Freetown, Feb. 2 (SLENA) - United States of America Ambassador designate to the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency John Hoover today on Monday February 2, 2015 called on Vice President, Alhaji Chief Sam-Sumana at his Tower Hill office in Freetown.
Welcoming the US envoy, Vice President Sam-Sumana said the presence of the ambassador in the country is reaffirmation of the relationship that exists between the two countries and that the bilateral relationship was manifesting itself as the United States is always by the side of Sierra Leone especially in difficult times, such as the eleven year civil war and the current ebola crisis while at the same accommodating Sierra Leoneans in the USA and other opportunities enjoyed by the country and its people from USAID, etc.
“Your presence in our country, I believe, will make a difference in the lives of the people of this nation,” Hon. VP sam-Sumana reiterated, stressing that the people of Sierra Leone are beneficiaries of America’s good governance system, democratic principles, rule of law, among others.
The VP added that he was confident that the two countries can build on such a relationship and that his presence will continue to enhance it.
Speaking on the present Ebola situation in the country, Hon. Vice President said he was happy for the low number of reported ebola cases which he said was a manifestation of the intervention of international partners including the USA CDC, volunteers and soldiers to end the scourge in the West African sub-region.
On his recent visit to Kono Vice President Sam-Sumana recalled the culture of acceptance by the people in those areas that ebola was real and it was killing people.
He maintained that the indigenes of the chiefdoms he visited have suspended all traditional and cultural activities, refrained from touching one another, stop washing of the dead and handshaking, in addition to the massive ebola education campaign.
He said among those border chiefdoms, only Soa Chiefdom recorded Ebola cases and that the others, Mafidor, Gbaneh Kandor, Lei, Fiama and Toli had no case.
Efforts, he said, has been made by His Excellency, President Koroma in achieving the decreasing ebola figures and for a zero new infection of the scourge in the country.
These challenges, the VP went on, were to prevent and control any other deadly future outbreak and revamp the country’s health system, including education, improvement on infrastructure, provide employment and transform the country into a middle level income country.
In his remarks, His Excellency Ambassador Hoover emphasized on the issues outlined by the Vice President which, he said, were potentially credible.
He assured the Vice President that as an ambassador to this country, this embassy has put in place strategies to wipe out the deadly Ebola scourge, bring back the Peace Corp volunteers, re-open schools, get the economy back on its feet, create job opportunities while strengthening and building the capacity of the country’s health system.
He went on to assure the Vice President of his continuous good working relationship with the government and people of Sierra Leone and also to strengthen the bilateral relationship that exists between the two countries.
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.
As trial continue on the conspiracy matter of four former staffs of Standard Chartered Bank, the sitting judge, Justice Abdulai Charm, has re-discharged the first defendant Madam Aminata Bangura.
The four defendants were arraigned before him for proper trial after found guilty on preliminary investigations in the magistrate court on two counts charges of conspiracy to commit felony and larceny by servant contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
The prosecution alleged in count one that some times last year, the defendants conspired with other persons unknown to commit a felony.
Thirty-four prominent freedom of expression organisations around the world have joined the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) to demand justice for the murder of a Sierra Leonean journalist Ibrahim Foday.
Foday was murdered four years ago, on June 12, 2011, when he was covering a violent clash over a land dispute between Grafton Town and Kossoh Town for the privately-owned Exclusive Newspaper. In November 2012, a suspect, Tunde Williams, was arrested and charged with Foday’s murder; however, the trial has not progressed since then. Williams is currently out on bail, and the judiciary has yet to select a panel of jurors to hear the case.
Foday’s family has waited four long years for justice. His children Joyce Foday and Joseph Dianni Foday have lamented to the MFWA how difficult their lives have been following their father's murder. “We need help,” said Joseph. “I need justice to prevail for my late father and we are calling on the human rights and media rights groups to come to our aid.”
Yesterday’s press release from the ministry of finance about the 15 percent salary increase for all public workers came on a low key, with little meaning.
