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Press Release
SLAJ condemns arrest of Jonathan Leigh PDF Print E-mail
Press Release
Written by press statement   
Friday, 18 December 2015 22:10

The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) is appalled by the arrest, by the police, of journalist Jonathan Leigh, Managing Editor of the Independent Observer newspaper, over an alleged publication of reported violent incidents in Kono following campaigns by the ruling All People's Congress (APC) and the main opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) in the build-up to the Saturday December 19, 2015 by-election in Constituency 25 in Kono.

Mr. Leigh was picked up in his office in the evening of Thursday 17 December by three officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), who told the journalist that they were acting on "orders" to arrest him regarding his front page publication of that day. The investigating officers said the journalist was being interrogated for "false publication"; he was subsequently detained after statement had been obtained from him.

SLAJ is concerned that there seems to exist a consistent pattern by the police to arrest journalists for their publications instead of allowing the body established by law to regulate the media – the Independent Media Commission (IMC) – to handle such matters. We view Mr. Leigh's arrest as a clear case of political harassment and intimidation and therefore call for his immediate release.

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SLRA PRO Explains Salini Impregilo Quarry Operations PDF Print E-mail
Press Release
Written by Mohamed Kamara   
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 11:05

The   Public Relations Officer of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA), Sorie Ibrahim Kanu has reacted to a story published in the Awoko Newspaper of Wednesday 9th December 2015 titled: EPA To Close Salini Impregilo Quarry Operations.

In that publication, Mr. Kanu said that the author of that article failed to know that the Government of Sierra Leone is responsible for property acquisition, borrow pit, quarries, land for camp construction and all EIA Licenses for any road projects across the country. 

He pointed out that SLRA acquired EIA Licenses for the Matotoka Road rehabilitation and construction project in December 2013.

"There was a misunderstanding that Salini Empregu is operating a quarry for the said project without a valid license, but failing to know that Salini Empregu is among the quarries that operates under road projects in the country," he said. 

He  added that, closing Salini Impregilo  will  give them a plus  because any time they  stop working,  government will lost not less than  US$ 10,000 dollars a day and multiply in four days,   you'll see the  huge amount of money government  may lose if a closure comes in.

"As the people know, contractors are operating with time frame and maximizing profit which is their aim," he pointed out. 

Mr. Kanu drew reference in the Lungi Port Loko road when the 'Ojeh' society placed a ban on the CRSG in Lungi, little they didn't know that the company was not losing anything.

The Public Relations Officer told this press that they want to inform the general public that it's not the responsibility of any road contractors to acquire license for its quarry operations but the said misunderstanding is being resolved by SLRA and EPA -SL amicably.

 
Statistics Sierra Leone, International Partners Brief President Koroma PDF Print E-mail
Press Release
Written by State House Communications Unit   
Tuesday, 01 December 2015 11:16

Ahead of the 2015 population and housing census, Statistics Sierra Leone and its international partners on Monday 30 November briefed President Ernest Bai Koroma on its preparedness to conduct the census. The housing and population census is scheduled to take place from 5th to 18th December, 2015.

President Koroma thanked the institutions involved in the census process for their great efforts and stated that he will continue to urge the general public to fully participate in the census to have correct data on the population and other sectors. He pointed out that the data collected will help in policy direction and in the disbursement of funds.

The president emphasized the need for enhanced sensitization and awareness raising, particularly in remote areas, and called on paramount chiefs to be fully involved in order to reach remote areas. He thanked development partners for their financial and technical support towards the conduct of the census and assured of government’s support and commitment to live up to its responsibility.

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Press Release: Child brides in Africa could more than double to 310 million by 2050 - UNICEF PDF Print E-mail
Press Release
Written by press statement   
Saturday, 28 November 2015 19:27

NEW YORK/LUSAKA, 26 November 2015 – If current levels persist, the total number of child brides in Africa will rise from 125 million to 310 million by 2050, according to a UNICEF report released at the African Union Girls Summit in Lusaka, Zambia, today.
 
UNICEF’s statistical report, A Profile of Child Marriage in Africa, points to slow rates of reduction, combined with rapid population growth, as major causes for the projected increase. In all other regions of the world, current rates of reduction and demographic trends mean there will be fewer child brides each year. By 2050 Africa will surpass South Asia as the region with the highest number of women aged 20 to 24 who were married as children.
 
“Child marriage generates norms that have become increasingly difficult to exterminate – norms that undermine the value of our women,” said Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma. “Through greater awareness, teamed with a collaborative approach, the crippling effects of child marriage can be eradicated.”

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Sierra Leone Embassy in Kuwait Debunks Social Media Reports on House Maids PDF Print E-mail
Press Release
Written by Compiled by M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States   
Thursday, 26 November 2015 20:43

In reference to testimonies given by Cameroonian returnee housemaids posted recently on the Social Media, and a subsequent recording posted by a concerned Sierra Leonean migrant worker domiciled in Kuwait on the plight of Sierra Leonean housemaids in Kuwait, the Embassy of Sierra Leone in the Gulf State of Kuwait headed by H.E Ambassador Bakarr Kamara would like to make the following clarifications for the records:

 Sierra Leonean housemaids working in Kuwait were recruited by agents approved by the Ministry of Labour of Sierra Leone with absolutely no knowledge of their presence by the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Kuwait.

Upon their arrival at the airport in Kuwait, they were received by the counterpart local recruiting agents and taken to their respective offices that would get them distributed to interested employers without a reference to this Embassy. Once taken to their employers, they become incommunicado where they will have to permanently stay within the confines of their new workplaces.

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Page 8 of 41

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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Business News

Why Parastatals should be Socially Responsible: the Case of NRA

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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Commentary

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.

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View Point

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).

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News - Press Release

LAB resolves dispute over property in Kissy

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.

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Society -Local News

Njala demonstration stretches LAB to the limit

The Legal Aid Board office in Freetown was stretched to the limit following the storming of the office by desperate students ofthe Njala University seeking the intervention of the Board to secure the release of their colleagues who had been arrested and held in police cells around the city.

On a normal weekday, you would expect at least forty people crammed in the Freetown office to seek the services of the Board. The situation on Thursday, March 23 was characterized by mild chaos as too many students wanted to visit the office to provide updates on students arrested by the police.

The team of Legal Aid Board staff comprising Bankole Morgan and Anthony Karim Kamara negotiated the release of five of the six students detained at the Central Police Station. One was not released because of an alleged inflammatory statement to bring the city on its knees.

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Development

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.

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Politics

Ansumana Usman Koroma Urges Sierra Leoneans To Support the Registration Process

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.

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