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.
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy and Power, Ambassador Henry O. Macauley , today called on the United Nations to turn TALK on financing Sustainable Energy For All into Kolowatt-hour. Emphasing that electricity changes lives and noting that “We have a deeper need for this to happen in Africa, and quickly”, Ambassador Macauley stressed the need for speed .
The Minister was addressing the Second Annual United Nations Global Energy Ministerial Dialogue on ” Financing Sustainable Energy For All ” presently going on at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Sierra Leonean female journalists, under the umbrella ‘Women in the Media Sierra Leone’ (WIMSAL), have injected fresh energy into efforts to end Ebola in their country following the 27 April kickoff of their “Getting Ebola to Zero and Staying at Zero” campaign. The campaign highlights the role of women as leaders in eradicating the disease.
The Ebola Crisis Manager for the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) in Sierra Leone, Ms. Bintou Keita, described WIMSAL’s effort as “a crucial part of the national Ebola Virus Disease response.” Ms. Keita said that in the final push towards ending Ebola, “the role of women becomes even more important. They are the community and family leaders, the caregivers and organizers.”
The “Getting Ebola to Zero and Staying at Zero” campaign builds on the existing Yellow Ribbon Campaign by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), but this time with a greater focus on engagement with communities as well as youth, religious and women leaders. WIMSAL is supported by UNMEER through UN Women, the UN entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Key stakeholders of the APC in Kailahun have vowed to kick out Sahr Morkuwah and the APC from Kailahun, and return the district back to its traditional SLPP base.
These key stakeholders this week registered their dismay about the off-hand manner in which they are being treated – especially for being made the laughing stock of both APC and non-APC supporters.
“We are not wholly angry at the APC,” they said. “But we are angry at Sahr Morkuwah because of the assurances he gave us that the APC is a grateful party, and urging us all to work and vote for the party. Now look at how the party is treating us – as if we are trash.”
I visited Njala University two years back with the Parliamentary Education Committee, and still remember the camaraderie then between the staff and the deputy vice chancellor. Everyone was congratulating everyone, and is happy to have met the other.
There was good reason to rejoice – Njala was then and still is, the leading university in Sierra Leone, and even the Education Committee was proud to be a part of the success story, and encouraged them to go for the gold.
But today, two years later, the situation has gone sour; everyone has reached for his sword and is threatening fire and slaughter – with none of them caring about the students caught in this useless crossfire.
Sierra Leone should stop using emergency regulations brought in to combat Ebola as a pretext to restrict freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, Amnesty International said today.
“Now that Ebola cases are reducing and schools have re-opened, the government should immediately review the State of Emergency provisions and ensure that only provisions strictly required to fight the Ebola epidemic remain in effect. Rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly must not be unnecessarily or disproportionately curtailed, ’’ said Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International’s West Africa researcher.
The call comes following an increase in arrests of opposition members, bans on peaceful protests and an unwillingness to tolerate dissent that has heightened following the removal of former Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana on 18 March. Even though cases of Ebola have sharply reduced in Sierra Leone, State of Emergency measureshave been increasingly used alongside other laws to stifle criticism, some of whichare thought to be linked to the removal of the Vice President.
Charles Taylor, the convicted former President of Liberia, will serve the remainder of his 50-year prison sentence in the United Kingdom after RSCSL President Justice Philip N. Waki denied his application to appeal. On 30 January 2015, a special Trial Chamber convened by Justice Waki dismissed Taylor's motion asking that he be transferred to Rwanda where other SCSL convicts have been imprisoned.
In his decision, Justice Waki upheld the Trial Chamber's decision on Taylor's "Motion for Termination of Enforcement of Sentence in the United Kingdom and for Transfer to Rwanda". At the same time, he denied Taylor's "Application to Appeal Decision on Motion for Termination of Enforcement of Sentence in the United Kingdom and the Transfer to Rwanda" filed on 6 February 2015.
The Defence had argued that the wording of Rule 73(B) on interlocutory appeals implied it was applicable to special Trial Chambers empaneled by the President. They argued further that they had met the conjunctive tests of "exceptional circumstances" and "irreparable prejudice" prescribed by the Rule. The Prosecution argued that Rule 73(B) applied only to motions arising in the course of judicial proceedings, and not "in the post administrative designation of place of confinement."
GAVI commits $1 million for upcoming immunisation campaign in Sierra Leone
Geneva, May 25, 015 (SLENA) - The GAVI Vaccine Alliance took the opportunity of African Ministers of Health attending the 68th World Health Assembly, to host its Anglophone Africa Constituency Meeting at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to the Constituency meeting, GAVI met with the Sierra Leone Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah where the organisation expressed satisfaction over the ongoing reforms in the Ministry, including the re-establishment of the Integrated Health Projects Administration Unit (IHPAU). In addition to GAVI, the re-establishment of IHPAU has the support of the World Bank, the Global Fund and other donors. IHPAU will have a dual role, building the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation as well as management of donor funds channelled through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation for the Health Sector Recovery Plan, which emphasises Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (RMNCH).
GAVI is a long-time partner of Sierra Leone and the organisation is being credited with most of the gains the country has made over the years in the area of immunisation, including the country reaching immunisation coverage as high as 98% prior to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak. It could be recalled that sometime in 2012/13, the relationship between the Health and Sanitation Ministry and GAVI reached a low ebb due to some unfortunate institutional lapses on the part of the Ministry. The institutional reforms taking place in the Ministry will restore partner confidence and is welcomed by all partners.
For the purpose of providing sustainable water supply to the residents of Freetown and its environs, the Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources which is chaired by Hon. Sualiho M. Koroma few days ago summoned the management of GUMA Valley Water Company; charged with the exclusive responsibility of providing water for Freetown; at Committee Room 1 in Parliament to give an update on the status of their activities undertaken in 2014.
According to the Chairman, this was the first time the management of GUMA had met with the entire membership of the Committee since it was reconstituted in the third session of the fourth Parliament. He recalled that such engagements last year resulted in an oversight of GUMA’s existing facilities. He also assured the management of GUMA not to feel intimated as the Committee was only performing its oversight function; whose findings and recommendations would be tabled and debated in Parliament for necessary action. He furthered, that the briefing was not meant to witch-hunt anyone, but to sincerely discuss their status report; as MPs had a lot of water related issues in their constituencies in Freetown.