All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’ - Edmund Burke

February 5, 2009

S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol 7 No 2

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report


The Sierra Herald has now got a copy of a so-called widely-circulated letter from a so-called "Dream Team" the contents of which only became known quite recently after a press conference addressed by some top guns of the Freetown administration. Chief amongst them a certain Defence Minister Parlor Conteh who though a civilian to boot just loves putting on military fatigues - as if when he was in the UK he ever saw that country's Defence ministers wearing combat fatigues even when visiting troops at the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq!!!Civilian Defence Minister Conteh - training men for 2012?

The Sierra Herald was a bit puzzled as to how this letter's existence only became known quite recently more so after that press conference although the date on it was 1st January 2009. Enquiries have now confirmed that it was hidden from public view from the author/s and only became public, at least given to sections of the press on 28th January some four weeks later.

Is there something to be investigated? We wonder.

Further interest was harvested in the letter when the BBC's Umaru Fofanah reported on that press conference in which he gave a gist of what could have been in that letter and now that the Sierra Herald has a copy, putting it in the public domain would not be such a bad idea.

We think it is a good idea because many a string of words in various forms - from commentaries to discussion forums have studiously avoided making the basis of such comments known.

So how can one debate an issue, the contents of which is hidden from the eyes of the curious? No way.

So let's start with allegations that some favoured officers within the army are being super-promoted from Warrant Officers to Captains with some selected to go on training overseas.

The Sierra Herald need to remind the authorities in Freetown about the dangers of messing around with the military - a once-noble institution that became so politicised that officers were not comfortable discussing even social issues in the presence of "batmen" who had the ear of the President and the party as well as Ekutay.

Parlor Conteh should know that despite all what his benefactors did to ensure that they stayed in power at whatever cost, when it came to the crunch, it was the same men who had been given those special green cards by APC activists before they can get into the army who came to town to end the APC's 24-year grip on power.

That was on April 29, 1992. Never forget that date and what it meant.

Parlor Conteh should know that messing about with the army in terms of ethnic sympathies have always never worked and he should read the history books to know what happened to those in the old SLPP of Sir Albert Margai and the saga of the Sam Kings, David Lansanas and Abu Noahs.

History has a way of repeating itself, Parlor with sometimes unforeseen and tragic consequences.

Gone should be the days when the security forces were used to rig elections, gone should be the days when the loyalty of serving officers and men are directed towards individuals and political parties rather than the entity called the state of Sierra Leone and her peoples.

And talking of the rigging of elections, Parlor Conteh - what do you know about that operation up in the hills surrounding Freetown that brought about the amusing tale of the "bald-headed man"?

So with all this talk about selective promotions and training within the army and the absorption of the former AFRC/RUF human rights abusers into the Police force - are we beginning to see preparations for the next General Elections in Sierra Leone with the intention of using the armed forces for achieving a political goal?

Parlor Conteh should know the dangers of preparing for the 2012 General Elections should he anticipate using men in the security forces for getting back into power. He should know the dangers and the best advice the Sierra Herald would give to him and his boss is for them to think hard and very carefully....and learn from his experiences as he benefitted from the core values of democracy when he was in the United Kingdom.

The other allegations contained in that letter are left with Parlor and his boss in AFRC Mk2 to take the necessary action which works best in the interests of Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans and not for a few or a political party.

And we do hope that reports that soldiers at one Myhaung Parade at Wilberforce were heard loftily singing the so-called APC Victory song was false...otherwise attempts to depoliticise the army would have taken a big step backwards.

And on the topic of training, promotions and nepotism - kindly remind the Sierra Herald Parlor of how you got to head the Military Police then.

Were you placed there to serve the interests of your party, the APC and those favoured within that thing?

What was your role in the arrest and some would add torture of people thought to be anti-APC or anti-APC government - especially when it came to rumours of attempted coups?

What happened to the innocent?

How did you obtain those confessions?Maskita taking an oath of office during junta rule

Why these questions now? Because Parlor, as you can see from the photo pinched from the pages of your admirers on the web, one or two of those who see no wrong in you - in this photo of you as Defence Minister you were wearing the colours of the Military Police!!!!

And if you care to ask those who suffered and survived the jackboots of your predecessors in AFRC Mk 1 headed by one Johnny Paul Koroma that uniform which you so proudly carried was the favoured kit of the RUF when they joined your colleagues (the renegade ones) in the national army to form the so-called Peoples Army.

Yearning for the mother country?

The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002