The Ebola Killer Machine is in our region of the African continent, and Sierra Leone now has a good taste of its savagery – the nation is in awe of it and our government is in sleepless nights seeking ways to combat it. Distress messages and signals have been sent around the world – and one by one our friends are coming in with help.
Like everyone knows by now, Sierra Leone doesn’t want help; we NEED it; and it brings hope to our hearts to see how other nations are responding to our distress and coming in, big time, with what we need.
When Haiti, for example, was besieged with a hurricane, help came rushing in on time with little or no protocol – that, dear reader, makes one appreciate the neighbour principle, and the message of belonging to entities like the UN and its affiliates bodies seemed relevant and necessary.
When Ebola struck our region, reports state that pledges were made which, if all were in by now, we would have seen a marked improvement in our fight against it. But, sadly enough, such help is being tied down to bureaucracy. You’re left with the feeling that our relevancy is second-rated compared with other regions, say, like the Middle East. If this is so, then you ask what’s the relevance of being signatories to bodies like the UN, if not but to further the interests of bigger nations like the USA and the UK, for example?
Proper blame leveling will come later, certainly, but for now we will concentrate on the solutions, and giving praise where it is due.
To say that the peoples of the three West African states of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia are undergoing trauma would be understatement. This is particularly so as these states are presently battling the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) that was first detected and confirmed in Guinea and then spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia with the attendant deaths of innocent and unsuspecting people.
Indeed, the Ebola Virus Disease (EBV) reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the deadliest in the history of epidemics, has claimed the lives of a record cumulative fatality two hundred and fourteen (214) Ebola confirmed deaths, five hundred and ninety-one (591) confirmed Ebola cases and one hundred and sixty-one (161) survivors as of August 5, this year in the case of Sierra Leone.
So far, Governments have poured in millions of dollars with the international community complementing with experts and financial resources to mitigate and eventually eradicate the scourge of Ebola. So far, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and his Government remain the only country that has pronounced the most stringent measures that include the deployment of the military and the police to cordon the epicentres of the virus and quarantine household of confirmed cases of Ebola.
Written by M C Bah, Atlanta, GA-USA, former NDA Presidential Aspirant
Thursday, 31 July 2014 13:34
Our nation today mourned the passing of a giant medical crusader - Dr. Sheik Omar Khan who lost the battle he once fearlessly waged against the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. The Chief Ebola doctor passed away on July 29, 2014 at the Doctors without Border treatment center in Kailahun District. Today, we are heart broken by the sudden loss of a ‘national hero’ who captivated our imagination and inspired our moral instinct that there are still angels and prophets among us. That we can find hope in the illuminating heart of people like Dr. Khan who made our nation less dangerous against the deadliest disease in human history.
Dr. Sheik Omar Khan may not have come from Bethlehem in Palestine or Mecca in Saudi Arabia; but he left an indelible message of human compassion, a unique character of self-sacrifice and what it means to serve humanity even if it means losing your “cherished life” as he once mentioned to reporters. Even a Sierra Leonean who had never travelled to distance shores or not find his names on international headlines before and never shake hands with Kings and Presidents could save more than 100 lives by his simple God- fearing gift of an “agape love” – a redemptive action that requires no return but genuine goodwill to all.
In the midst of this deadly virus, Dr. Sheik Umar Khan taught us what we can do as Sierra Leoneans. That we can chose to only help our families, villages, towns and tribesmen and then build a bleak future for our next generation or we can confront our challenges and fears together and save many lives while transforming our communities and nation into thriving centers of economic development. Dr. Khan’s life on this earth reveals to us: we can be a blessing to others by doing extraordinary things.
Written by Bai-Bai Sesay (+232 76 617326/+232 77 400438/+232 33 956984)
Monday, 21 July 2014 18:47
PRESIDENT ERNEST Bai Koroma’s free health care initiative in a donor driven country like Sierra Leone is no doubt gaining tremendously successes since its inception few years ago.
BUT TODAY another deadly disease called Ebola is currently in the rampage killing our people mostly in the Kailahun and Kenema districts, eastern Sierra Leone.
