Former head of UN in Sierra Leone – Schulenburg, meets former president Koroma

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 January 2020:

Former President of Sierra Leone – Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, yesterday hosted Mr. Michael von der Schulenburg who is the former Executive Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Sierra Leone, at the Koroma Residence in Makeni City.

Mr. Schulenburg served in Sierra Leone from 2009 to 2012, during what has been described as a politically difficult period of the former president’s time in office, which saw numerous violent clashes between supporters of the two main parties – APC and the SLPP.

Mr. Schulenburg is visiting Sierra Leone on the invitation of the current president Dr. Julius Maada Bio, who last week awarded Mr. Schulenburg with one of the highest national honours bestowed on the country’s citizens.

Speaking on his arrival in Makeni City yesterday, Saturday 25th January 2020, to a warm welcome from former President Koroma, Mr. Schulenburg expressed appreciation for the former president’s decision to graciously agree to meet him, as he had requested the meeting at a short notice.

Mr. Schulenburg said he had driven all the way from Freetown to meet the former president in Makeni, as a sign of the abiding respect and deep admiration he has for Former President Ernest Koroma.

Mr. Schulenburg said that it is no surprise that the former president is being utilized so well by the International Community, given his credentials built whilst he was in office.

Mr. Schulenburg emphasized the need for continuous dialogue among Sierra Leoneans, and reminded of how Africa has a very unique cultural system of conflict resolution, known as ‘Palaver Hut’ which encourages and promotes dialogue.

Former president, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma (Photo – left and Schulenburg right), said his doors in Makeni will always be opened to Mr. Schulenburg, as he thanked him for his visit.

Koroma expressed hope that the peace, stability, sustainable development and the very admirable practise of democracy which Sierra Leone as a country, had come to be known under his leadership when he was President, will continue to serve as the hallmark of governance with which Sierra Leone should be associated.

Former President Koroma agreed with Mr. Schulenburg on the importance of political dialogue, and used the opportunity to reiterate what he said has been his position since leaving the Presidency, after serving his constitutional two terms.

“As I stated in my Handing Over Notes to H.E. President Bio and which I have re-stated at every opportunity since then, I am always ready to assist in any way possible to promote peace, unity and development in Sierra Leone,” Former President Koroma told Mr. Michael von der Schulenburg, as he personally escorted his guest back to his vehicle for his return to Freetown.

Last week, President Dr Julius Maada Bio awarded Michael von der Schulenburg the ‘Grand Commander of the Order of the Republic’, “for his exceptional contribution to sustainable peace and democracy in the country”, according to State House.

Mr Schulenburg’s appointment by the UN Secretary General in 2009 as Executive Representative for the organisation’s first fully Integrated Peace Building Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), was aimed at promoting the UN’s activities in the country, providing development assistance, humanitarian aid and assist in political and institutional reforms, and conflict resolution.

Receiving his award at State House, Mr Schulenburg said that he is both honoured and excited to be a recipient of the prestigious ‘Grand Commander of the Order of the Republic’. He said that the recognition is the greatest honour he has received throughout his life, and said that Sierra Leone is one of the few countries in the world that has been successful in its peacebuilding process after a long bloody civil war.

“This is a great honour and a sign of confidence from a people and a government and for which I and my family are proud. Sierra Leone is on the right track and I wish you all the best and successes for the future,” he said.

President Bio congratulated Mr Schulenburg on receiving the award, saying that it is of no surprise that he deserves the honour for his contributions to peacebuilding in Sierra Leone. He said that the former UN diplomat came to Sierra Leone at a critical period, and yet was able to support the country’s democratic process for which Sierra Leoneans are grateful.

Former president Ernest Bai Koroma is now leading efforts to rebuild and reform his opposition All People’s Congress Party (APC) as leader and chairman of the party, after its defat at the polls in March 2018.

 

6 Comments

  1. I am not surprised Maada Bio gave Schulenberg an award. Mr Schulenberg spent a considerable amount of time and effort trying to get Mr Bio elected. Schulenberg visiting EBK is just his way of saying “babu yai o” to EBK. EBK made Schulenberg a persona non grata after he was found to be plotting and planning with the SLPP, spending UN funds on making Bio look like a reformed character, palatable to the world and the SL population.
    Or perhaps, Schulenberg has looked at Bio’s couple of years as head now and has realised what a mistake he made all those years and has come to value EBK’s time as president.

  2. Everyone can see and we continue to read most of the articles, as some of our brothers are acting like preachers, which is cool and well appreciated. I wondered why the APC party members are so mad about their defeat in the last poll 2018. Yes of course we all understand that, and nobody was expecting that but some of our preachers in this FORUM don’t even believe to date that, APC was defeated and kicked out of power.

