confronted with commonplace routines of hiccups, hurdles and disappointments. None of these challenges compare to the finality and mystery of mortality. This is because death is non-negotiable, irreversible, unpredictable and profoundly cold. It is the most unfathomable game changer of our collective lifetime and one of man's most defining moments.

Orsoya's sudden death reminds one of humanity's constant dates with the transience of life which is in stark difference to what we perceive our loved ones as energetic,animated, cheerful and dynamic.

I vividly recall with a heavy heart on the evening that I first met him in Makeni, on the eve of the Christmas of 1986, a little over 30 years ago. The young man then was very popular, with a strong presence, humble disposition, extrovert and generous, to the extent of being known as a man of the people. He would cherish and protect his friendship with then school mates like His Excellency, President Ernest Bai Koroma, Frank Kargbo, Alie Fornah, Martin Bangura and late Sidique Dao. His loyalty to them, up to his death, was unquestionable. You could see the pain and grieve in the President. He was my "Special Comrade" and only a few friends like Balla Kamara, Kemoh Sesay and A P Koroma know the meaning of "Special Comrade". As a senior colleague Ambassador, he mentored me a lot and paid me two visits  in the UAE, assisting in my many diplomatic ventures. He was to make another visit on February 24, on his way to Jordan on a diplomatic assignment. But alas!

We will pay our last respects to a fallen hero on Friday, February 17 in Makeni. Funerals will always be a time of mourning, sadness and personal reflection. Nonetheless, we should also have time to celebrate a life that inspired emulation, that was a living proof of how fine and generous a person can be. Ambassador "Orsoya" was by all measure a committed patriot, a kind hearted, selfless, bridge building and a compassionate friend, a true brother. His friends included the whole spectrum of the society, regardless of tribe, religion or political affiliation.

He was a natural diplomat. And diplomacy is all about reaching out, connecting, marketing, networking, adding value, amity, cooperation, collaboration and more. This fine diplomat was responsible and instrumental to several bilateral and multilateral agreements that have enhanced diplomatic relations between Sierra Leone and Kuwait. Prominent amongst them are the Lumley- Tokey Peninsula road; the ongoing four hospital projects in Lumley, Macauley st, Waterloo and Samuel Town, to include medical equipment and furniture; the Islamic Cultural Centre, soon to be constructed in Makeni; hajj support and many more.

Ambassador Kamara will be severely missed by wife, Kadi (who's  fruitful relationship with her dear husband spans over 40 years),  children, his immediate family, the President, the APC party, his old school mates, friends and his several political and social constituencies.

To be born a gentleman is an accident but to die as a gentleman is an accomplishment. Orsoya could not control the length of his life, but he controlled its breath, depth and height. The song is ended but the melody lingers on.

May his worthy and gentle soul rest in perfect peace as his sterling legacies continue to reverberate in our collective memories. May Allah grant him His mercies. Ameen.

 

Editorial

2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul

 

The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.

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ACC CAPACITATES SIERRA LEONE COMMERCIAL BANK STAFF ON ANTI-BRIBERY AND ANTI-CORRUPTION ISSUES

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The training which was held in the Bank's Conference Room 9th Floor, Christian Smith Building 29/31 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown attracted over twenty members of the Executive Management.

Addressing colleagues, the Managing Director, SLCB, Idrissa Aloma Kamara disclosed that the Bank has integrated into the Bank's operations anti-corruption measures, such as the development of anti-corruption policy, anti-graft messages inscribed on Bank Statements and sensitization of staff on the dangers of corruption. With all these, the MD stated, it is the view of the Bank that the ACC which is the statutory body responsible for the campaign against corruption be brought in, to provide awareness training on anti-bribery issues for an efficient and effective banking system.

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Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson, former Lecturer Fourah Bay College, former Director of Information Ministry of Information and Communications, Former Director Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA), Former Chairman Independent Media Commission (IMC) and stringer French News Agency  etc. is on vacation and Mr. Cyril Juxon Smith Director Information and Communications House of Parliament, former Acting Director General Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) and former UNESCO Media Consultant  is in the United States of America to attend the funeral of his father.

Speaking at the Ambassador’s residence on 4821 Colorado Avenue, Washington DC  Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson said “Thank  you Amr. Stevens for accommodating us in the middle of your tight schedule, and also to discuss with us in a homely spirit.

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REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT

A PASSIONATE LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT:  44TH EDITION

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT
 Your Excellency Sir,
 It’s been six months since I subscribed to my usual publications of this piece. And this is primarily because I have been out of the country for the entire period, and as such would not normally objectively tender a subscription. I do apologize to my readers for this. So having being in Monrovia, Liberia for the recently concluded ECOWAS Summit, I would like to do some analysis on such a historic august body and gathering of this sub-Saharan/West African region.
 
In resume, among other crucial achievements, ECOWAS, through its military apparatus, ECOMOG, played very sacrificial and invaluable roles in bringing peace, security and democratic governance to both Sierra Leone and Liberia during their past civil wars, and most recently ensuring that the Gambian people’s democratic change of government from the notorious dictatorial twenty seven years regime of Yaya Jarmeh, to the current government of President Adama Barrow, through their tactical robust intervention, overseen by President Helen JohnsonSirleaf of Liberia and other ECOWAS Presidents/actors, was enforced. Furthermore, ECOWAS has also spearheaded the enactment of several socio-political, advocacy and economic treaties in the sub region.
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Other beneficiaries include the WAN POT Comedians, members of the National Youth Coalition and six senior officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF). The latter includes the highest ranking female military officer, Brigadier Kestoria Kabia and the Director of Gender and Equal Opportunities at the Ministry of Defence Col. Tucker.

The training is aimed at equipping staff and partners with the requisite skills and techniques required for effective and efficient ADR. Moreover, the trainees should be able to use ADR as an alternative to litigation and using effective skill of arbitration, mediation, negotiation and active listening. 

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The Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Freetown, Mr. Shen Xiaokai met with the 30 participants at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) on 2rd August 2017. In his remarks he told the participants that in December 2016, His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo visited China, where they had high level bilateral meetings with Chinese Government Officials. 

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News from China, June 28th: Youth Affairs Minister addresses 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development in Beijing, China
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Hon. Bai Mamoud Bangura spoke on Wednesday, 28th June, 2017, at the start of the week long Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation, which has brought together participants from various countries, including eight (8) from Sierra Leone.
 
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