WE HEARD of the disease from neighboring Guinea and Liberia respectively. And a recent broadcasting message to the nation, President Koroma warned that, Ebola is real and Ebola kills.
ACCORDING TO officials in the health ministry, some several people of reported Ebola cases have been confirmed dead and nearly all of these cases are being reported in Kailahun and Kenema districts respectively.
MEDICAL EXPERTS say the major route of transmission of the Ebola virus is contact with persons infected with the virus. They went furthered to advise that the main way to stop the spread of the disease is preventing contact with persons with the virus, and everybody who has had this unprotected contact could be carrying the virus and at risk of infecting others.
UNICEF is stepping up efforts to prevent further spread of the disease
FREETOWN/GENEVA/DAKAR, 11 July 2014 – As the Ebola-related death toll rises above 500 in West Africa, UNICEF and its partners are expanding their activities across the region to halt the spread of the disease by combating rumours, fears and misconceptions.
“Rumours and denial are fueling the spread of Ebola and putting even more lives at risk,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “Some people still deny that the disease is real. Others believe that it doesn’t have to be treated.”
With more than 850 cases reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone by the World Health Organization (WHO), this first-ever Ebola outbreak in West Africa has become a major regional threat, unprecedented in duration and in scale. Widespread misconception, resistance, denial and occasional hostility in some communities are considerably complicating the humanitarian response to contain the outbreak.
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.
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".
The 4th session of the China Africa Press Center (CAPC) Program hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) was officially launched on Wednesday 1st March 2017 in Beijing, China. This year’s event is running simultaneously with the China South Asia Center 2017 program. Both programs brought together forty-four journalists from Africa and South Asia.
The program you will give journalists the opportunity to cover major domestic and international events in China such as the upcoming Two Sessions, i.e, the 5th Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) and the 5th Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese
People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (similar to Parliamentary sessions in many countries) in March, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May and the 9th BRICS Summit in Autumn this year.
Dr. David Tam-Baryoh: A New Broom in Sierra Leone Politics
Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is a household name in Sierra Leone, mostly because of his“Good Governance” popular radio programme called monologue. In fact the programme has become sopopular that most people prefer to call the presenter “Mr. Monologue”. Recently Mr. Monologue said in two or three of his programmes that he would be going intopolitics. It looked like a joke the first time he said it. But after saying it over threeor four times it is no longer a joke.
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.
And the Doctor thinks politics is the best way to do this, if we look at politics as“the authoritative allocation of scarce resources within a nation state.” He wants tobe part of the allocation of Sierra Leone’s scarce resources.
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.
Amongst other factors, Sierra Leone’s civil war was fuelled mainly by diamond, specifically “conflict diamonds”- those diamonds that originated from territories controlled by rebel forces (UN definition).
The Legal Aid Board’s Alternative Dispute Resolution on Tuesday, 7 March 2017 resolved a long standing dispute in respect of a property on Newcastle Street, in Kissy, Freetown between one Mr. Solomon Samba Mansaray and his seventy-seven year old elder sister Madam Marian Kamara who is in the country on holiday from the United States of America.
The two who had not been on speaking terms were reconciled. Both promised to work together in the interest of peace in the family. In this vein, Madam Marian Kamara agreed to cancel a U$ 400 debt owed by Mr. Mansaray.
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.
As the Legal Aid Board prepares to provide legal assistance to indigents and children engaged in election related violence, it has successfully secured the discharge of a twenty-five old from Wilberforce in the West of Freetown charged with violence.
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.
U.S. Africa Command Launches a 33-Nation Maritime Exercise: Sierra Leone Maritime “Full Speed Ahead”
During March 23-31, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) issponsoring “Obangame Express”, an in-port Command Post exerciseand at-sea maritime exercise designed to enhance maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.The exercise includes 33 partner nations, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
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.
The winner of the Pride of Australia Award, Ansumana Usman Koroma popularly known as AUK has called on all Sierra Leoneans within and outside Sierra Leone to support and fully participate in both the ongoing voter registration that has started March 20 to end April 19 2017 and the forthcoming nationwide civil registration process slated April 24 to June 11 2017.
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.
He stressed that the national civil registration authority is created to promote a greater sense of nationalism and common identity.