Diaspora must be held accountable for giving oxygen to President Bio’s human rights offences

Alpha Amadu Jalloh: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 May 2024:

In the intricate web of politics, where power dynamics shape alliances and oppositions, the Sierra Leonean diaspora finds itself entangled in a complex relationship with the government of President Julius Maada Bio. While physical distance may separate them from the daily realities of their homeland, their influence, albeit indirect, is palpable and, at times, disheartening.

Those fortunate enough to reside in developed nations, often dubbed the “lucky ones,” possess the means and resources for a comfortable life far removed from the challenges facing their compatriots back home.

However, instead of leveraging their privilege to advocate for positive change, a faction of the diaspora appears to have aligned itself with the current administration, blinding themselves to the plight of their fellow Sierra Leoneans.

Motivated by tribal affiliations, regional loyalties, familial ties, friendships, or even personal gain, these individuals willingly collaborate with the government, turning a blind eye to its shortcomings and injustices. In their pursuit of self-interest, they become complicit in perpetuating a status quo that prioritizes personal benefit over the collective welfare of the nation.

Their collusion extends beyond passive acquiescence; they actively engage in defending and promoting President Julius Maada Bio’s regime, often resorting to tactics of intimidation and coercion to silence dissenting voices. Social media platforms, radio airwaves, and television broadcasts become battlegrounds where dissent is met with hostility, and genuine concerns are dismissed as unpatriotic.

The diaspora’s support for the government is not merely ideological but transactional, with some individuals allegedly receiving financial incentives in exchange for their loyalty. In their zeal to curry favor with the authorities, they propagate misinformation and falsehoods, misleading the public and sowing seeds of division within the community.

Disturbingly, some diaspora members have been known to celebrate the extrajudicial killings of their fellow Sierra Leoneans, a chilling testament to the depths of their moral bankruptcy. Their actions betray a callous disregard for human life and a willingness to sacrifice principles for personal gain.

Moreover, they stoop to despicable tactics, resorting to online harassment and intimidation, even targeting the families of those brave enough to speak out against government abuses. By instilling fear and silencing dissent, they contribute to a climate of repression and impunity, further entrenching the power of the ruling elite.

It is incumbent upon the international community to take note of these egregious violations of human rights and democratic principles. The diaspora members who collude with the government must be held accountable for their actions, and justice must be served for the victims of their complicity.

In urging the international community to collect data on these individuals, we hope to shine a spotlight on their deeds and ensure that they are brought to justice when the time comes. The International Court of Justice in The Hague must be prepared to receive the evidence of their crimes, and those who have abused their comfort and privilege to inflict pain and suffering on their fellow citizens must face the consequences of their actions.

As Sierra Leoneans, both at home and abroad, we must remain vigilant in the face of oppression and injustice. We must stand in solidarity with those who courageously speak truth to power, and we must never forget our duty to hold our leaders accountable for their actions. Only then can we hope to build a future where justice, equality, and dignity prevail for all.


1 Comment

  1. Like it or loathe it social media has been the oxegen in exposing the bad governance and autocratic rule in sierra leone. I do believe there are those in the social media who are nothing but mouth pieces for their political parties and have no objective solutions to the economic woes facing sierra leone, nevertheless we shouldn’t be painting everyone in social media with the same brush as expressing objetive views with solutions to the political impasse on the ground, rather than sycophants on brown envelopes. These are totally two differeant entities.

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