    The SLPP party isn’t using any instruments, barriers or boundary or promote attitude of violence as you mentioned. People are always playing with hypo all the time and pretend to forget about the reality. You praising or some how describing the former President EBK as a man of peace but ignored the fact that, Bio is the one who removed Capt. V.E.M. Strasser and handed over power to a civilian government peacefully without one single drop of blood shed, is that right? We have to be grateful, the mighty God Himself love people who are grateful.

    Yes of course no one can force someone to like or love this gentleman that has sacrificed his entire life for this country. This is the man who hugged late Foday Sankoh the RUF leader because of peace, who else did that. Can we give him credits for that?

    The Almighty God mentioned it in one of His books saying “IF YOU GRATEFUL TO ME, I WILL ADD MORE ON TO YOU”. Some people out there are insulting this man all the time, but yet they fail to understand that, today he’s our chosen leader, and whatever God has decreed and destined who can be against it? This President has been humiliated too many times but yet he is quiet and patient.

    Telling the president that his handpicked SLPP leaders are unmatched, I don’t quite understand your thinking. Who do you want him to pick?. If the former president was a real peaceful man as you described him earlier, well what actually happened between him and his former VP Sam Sumana in 2015, when most of the prominent people in the region pleaded to him for his return, but his decision was no. Can you call this a peaceful man?

    If EBK is a peaceful man as you described him, my question is, who’s your APC new leader today? My only one belief is, SLPP will never rule Sierra Leone forever. They know that themselves. Let us respect our leaders. Thank you.

    • Sierra Leone has tried these two leaders still northing has changed for the better. Sierra Leone is far behind other African countries. We can’t carry on like this. People need to be voted for according to their merits. Leadership skills are very important, and in governing the country you need to be equipped in governing leadership skills to be able to stand out in the crowd.

      You can’t just call a meeting as a president and say to them you as a president can be quiet, but they as the ministers should be killing the citizens innocently. How do you expect to last for two terms. People need to think. And put Sierra Leone first.

  3. I don’t quiet understand what kind of success are you looking for again for the former President, H.E. Dr.E.B.K. This man already succeeded what else? On one thing we are not in agreement, the former President supposed to love all Sierra Leoneans. He has apologized twice to the entire APC party instead of the whole country people. Whether someone voted for him or not, being member of his party or else, but he was the President of Sierra Leone. Is he obligated to apologize to each and everyone of us? yes of course. Now you telling us that “he will surely succeed in rebuilding his APC party”. According to my understanding, he damaged APC before he left, right? May God bless our country Sierra Leone.

  4. The whole of existence is a mesmerizing mirage created by the hands of the Divine – now you see it and now you don’t. Alive and robust today, ailing and weak tomorrow, being carried away swiftly into the unknown. All human beings, even the brightest, loveliest and the best among us, are like dust floating in the wind; born today, gone tomorrow, never to be seen ever again.

    The most courageous among men are those who embrace, protect the ways of peace, prosperity and progress for all. There is a special kind of happiness, joy and honour to be tasted, cherished and enjoyed, in endeavours and attitudes of selflessness, humility and empathy. Mr Michael Von Der Schulenburg possibly, understands that very well, and for his selfless efforts in the areas of peace, the good people of Sierra Leone,applaud him loudly. It will be a grave mistake for someone in State House to erroneously conclude that the sceptre of power, is a raging fire for burning down the opposition and it is firmly held beliefs; or an instrument to be used to erect fences, barriers and boundaries that promote and fortify attitudes of violence, strife, tribalism and hatred. Wrong! Time doesn’t care about settling old scores, our petty grievances, hopes and aspirations, it is just a watchful moderator of seconds, minutes and hours, days, months and years (lol)/

    And though we cry ourselves heavy rainfalls of tears, it will surely always keep on moving, unperturbed, as commanded by Master of all of Creation. The SLPP must be up and doing and making the best of their time in governance. 2 Years gone! The Former President is a man of peace and he is mostly responsible for the tranquillity and atmosphere of security we are enjoying in our beloved nation today. If this cold hearted, indifferent President doesn’t appreciate the efforts of EBK-it’s quite alright, it’s fine! That’s entirely up to him – the man is a failure already; he is someone with an unchanging, negative mindset, a leader that adamantly believes in burning down useful productive bridges to ashes.(lol)

    His handpicked SLPP leaders are unmatched experts at reducing formidable structures of mutual respect to rubble, uprooting fruitful trees and polluting rivers flowing with hope. They are totally hopeless, like old disagreeable fishermen with old canoes full of unfixable holes – Expect nothing worth appreciating and celebrating, coming from their unfruitful lackadaisical hands(lol)…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  5. Well, you see; the former President is still respected globally and he will surely succeed in rebuilding and reforming his APC party to get the job done in 2023. God bless former President Ernest Bai Koroma, President Bio and Mr. Schulenburg.

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