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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.

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In Sierra Leone, the notion of corporate social responsibility has always been associated with the private sector. No wonder some people see the active involvement of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in corporate social activities as strange, and many have opined that a tax collecting body should not be engaged in corporate social responsibility activities.

However, the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on corporate image is immense, even for tax collecting bodies. The perception that tax collectors are monsters vigorously bent on collecting people's earnings with no care for the environment or the vulnerable in the community they operate is evolving. Indeed, many revenue authorities in Africa are today socially responsible.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) in an article in its website argues that "the nature of Revenue Collectors' mandate makes them the hill of the nation such that whatever they do is mirrored and echoed by many".

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Media News

Press Freedom under Siege in West Africa: 30 Media Workers Arrested in 38 Days

The 30 victims, made up of 15 journalists and 15 media technicians, were arrested, detained and/or assaulted in 10 separate incidents in four countries namely Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Togo. Nigeria recorded six incidents, Cote d’Ivoire recorded two incidents while Guinea and Togo recorded an incident each.

In Nigeria, seven journalists were arrested and detained during the period. In Cote d’Ivoire, six journalists were arrested and detained in a single incident while one journalist each was affected in Guinea and Togo, bringing the total number of journalists affected to 15. In respect of the other media workers, nine staff of a newspaper printing firm were arrested in single incident. In Cote d’Ivoire, six technicians working with the state-owned television station were also arrested in a single incident.

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So Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is going into politics in 2018. Those who are very closeto him will tell you that this is a fact. The Doctor has made up his mind. Afterdiscussing and editing serious national issues on newspaper pages and on the airwaves for almost twenty five years, hehas decided that he cannot achieve much for the people behind the microphone and the pen. He now wants toengage into something that will make a direct impact on the lives of Sierra Leoneans.

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Precious Minerals, Public Trust and Government’s Openness

By late 2001, the Anti Corruption Commission arrested then Sierra Leone's  transport and communications minister, together with his wife, “for involvement in illegal diamond mining” in Kenema district.  Large quantum of illicit diamonds had been found in their possession, according to a BBC report at the time.

With some diamonds said to have been smuggled out of the country by the minister, the incident happened at a time when the rebel war was raging and the key perpetrators- the RUF were also seriously involved in illicit mining and smuggling. The minister was later jailed in 2003 for two years for illegal possession of diamonds.

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News - Press Release

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While the tension between the two had been lingering several years,Mr. Mansaray decided to report the matter to the Board in Freetown when he got information that Madam Marian Kamara was planning to sell theproperty.   The owner of the property who is the sister of both parties had died over a decade ago without leaving a will.

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The Legal Aid Defence Counsel Hadiru Daboh secured the discharge after drawing the court’s attention to the failure of the complainant to attend court sittings for seven consecutive adjournments. What’s more, the complainant has not furnished the court with any reasons for his absence. Magistrate I.S. Bangura agreed with the Defence Counsel and discharged the matter. He noted that discharge would not stop the prosecution from reinstating the matter in future.

The accused, Alpha Kanuwho plied his trade as driver and apprentice at the Wilberforce lorry park got involved in a fight with his boss Michael Aruna in February 2017. He was arrested and taken to the Congo Cross Police station following a complaint by his boss. According to Alpha Kanu, his injuries were ignored by the police even though they were more serious. He spent fifteen days at the Congo police station before the matter was charged to court.

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Development

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The exercise is designed to improve cooperation andinformation sharing, and to refine tactics, techniques and procedures among participating nations.

The “Obangame Express”exercise will be based on realistic modern-day scenarios such as piracy, illegal fishing and hijacking.  During the exercise,Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) will be challenged to recognize illicit acts and share trackinginformation with other MOCs throughout the region.

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AUK who is a Political and Policy Analyst working in Australia said the mass registration of every citizen is a very important process in the development agenda of the country. He therefore appealed to all Sierra Leoneans to put politics aside and understand that the process would help government consolidate citizens’ data and enhance effective service delivery and improve monitoring of government programmes and policies.

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