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


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol 9 No 6

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

Contact us
UK Serious Fraud Office
World Association for Human Rights - USA
Audit Service Sierra Leone
National Union of Journalists (UK)
BBC African Service
Daily Trust of Nigeria
UN Great Lakes
Writer Adichie
Southwark Council
S.L. Web
All Africa.com
Africa Week
Human Rights Watch
Amnesty International
Trial Watch
International Criminal Court
One World
Royal African Society
University of
East London
Nigeria Anti Corruption Commission
Institute for Democracy in Africa
archive 6
archive 7
archive 8
archive 9
archive 10
archive 11
archive 12
archive 13
archive 14
archive 15
archive 16
archive 17
archive 18
archive 19
archive 20
archive 21



Friday June 29, 2012 - Samuel Williams, S O Williams, the AFRC/RUF junta operative who threatened to raze Freetown to the ground is the new head of the army. The jigsaw pieces fall into place as the magician at State House completes preparations for violence and intimidation in November elections.The world cannot allow this monster to reverse all the democratic gains made in Sierra LeoneS O Williams - a key junta operative who oversaw massive human rights violations against civilians during junta rule. Photo: Sierra Express Media

Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma, the smoke and mirrors occupant of the top political seat in Sierra Leone has finally put in place the last piece in the jigsaw that would ensure that violence and intimidation would be his trump cards against the opposition before, during and after the November 17, 2012 elections. He has now appointed S O Williams a key military junta operative during junta oppression and repression rule in 1997/98 to head the military which effectively puts him in charge of the country's military forces as well as, crucially, in charge of those weapons which the State House magician would have us believe would no longer be used by the OSD - his party's armed wing masquerading as a part of a legitimate police force.

We had stated before that we do not believe the State House magician on efforts to pretend that the more than four million dollar worth of weapons would not be used by the police/security forces against the opposition before, during and after the November 17 polls. We had feared that until and unless these weapons, war weapons to boot, were put beyond the use of the security forces, there's no guarantee that the desperate cabal hoping for a second term for the magician would not use these weapons against the opposition, civilians believed by the desperadoes to be against the magician's desperate bid for a second term.

The appointment of S O Williams to the military's top operational position clearly demonstrates to Sierra Leoneans and the international community that Ernest Bai Koroma's affinity and allegiance to the murderous AFRC/RUF junta remains solid with key operatives given all manner of appointments in his anti-people government aimed at kicking in the teeth all those who were opposed to and refused to recognise the murderous, brutal and extremely violent band of thieves, rapists and human rights abusers.

Allow us to quote a part of the speech delivered by the opposition SLPP flag bearer Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio for the forthcoming elections as delivered in London quite recently

"The Police are the key instrument the ruling Party is using to intimidate and brutalise the Opposition. The ruling Party has not only influenced the recruitment, promotion and transfer of police officers, its interference with the management of the Police is most times undisguised. Evidence abounds of dismissals that are not in accordance with laid down rules and recruitment that is also at variance with laid down procedures. Suffice it to recall only one such case. Following the assumption of power by the APC, ex-combatants who had been involved in gross human rights abuses during the 11-year rebel war and particularly during the interregnum of the illegal and unrecognized Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) - (May 1997-March 1998) - have been recruited into the Police by the dictate of State House and are now part of the President’s Close Protection Bodyguard. These bodyguards of the President continue to violate human rights with impunity and bring shame on our country...worse still, the Police are growing trigger-happy as we move towards the November elections. In the process, there is little left of their constitutional mandate they have not abandoned. At one point they even placed an illegal ban on processions and rallies by political parties. So much have the Police compromised their constitutional role that they are now perceived by the public as virtually turning the country into a police state, ever ready to wilt at the first whim of Executive displeasure. And, as regards the policing of the November elections, the demands are many that if they should be given a role at all in the electioneering process they should carry out that role unarmed or they should be combined with United Nations Police from neighbouring Liberia to inspire public confidence in the credibility of the process."

We had stated before and we would state it again. Given the desperation of the thieving vultures, violence-loving culture of the cabal wanting a second term for Ernest Bai Koroma, the international community, more so the United Nations must make all necessary arrangements to have UN peace keepers, blue helmets on the ground to foil the violence that is being planned by the desperate cabal in Sierra Leone. Now is the time to act. To wait until after the explosion would be very counter-productive and would urge that the international community do all it can to get Sierra Leone on its path to true democracy.

