While their propaganda tabloids are busy
creating the impression that they are the victims in Sierra Leone, the
opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), who were ironically
accused of provoking the recent Freetown disturbances, have been
accused again of hatching more plots to destabilize Sierra Leone. One of
the country's most respectable and credible newspapers, THE NEW CITIZEN
(Which even opposition newspapers have praised before for its
independence and impartiality ) reported today about plans by the SLPP
to bring ex-combatants to the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown, to create
PHOTO : SLPP LEADER JOHN BENJAMIN
newspaper, THE STANDARD TIMES, which has wriiten critical articles
against the present government as well, also had a report on the 70
ex-combatants and the report reinforces the story in the NEW CITIZEN
.Though the STANDARS TIMES report did not name the SLPP, it however
confirmed that 70-ex-combatants were on the way to Freetown from the
South/East. WE WILL REPRODUCE BOTH ARTICLES.
If the report had
appeared in one of the recklessly-written tabloids in town, one would
not have taken it seriously. But the NEW CITIZEN is too credible a
paper, especially when it is owned by no less a personality than the
veteran journalist and Information and Communication Minister , Alhaji
I.B. Kargbo, whom some opposition newspapers praised before for never
appearing in court to answer libel charges . STANDARD TIMES is also
another trustworthy newspaper ,whose Editor, Philip Neville , has stood
up to every government in Sierra Leone.
This paper is not
affirming that the story is true. However, we have learnt from America's
experience with 9/11, and before that, Charles Taylor's invasion of
both Liberia and Sierra Leone that all security matters should be taken
seriously. America received many red flags that its national security
was being threatened by Al-Quieda , but the threats were downplayed.
Similarly, late President Samuel K. Doe received many reports, at
least a year before Taylor struck, that diissident elements were
plotting an incursion from Nimba County but the government treated the
reports with levity, and we all know the dire consequences that resulted
from such trifling with matters of national security. Whether true or
false, security reports must be treated seriously , because often there
is no smoke without fire.
We call on government
to thorougly investigate this report in the NEW CITIZEN newspaper,
before it is too late. We dare say no more :
READ THE REPORT :
SLPP COUNCILOR DETAINED
Police in Kenema have arrested and detained
Kailahun SLPP Councilor, Salim Ndomawa to explain why 70 ex-combatants
were being transferred to Freetown.
He was also required to explain the mystery of why the 70 ex-combatants
jumped out of the vehicle and disappeared into the nearby bush when they
realized that the person who was interviewing them was a soldier in
Salim Ndomawa, a former ex-combatant in Kailahun and now SLPP Councilor
said in Kenema that he was transporting the young men to Freetown as
part of a GTZ repatriation programme.
Suspicion however arose when the 70 men jumped out of the vehicle and
disappeared in to the nearby bush which suggested that the motive was
not what was portrayed.
There is suspicion in Kenema that the ex-combatants may have been
recruited for the purpose of creating a state of unrest in Freetown.
The Resident Minister of Kenema, William Juana Smith said that
intelligence available to him suggests that some so-called politicians
are in the process of recruiting ex-combatants and Kamajors for what
plan they have described as a special mission.
Only yesterday, the Resident Minister, South, Musa Tarawallie complained
that some people, politicians to be precise, have invited Kamajor
leaders to Freetown as part of an exercise to recruit young men into the
Kamajor cult of the Southern Province
According to the Resident Minister - South, Musa Tarawallie, there is no
doubt anymore that so-called politicians are in the process of creating
instability by recruiting and harming young men in the rural areas.
It is not known whether the UN Office in Freetown is aware of the
gradual disintegration of the peace process.
THE STANDARD TIMES REPORT
As 70 Ex-Combatants Heading to Freetown
Disappear in Kailahun....GTZ Denies Any Involvement
Posted by on Mar 25, 2009, 12:02 Culled from The Standard Times
GTZ has temporarily suspended its Youth
Resettlement and Reintegration Project from Freetown and Koidu to rural
communities in Kono and Kailahun Districts, pending on an official
investigation into the unfortunate hoax perpetrated by some unscrupulous
individuals posing as GTZ returnees. This hoax was uncovered because of
the diligent work of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces, who discovered the
group heading to Freetown. When asked who they were and what their
mission was, they falsely declared that they were part of GTZ’s
First, the Project does not move any
individuals or groups from Kailahun District to Freetown or from rural
communities in Kono District to Koidu. Rather, the GTZ Youth
Resettlement and Reintegration Project helps disenfranchised youth and
their dependents trapped in poverty in Freetown and Koidu and wanting to
return from Freetown and Koidu to their native rural communities to
engage in productive agricultural and other income-generating
activities. GTZ has a clear and accurate record of all those registered
with the Project, both those who have already been resettled and those
who are registered for resettlement and reintegration. The local
authorities in their communities of origin are also provided with a list
of all those who are registered to return to the communities.
GTZ is grateful that the Government of Sierra
Leone, District Councils, the local authorities, and the Sierra Leonean
police have been co-operative and helpful partners in this project, and
would like to express gratitude to all those who have offered their
time, expertise and support for this important effort to combat youth
poverty, unemployment and food insecurity in Sierra Leone.
The GTZ Youth Resettlement and Reintegration
project will resume once the official investigation into the apparent
hoax is completed. GTZ is working with the Sierra Leonean authorities to
try to uncover the perpetrators of this unfortunate incident