Last December, when the finance minister made the pronouncement about the pay raise starting this July, older workers just grunted because more than half of whatever government promises goes to the taxman, or is taken back by government.
The worker, since when, has been a mere donkey in this country – that is if you’re working for the government; and if you’re working for the private sector, apart from lacking job security, your lot is almost like that of a slave, without the power for you to protest about your rights. Those who dare protest have the ministry of labour and labour unions abandoning them midstream, or the trigger-happy police wounding or silencing some.
When Spartacus set out on his campaign against the Roman Empire, many thought his excursion won’t last for a fortnight because of the ruthless discipline that characterized Roman warfare.
True, the Romans were the finest soldiers the world has ever seen, and their centuries of dominance is a testament to that fact. Spartacus too learned this hard fact when he finally hung on a cross on the Appian Highway after years of fighting against the mighty Roman war machine.
Spartacus, a slave, made a dash for freedom, along with thousands of other slaves, but sadly fell short of his goal. No problem – it was left with history to proclaim him a villain or a hero for his infamous undertaking, and we never knew whether he regretted about his failed exploits as he hung dying on a Roman cross.
Freetown: 2 July 2015: The Acting Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, Hon Justice Valesius Thomas has today launched a two year project aimed at developing sentencing and bail policies and guidelines at the Bank of Sierra Leone Complex, Kingtom in Freetown. The project is undertaken in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and funded by the US Department of State with the aim of reducing the number of people detained before trial, and reducing overcrowding in prisons.
The U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, John Hoover, who joined the Acting Chief Justice and the UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. David McLachlan-Karr at the workshop to launch the two year project said “The United States is pleased to support and help build more transparent and accountable governance institutions,” adding that “This programme will help Sierra Leone’s justice system become more transparent, efficient, and fair. As such, it will contribute to the development of rule of law and democracy in Sierra Leone.”
The new bail instruments will involve the creation of guidelines and policies for magistrates and judges regarding when defendants should be detained before trial. The instruments, which are to be rolled out in 2016, will help ensure consistent sentencing across the country, so that justice will be the same everywhere in the country. It will also help make sure people are incarcerated only when absolutely necessary, by providing a clear, consistent set of procedures for all Sierra Leone’s magistrates and judges.
The Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children's Affairs (MSWGCA) Alhaji Moijueh Kaikai yesterday disclosed in Freetown that practicing female genital mutilation on girls under the age of eighteen years is a crime punishable by law
He made the disclosure yesterday in Parliament when presenting the motion for the ratification of AU Protocol to the African Chapter on Human and People’s Rights of Women in Africa) dated 11 July 2003 otherwise known as the Maputo Protocol.
The minister further stated Sierra Leone signed the Maputo Protocol on 11 July 2003 with the sole aim of protecting and promoting the affairs of children and women in the country.
TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS ENGAGED ON RIGHTS TO EDUCATION
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone over the weekend in Bo engaged Heads of Tertiary Educational Institutions on the Right to Access Education.
The engagement was held at the J&E Hotel on Koribondo road and it covered topics on human rights education and standards, strategies for future collaboration and networking on human rights education, fulfilment of the right to education and various recommendations done by HRCSL in its State of Human Rights Report yearly on education.
Speaking at the formal opening ceremony, the Executive Secretary of the Human Rights Commission, Francess Alghali said the engagement was in a bid to improve and increase human rights education in the country. She said the tertiary education was targeted because they are the administrative policy makers as well as the curriculum developers and also the lecturers.
Freetown, July 4 (SLENA) - Local authorities in the Western Area have made series of recommendations to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) on their aspirations for the revised Constitution of Sierra Leone.
During a two day Dialogue Forum held last week local authorities dilated on the lacunas in the 1991 Constitution that has kept local governance backwards for far too long.
The Chairman of the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC), Justice Edmond Cowan underscored the importance of the Constitution and the significance of people’s participation as the greatest pillar supporting the process. Whilst informing the people that the President mandated the Committee to undertake nationwide consultations, he revealed that anarchy prevails wherever laws were absent.