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Sierra Leone burial team attacked despite lockdown PDF Print E-mail
Diaspora News
Written by reuters   
Sunday, 21 September 2014 15:57

(Reuters) - A team burying Ebola victims was attacked in Sierra Leone's capital on Saturday, a member of parliament said, as a small group defied a three-day lockdown aimed at halting the worst outbreak of the disease on record.

In one of the most extreme measures since the epidemic began, Sierra Leone has ordered its population of 6 million to stay indoors as volunteers circulate to educate residents about the disease as well as isolate the sick and remove the dead.

Residents have mostly complied with the measures announced by President Ernest Bai Koroma earlier this week. On the second day of the lockdown, the streets were mostly deserted, except for ambulances and police vehicles.

The attack on the burial team on Saturday occurred in the village of Matainkay, some three miles from the Waterloo district of Freetown.

Claude Kamanda, MP for the Waterloo district, said that armed policemen accompanying the burial team quickly arrived, causing the attackers to flee.

The police Local Unit Commander in the area, Superintendent Mustapha Kamara said he sent reinforcement to the village "after some youths attempted to disrupt the burial". He told Reuters that he has now instructed that the burial team must inform them to provide a stronger presence.

Ebola has infected at least 5,357 people in West Africa this year, mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, killing 2,630 of those, according to the World Health Organization. More than 562 people have died in Sierra Leone.

Neighboring Liberia had put in place temporary community quarantine measures and curfews last month, but lifted them after street protests.

Some have criticized Sierra Leone's lockdown measures, warning of food shortages and saying it might cause people to go to extra lengths to conceal highly contagious bodies.

But volunteers said they were bombarded with calls on an Ebola hotline over the last two days, receiving hundreds of requests for help.

Stephen Gaojia, head of an emergency services operation, said the ability of his teams to respond to the calls was limited by shortages of staffing and equipment.

"We need about 14 burial teams, as we speak we have about nine", he said. "So if we have more number of people that will be able to improve our response time".

The leader of the United Democratic Movement party, Mohamed Bangura, told Reuters that his team buried 11 Ebola victims on Saturday.

U.N. DEPLOYMENT

The outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever is the worst since it was identified in 1976 in the forests of central Africa. The first victim of the current epidemic is thought to have caught the disease from a fruit bat in the forests of Guinea last December.

Western nations, led by the United States, have pledged in recent days to ramp up their aid efforts, and the United Nations said it would begin deploying an advanced team of its special mission to a regional headquarters in Ghana by Monday.

A chartered 747 jet, carrying the largest single shipment of aid, including protective gear and medications, to the Ebola zone to date and coordinated by the Clinton Global Initiative and other U.S. aid organizations, departed New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday afternoon bound for West Africa.

Former President Bill Clinton praised new efforts from the United States, Britain, France and other countries to fight the epidemic. "We're still a little behind the curve but we're getting there," Clinton said on Saturday.

Volunteers and healthcare workers are often viewed with suspicion by locals who blame them for infecting the communities they are meant to be healing, slowing the ability of authorities to contain the disease.

Friday Kiyee, head of a Monrovia Ebola burial team, said that earlier this week locals placed a roadblock to prevent the collection of the decomposing body of a 29-year-old victim.

"Sometime we go into a community people will tell us they need an autopsy, and at the final stages you will see them blocking road. We don't expect for our own brothers to behave this way," she said.

Bans on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone hosting any international football because of fears of spreading Ebola were kept in place by the Confederation of African Football, its executive committee decided on Saturday.

(Additional reporting by James Harding in Monrovia, Michelle Nichols in New York, Caren Bohan in Washington; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Leslie Adler)

 

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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Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone

John D. Okrafo-Smart, Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone and gives his insight into the banking landscape.

Excerpts shared by Sheriff Mahmud Ismail

The Government of Sierra Leone is placing great priority in improving the business climate, enhancing infrastructure and support to private sector development. In line with the government focus, the Central Bank is targeting price stability in support of economic recovery, enhancing monetary policy instruments and liquidity management and also limiting intervention in the foreign exchange market, which will be important to preserve foreign exchange reserves.

The above measures will help in the strengthening of the banking system to support financial intermediation. Commercial banks are thus poised to benefit and take advantage of the improved economic and business environment by offering better services to their customers, including loans and overdrafts and forex to import, thereby creating wealth and boosting government revenue.

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Freedom of Expression Violations Rise Sharply in West Africa

The incidents of freedom of expression rights violations in West Africa more than tripled in the first quarter (January-March) of 2017.

Over the three-month period, a total of 47 violations were recorded as against 14 violations for the last quarter (October-December) of 2016. The violations recorded in the quarter under review range from arrests and detentions to physical attacks, online violations, shutdown of media houses, censorship, seizure and destruction of property and killings. The 47 violations occurred in 10 out of the 16 countries in West Africa.

 

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Dr. Tam Baryoh’s Only Crime!

Boris Johnson as a Journalist worked at The Times and Daily Telegraph newspapers. He edited The Spectator newspaper between 1999 and 2006. He was Member of Parliament for Henley from 2001 to 2008 and was also Mayor of London. He is a member of the Conservative Party and the current UK Foreign Secretary.

Nnamdi Azikiwe was to serve as the first president of independent Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. He opened and edited a number of newspapers in Ghana and Nigeria and later became an active politician. Obafemi Awolowo was a great Nigerian politician. He also was an active journalist and edited The Nigerian Worker, amongst other publications.

There is a clear link between politics and journalism though, there seems to be a very thin boundary, or perhaps, “a reflective door in the firewall, such that with time, politicians and journalists cross the line changing roles and moving from side to side,” argues Aminat Afolabi in a piece, titled ‘Politics and Journalism, the Interwoven Relationship between Them.”

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How and Why I endorse Julius Maada Bio for President?

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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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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In his keynote address at the District Council Hall, Koidu City, Mr. Macauley  called on all Sierra Leoneans to fight bribery and petty corruption very seriously, stating that their consequences are debilitating. 

He thanked the Department for International Development (DFID) for the support provided to the ACC in the implementation of the PNB and assured that the ACC will play its part to ensuring a successful implementation of the campaign. Commissioner further commended the MDAs implementing the PNB and highlighted the astute and formidable leadership demonstrated by the Inspector General of Police (IG) Francis Munu as the SLP has dismissed and terminated police officers for various acts of corruption and malfeasance and instructed the dismantling of 23 illegal checkpoints nationwide.

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THE CASE FOR REFORM OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL
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  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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PRESIDENT KOROMA SAYS… “I am very proud of Ansumana Usman Koroma”

President Dr Ernest BaiKoroma has informed Sierra Leoneans that, “I am very proud that we have people like Ansumana. We need many more Ansumana Usman Koromas that will go out there as Ambassadors of our country, showing and telling a good story about Sierra Leone.”

Whilst speaking at his Presidential office in Freetown, President Koroma affirmed that, “I am very proud of Ansumana and I am encouraging him to do more by helping his people.”

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