Female paramount chief in Sierra Leone subjected to horrific gender based attack

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 January 2020:

President Bio’s fight against gender-based violence has taken a big knock, following reports of the paramount chief of Bonthe – Madam Melrose Foster Gberie, subjected to horrific gender based violence at her home in Bonthe which is the homeland of president Julius Maada Bio,.

According to media reports, she was attacked a week ago on Saturday January 11th 2020. Sierra Leone Police are investigating whilst also providing security at her property.

The Paramount Chief’s sister who complained of being gang-raped during the 7-hours long siege and then abducted, was later discovered ‘half-dead’ in another remote village and has been hospitalized at the Government Hospital in Bonthe District headquarters of Mattru Jong.

Doctors say she can now slowly speak of her ordeal but will need continuous medical and surgical care for some time to come.

According to media report, no one from the Ministry of Social Welfare or from Ministry of Gender & Children’s Affairs, has visited the female Paramount Chief or children and women in her compound, who are currently traumatised by the attack which happened over 7 days ago. No counselling has been offered to the affected women and children.

The Office of the President at State House is also being accused of paying no interest in this matter, despite the president’s public campaign about protecting Women. No one from the president’s office has called the female Paramount Chief, the reports say.

“The Office of the First Lady has also not lifted a finger to even phone up the female Paramount Chief and extend sympathies for such an awful torture on a Women of Substance like P.C. Madam Melrose Foster Gberie. President Bio’s efforts to protect Women, advance Women and prevent Sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV) are laudable on paper but clearly, his home district has now wrought a disaster on his regime’s credentials in this area,” said Dr Sylvia Blyden in Freetown.

“Furthermore, the lack of concern and complete silence of critical voices in this country over this egregious abomination against a female Paramount Chief, speaks volumes of what obtains inside Sierra Leone currently.

“Are the various Women’s Groups (Women’s Forum, 50/50, SPRoWNet etc. etc.) afraid to issue out statements of condemnation of this defilement? If so, why? For what reasons are they hesitating? Who are they afraid of?

“Last week, some recognised Sierra Leone Civil Society groups quickly issued joint condemnation when an American citizen, Henry Costa was briefly detained by police. This is understandable as American Agencies like NED, NDI, etc. etc. do finance work of these Civil Society groups. So they rushed to please the Americans. However, these same groups are mute over such unbelievable horror which happened to a female leader of as high a rank as Paramount Chief?

“Why the lack of concern over this dangerous development that unfolded in Bonthe District on January 11th 2020? What’s happening to Sierra Leone? Where is our collective conscience? Fellow Citizens, how can we stay silent at something like this?” Dr Blyden asks.

6 Comments

  1. Frankly speaking, Sierra Leone has become a hostile environment for our female Paramount Chiefs and their subjects. The government does not even care. I hear them singing loud and clear about empowering and protecting girls and women, bla, bla, bla. Is that true? Anyone talking about protecting/empowering girls and women would not turn a blind eye on such barbarity. I hear them say also that the President hails from a Paramount Chief home like Chief Sam Sumana and myself. But we will never condone or turn a blind eye on such barbarity. Never.

    Did I hear someone say that the President is from BONTHE City where this barbarity took place? Can you imagine if he is? Thank God it did not happen in KONO City. The government must take this issue seriously and bring the perpetrators to justice. God bless the Paramount Chief and all those affected. God bless Kono City and it’s people. God bless Bonthe City and it’s people. God help justice be done. God help “get SALONE SORTED”. Amen and Amen.

  2. These are the some areas I personally not agree with the ruling party SLPP, Please we want this matter to be investigated thoroughly and let the criminals be held accountable. Mr. President this is your District I guess, and you have the full authority to put an end to this barbaric act.

    Your Excellency, we are eager to know the causes of this harsh attack against the female paramount chief and her family member. We don’t want this to continue, and the aggressors, the rapists must be brought to justice. We must get to the bottom of this issue.

  3. That was really evil. Why some of these guys are so wicked. But I blame the Heads of State, they should set an example on anyone involved in such crime so that the rest would learn a lesson. If such restrictions are implemented (that is to say anyone who does that is put in prison for some years) things would change.

  4. There are no words to express the sadness I feel for the victims involved in this heartless, brutal, violent ordeal. Wisdom says, it is only the deepest, heartfelt feelings of sadness, tears of remorse,and empathy for others, that is solely capable of purifying, cleansing,and thoroughly washing the filthy hearts of this idolatrous, wicked,cruel,generation of people.The people of Sierra Leone have been through a brutal war,shedding oceans of tears,yet their hearts still remain unholy, and tainted by their evil ways.

    And it is indeed a mystery, that the ways of Existence, demands that only tears of sorrow, brokenness and pain, will suffice in the most deepest cleansing of hearts, already totally corrupted, by allegiances to demonic forces, secret societies, occultism, prostitution, witchcraft, idolatry and cannibalism. Ebola came without notice, and knocked heavily on our doors, brought it crashing down and went it’s way, leaving us still unclean,, even though millions of us, were all soaked, dripping and drenched in tears of sorrow,and pain.

    Strangely, our people still remain unfazed, continuing devotedly in their old,sinful wicked ways Well,for a stubborn, unrepentant people that refused to change their evil ways,the crushing, heartbreaking story had to continue – again our people were administered another huge dosage of a swift taste of tragedy that came in a frightening mudslide,that took countless lives away. Good lord,show your children some mercy,we are now totally out of tears to shed.

    But will God Almighty listen to our cries, when there are men sitting on worldly,and demonic spiritual thrones,attacking,and raping women,just to prove that they are very well connected,powerful,beyond reproach,and untouchable Will his angels not laugh at us and say; ” Thou Stubborn Sheep without a caring Shepherd away from here,thou hast grieved for years,in copious tears,and still not been cleansed from your evil ways”.

    Indeed, the people of Sierra Leone are like lost sheep, languishing in the wilderness, without a caring Shepherd.This President has cowardly taken refuge in silence – the easy way out – against Prudence, his obligations,and responsibilities, as a leader, against all criticisms, and sensible advice – He abides in silence, and trust me, no amount of wailing and cries of sadness, pain, violence,mayhem, or anarchy is going to awaken him from his slumber, and cause him to utter a word…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  5. Terrible, really terrible – women are the backbone of almost each african country, but their influence is much too small in these male dominated societies. You can see it also on this forum.

  6. Sad to hear about the female paramount chief’s ordeal. I read an article in the concord times newspaper which indicated that the perpetrators of this violence towards the female paramount chief are members of the poro-society. It appears these groups of men mainly in the south-east, deem themselves to be above the law. Immediately after the election of 2018, these same poro-society men were alleged to be rounding up innocent citizens within the Pendembu-Kenema axis, and subjected them to forceful initiation and sometimes torture.

    Nothing was done then by the government to bring the perpetrators to justice, the only thing I remember was a press release by the government suspending all poro-society activities. Fast forward almost 2years later, they are at it again, unleashing terror on innocence citizens. This notion of protecting special interest groups will lead us to nowhere but a state of anarchy.

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