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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

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.

Read more...

Business News

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

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on the request of the Management of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) on Thursday 20th July, 2017 commenced anti- bribery and anti-corruption training with staff of the Bank.

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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Media News

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.

These findings are contained in the latest edition of the West Africa Freedom of Expression Monitor, a quarterly report by the MFWA which analyses and highlights freedom of expression developments in the sub-region.

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Commentary

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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View Point

WHY SIERRA LEONEANS HATE PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT

Honestly speaking Sierra Leoneans are well known for their hospitality all over the world, especially in Africa. But ironically many of them hate each other. But they love foreigners. They have high respect for strangers. But unfortunately they do not have respect among themselves. You can attest this to what is happening in the social media. Where they are showing their pull him down (PhD) syndrome. By castigating their compatriots unnecessarily. Some of them just because of jealousy and envious evil spirit they possess. They prefer to promote foreigners than their own brothers and sisters both in and out of the country.

Day in day out they are insulting each other.They are using all sorts of vulgar languages against each other. And even their own highly respected president in the world, President Ernest Bai Koroma they are insulting him openly. Therefore, it is an open secret that many Sierra Leoneans are not well cultured.

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News - Press Release

Regent village head calls on LAB to tackle domestic violence

The village head for Regent, Ms. Jokomie Browne has called on the Legal Aid Board to help curb the increase in incidence of domestic violence in the Regent Community in the outskirts of the capital Freetown.

Ms. Browne wants the Board to hold outreach events in the village to educate the people on issues of law relating to domestic violence, gender, women’s rights, redress mechanisms and support services for victims.

‘We want to benefit from the Legal Aid Board’s Legal Empowerment Programme because there is an urgent need for one in the community,’ Ms. Browne told the Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles on the phone. ‘The situation is desperate. I am afraid if you do not come in now the situation could spiral out of control.’

The call follows series of referral of victims of domestic violence to the Legal Aid Board office in Freetown. The latest victim sent to the Board is one Baindu who was battered by her boyfriend Borbor Abu in the presence of their one year old son.

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Society -Local News

China-Aid Agricultural Technical Cooperation Project hand over Agriculture Materials to the Ministry of Agriculture

On  21st July ,2017 at a handing over ceremony held at Ogoo Farm in Freetown, China-Aid Agricultural Technical Cooperation Project Team handed agricultural materials to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS). 

The items include seed rice, maize, agro chemicals, fertilizer, pesticides and power tillers for farmers within the western area district. Dignitaries present included The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food security Prof. Monty Jones and his entourage ,  Mr Shen Xiaokai, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, the District agricultural officer, the Chinese technical team, National federation of farmers Sierra Leone representative and lot of farmers in the western Area.

During his statement, Mr Shen said for over 40 years China has been fulfilling its commitment to Sierra Leone with regard the agricultural technical cooperation project.

He said China will continue to assist Sierra Leone in its developmental strides by providing technical support and assistance and by also providing training to help develop the human resource capacity of the workforce.

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Development

30 Staff of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development will go China for Seminar on Economic Planning

Thirty (30) staff of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will depart the shore of Freetown to China on 14th August 2017. The purpose of their trip is to attend a seminar on Medium and Long-Term Economic planning for Sierra Leone. The National Development and Reform Commission of China will organize the seminar from 16th August to 7th September 2017 in the capital city of Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

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. 

He said this seminar is as a result of those meetings. “When China makes a commitment, China will fulfil it” he reiterated. He said The Ministry of Finance is one of the most important ministries in this country, therefore this seminar was designed specifically to meet the needs of the ministry.

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Politics

News from China, June 28th: Youth Affairs Minister addresses 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development in Beijing, China
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth Affairs has said, the 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development hosted by the Chinese government should help enhance the ties of friendship and foster the wheels of bilateral cooperation between the two nations and particularly strengthen cooperation in the field of human resource development.
 
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.
 
According to minister Bangura, in line with the spirit of friendship and cooperation, the event could serve as an opportunity to jointly define new strategic directions in Sierra Leone’s ties with China and in opening up another episode of friendship and cooperation between the two.
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