Breaking News – Angry youths rioting in the East of Freetown Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 September 2016

rioting-in-wellington1

There are unofficial reports this afternoon of rioting in the capital’s eastern suburb – Rokupr.

It is not clear what sparked the social upheaval, but eyewitnesses say that groups of youths have blocked the main road leading to Rokupr.

It is understood that riot police are trying to bring the trouble under control, and that angry youths are burning tyres in the middle of the road to prevent police vehicles from entering the community.

This social disturbance comes just weeks after police shot and killed three youths in the northern district of Kabala, after a peaceful protest about the relocation of a proposed community project to another district.

Some reports from Rokupr say that today’s riot was started after police demolished properties in the community without any advance warning.

But the government has always made it known that the illegal construction of property on government land and environmentally protected areas will not be tolerated, and that they will be destroyed.

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Sierra Leone economy improves but poverty rises as costs of petrol, electricity and taxes go up

Sierra Leone Telegraph:  28 September 2016  

Poverty

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published its latest report on the state of Sierra Leone’s economy, following a review by senior staff. It makes for mixed reading.

But the Sierra Leone Telegraph can confirm that the IMF report contradicts a statement made last week by the country’s energy minister, who blames the IMF for the government’s decision to increase electricity tariff paid by households by 15%.

Speaking to journalists in the capital Freetown, the energy minister – Henry Macauley said that: “The 15 percent GST is included in the tariff adjustment because that is IMF conditionality.”

But it is now clear from the published IMF report that this is a lie. The IMF has not imposed electricity tariff conditionality on the government of Sierra Leone, in respect of drawing down on the agreed extended credit finance facility.

Those old enough to remember the political, social and economic effects of IMF conditionalities imposed on the Momoh government in the 1980s, will know too well that it marked the beginning of the end of the APC government, whose poor governance and weak economic stewardship are being repeated today.

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Sierra Leone presidential hopeful Kandeh Yumkella raises the bar once again

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 September 2016

kky-at-the-south-south-cooperation-for-ecological-civilization-in-nairobi

Kandeh Yumkella, presidential flag-bearer candidate for the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, for the Expert Group Meeting and Workshop on South-South Cooperation for Ecological Civilization.

The event is taking place at the headquarter offices of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). It is sponsored by the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, and the Global Green Grown Institute.

UNEP is the global environment agency charged with promoting the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development with the United Nations.

The event which brings together experts that are charged with bringing forward a set of recommendations on how China should channel its huge portfolio of technical assistance and international cooperation (about $5 billion) for climate change and sustainability, will be chaired by Yumkella.

Erik Solheim, Executive Secretary of the UN Environment Program and Gu Xueming, President of the Chinese Academy for International Trade and Economic Development will deliver the opening statement.

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President Koroma of Sierra Leone to continue as Party Chairman and Leader

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 September 2016

president koroma off to washington - April 2015

Presidential and general elections will be held in Sierra Leone in February 2018. And the battle for presidential candidacy in both the ruling APC and the country’s main opposition SLPP party is predicted to be the fiercest yet fought, since the country gained independence in 1961.

Already, old wounds, opened up by skirmishes involving candidates for the presidential flagbearership of the SLPP and their supporters remain unhealed, as party chiefs are accused of failing to exercise authority and control over bad behaviour and constitutional misconduct.

While the opposition SLPP continues to tear itself apart and appearing less attractive to voters as a government in waiting, the ruling APC administrative machinery is maintaining strong control and discipline among its aspiring presidential candidates.

This contrasting state of affairs between the two main political parties, is much a product of their respective organizational culture, as it is the strength of leadership and collective sense of how to win power and keep it.

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Death penalty will not reform disenfranchised youths in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 September 2016

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As the government of Sierra Leone prepares to resume the death penalty, despite recent commitment to abide by United Nations’ and other global human rights conventions, questions are being asked about the rationale for such retrograde policy decision.

If president Koroma was to be credited for any aspect of his two terms in office, it would have been his decision to stand by the moratorium on the death penalty, which has been in force since 1998.

But with the government now poised to start its policy of state killing in retaliation to the significant rise in violent crimes in the country – especially murder, critics say that president Koroma and his ruling APC party would be putting the final nail on their poor record in office.

And with general and presidential elections taking place in less than two years, there are suspicions that the gallows is now being prepared for the cold blooded execution of political opponents, reminiscent of the 1970s and 1980s.

But some government officials have told the Sierra Leone Telegraph that with the rise in murder cases in the country, the government has no choice but to end the moratorium on the death penalty as a deterrent.

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Panther women vow to improve the lives of poor people in Kroo Bay slum Sierra Leone

Abdul Sillah

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 September 2016

Panther Women’s Group (Panther Ladies) are calling for national and international help to support their local development initiatives and plans to improve the lives of poor people in the Kroo Bay slum, whose homes and livelihoods were affected in recent floods and the Ebola crisis.

Kroo Bay, one of the largest coastal slums in Sierra Leone with an estimated population of 6,000, has been seriously affected by flood and the Ebola crisis.

People living in Kroo Bay are particularly at risk, because they live in overcrowded households where poor hygiene awareness and practices prevail. The children enjoy limited fundamental rights like education, healthcare, and recreation.

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Launch of Sierra Leone Women Are Free to Choose and SiA Magazine Fall 2016

Press Statement by Sierra Leone Women are Free to Choose (SLWAFC)

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 September, 2016

Fuambai Sia Ahmadu Co-Founder of All Women Are Free to Choose (AWAFC Inc )

On September 22nd, Sierra Leone Women are Free to Choose (SLWAFC) will officially launch our “imitated not mutilated” campaign in Freetown, Sierra Leone as well as the Fall 2016 edition of SiA Magazine. (Photo: Founder of SLWAFC – Dr. Fuambai Sia Ahmadu).

SLWAFC is a local chapter of All Women are Free to Choose Inc (AWAFC), a U.S. based international advocacy organization for the promotion of inter and intra gender equality of circumcised women and girls globally.

Our “imitated not mutilated” campaign celebrates the aesthetic benefits of Sierra Leone’s female circumcision procedures.

Our traditional female genital aesthetic operations are being imitated and marketed by western doctors and hailed by their predominantly white female patients of all ages who undergo labiaplasty, clitoroplexy and other identical forms of so-called female genital cosmetic surgeries.

Our key focus is on raising awareness among grassroots Sierra Leonean women and adolescent girls of their constitutional rights in the face of highly organized and aggressive anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) campaigns.

We will also raise awareness among circumcised women  and adolescent girls of the hypocrisy of these campaigns and efforts to deny the women of Sierra Leone our universal human rights to equality, dignity and self-determination with respect to our ancestral traditions.

SLWAFC fully supports current Government efforts to promote adult-only initiation into Bondo. This is a recognition of the right of adult women to choose what to do with their own bodies.

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