The appointment of a junta operative as S O Williams as head of the army is not good news for our fledgling democracy.

This was the man who was a key member of the junta's military operations against civilians who had refused to recognise the murderous junta. It was S O Williams who, during those trying times for the people of Sierra Leone, when civilians lived by the second not knowing what was in the offing against them that he, S O Williams threatened to raze Freetown to the ground should ECOMOG forces based at Jui move an inch towards Freetown.

We would again remind our readers about the startled and unbelieving look on the faces of the ECOMOG officers when they heard this on the communication system. One of them replied to S O Williams' threat - "But you are talking of your capital Freetown - you are not talking of the Nigerian capital...it is your own country and your capital...."

This is the same man in that junta outfit that planned quite a good number of horrendous attacks against the civilian population including such murderous violations like the type perpetrated against the civilians of Mabaylla during the early days of September 1997.

S O Williams was a part of the junta military machinery that launched the murderous attacks of August 18, 1997 when students and other pro-democrats organised a demonstration against the AFRC/RUF junta headed by Johnny Paul Koroma. A number of students were killed. Students were gang-raped in the massive junta crackdown.

S O Williams was at post when journalists and others believed to be against the excesses of the junta were arrested, beaten, tortured and locked up in metal containers at Cockerill military barracks where he had his office in the same building as S F Y Koroma, Johnny Paul's elder brother who was then the CDS under junta rule.

S  Williams knew and condoned the numerous abuses committed against perceived opponents of the junta and must have heard of the numerous cases of murder, rape and arson that were being carried out by the junta and did nothing about it - even when he heard of the atrocities being committed against the "captured" female students that were held at the then OAU villas occupied by the likes of Alex Tamba Brima and Idrissa Kamara aka Leatherboot.

He did nothing about all these atrocities. S O Williams still has to give account of his role during the invasion of Freetown by junta forces that left more than five thousand unarmed and innocent civilians dead with many more wounded and more than a million traumatised.

We would urge the desperate men and women of AFRC Mk2 parading as civilians who have no respect for the finer elements of democracy to take note of a part of President Obama's speech when he was in the Ghanaian Parliament. He stated amidst great applause that "Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions" and should be heeded by the Ernest Bai Koroma cabal that has now found a way of using those weapons against the opposition. We would also urge them to listen again to that speech, read and re-read certain sections as quoted below.

"First, we must support strong and sustainable democratic governments...governments that respect the will of their own people, that govern by consent and not coercion, are more prosperous, they are more stable, and more successful than governments that do not....this is about more than just holding elections. It's also about what happens between elections.

Repression can take many forms, and too many nations, even those that have elections, are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves...or if police can be bought off by drug traffickers...no person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there. And now is the time for that style of governance to end. In the 21st century, capable, reliable, and transparent institutions are the key to success -- strong parliaments; honest police forces; independent judges --an independent press; a vibrant private sector; a civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in people's everyday lives. Across Africa, we've seen countless examples of people taking control of their destiny, and making change from the bottom up. We saw it in Kenya, where civil society and business came together to help stop post-election violence. We saw it in South Africa, where over three-quarters of the country voted in the recent election -- the fourth since the end of Apartheid. We saw it in Zimbabwe, where the Election Support Network braved brutal repression to stand up for the principle that a person's vote is their sacred right. Now, make no mistake: History is on the side of these brave Africans, not with those who use coups or change constitutions to stay in power. Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions. 

Now, America will not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation. The essential truth of democracy is that each nation determines its own destiny. But what America will do is increase assistance for responsible individuals and responsible institutions, with a focus on supporting good governance -- on parliaments, which check abuses of power and ensure that opposition voices are heard ...on the rule of law, which ensures the equal administration of justice; on civic participation, so that young people get involved; and on concrete solutions to corruption like forensic accounting and automating services -- strengthening hotlines, protecting whistle-blowers to advance transparency and accountability."

The appointment of S O Williams effectively means that those weapons now in the hands of the military, (or so we are made to believe) could now be used in joint operations by the military and police and as we have suggested before do not be surprised to see new types of uniforms being issued just before the elections that would make it difficult to distinguish the OSD from military personnel.

Time to bring in UN blue helmets with a no-nonsense mandate. There has to be more than the traditional Chapter 7 mandate regarding the rules of engagement.


Yearning for the mother country?

The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002