German’s minister of economic cooperation and development meets President Bio amid growing political tension and poverty

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 June 2021:

Concerns are growing among Sierra Leone’s international development partners over the government’s inability to effectively implement much needed development programmes, despite hundreds of millions of dollars being pumped into the country to help the Bio-led government address growing poverty and inequalities.

Opposition political parties are complaining about the rapid erosion of civil liberty, law and order, and the rolling back of Sierra Leone’s post war democratic gains since President Bio took power in 2018, which has now led to the formation of a coalition of about 13 political parties to counter this threat.

There are fears also about the growing threat of China’s imposing presence in Sierra Leone, through its investments and development programmes which many say are designed to increase China’s control and exploitation of Sierra Leone’s vast natural resources.

Yesterday, Wednesday 16th June, Germany – one of Sierra Leone’s major international development assistance providers, sent its Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development and delegation including three Members of Parliament to Sierra Leone on a fact-finding visit, and held talks with President Dr Julius Maada Bio as part of their two-day working visit in the country.

With general and presidential elections due in less than two years, international development partners are beginning to get nervous about the country descending into chaos and violence, as political tension continues to rise.

Although State House in Freetown has remained tight lipped about the full discussions between President Bio and German minister, Gerhard Gerd Müller, however according to State House report, the German minister told president Bio that ‘Sierra Leone and Germany have a long-standing relationship that has benefited both countries, adding that his visit to the country is aimed at deepening and strengthening bilateral cooperation’.

“Thank you very much His Excellency for making time to meet with us. We look forward to strengthening and deepening this relationship,” he concluded.

President Julius Maada Bio also thanked the German delegation for coming to Sierra Leone, notwithstanding threats of the Coronavirus, adding that he deeply appreciated the visit, which he hoped would expand areas of cooperation between the two countries. “Thank you very much and welcome to Sierra Leone,” President Bio said.

Opposition parties are hoping that with Germany’s soft diplomacy and support from other Western donor partners, leverage could be brought to change the Bio-led government’s political and economic direction of travel that is creating political tension and driving poverty across the country.

2 Comments

  1. A Goldfish in a transparent glass bowl has no place to hide; Its about damn time our German partners confront these incompetent SLPP Good for Nothings and demand answers that are credible relating to good governance and progress from them. A Goldfish has no place to hide, everyone knows that this President has killed countless innocent unarmed civilians in the past during his military regime, and has not not relented but has continued to accelerate his wicked efforts instead by slaughtering our innocent youths and 40 unarmed Prisoners in the Pademba road Prison riots. This heartless Old soldier on a killing spree needs to explain what he did with all the shiploads and massive truckloads of money that was given to him for development purposes by our International Partners. Show me the money – where did it all go so quickly? Why are there beggars and the mentally ill still languishing on the cold dusty, streets of Freetown at night? Hey man! Show me the money – where did it all go so quickly?

    Why is the Judiciary being controlled through strings by the man in State House like a bunch of rag puppets and why are there so many sick dying patients sleeping on bare hospital floors because there are no beds at all available for them even for those who are elderly men and women? Show me the money? Where did it go so quickly Mr President? Wait a minute! Don’t tell us JJSaffa and David Francis stole it all at the command of your Gold digger; not buying it at all. (lol) A rare Gold fish like the President of Sierra Leone has no place to swim and hide; the Africanists Press saw you very clearly Sir in your giant transparent glass bowl trying to hide your stolen loot and scooped you out of your hiding place.(lol)

    SLPP, brazen at night, after the evening darkness surely comes the dazzling morning light, there’s no need to fret, or regret; no need to worry, and no reasons to scurry, we are just simply, plainly in a hurry to carefully find out where all of our money went, and why and how it was all so very easily and quickly spent. (lol)

  2. Sometimes one starts to wonder whether our Western aid partners are either out to help our country, or hinder its progress to able to stands on its own two feet. To be brutally honest, our country can stand up on its own, and run and bounce like a basketball player. We don’t need any assistance. But since Bio is pretending our country is paralysed waist down, due to corruption, I can see why Western capitals feel sorry for us. Spare us your empathy, and leave us alone, with our natural resources we can stand on our own, and sprint like Usian Bolt. The latest dignitary to make a whistle stop on a fact finding mission in Sierra Leone, is the German federal minister for economics development and cooperation, Gerhard G. Muller. And when you think the Federal Republic of Germany was the first country to recognise us in the United Nations, and established a diplomatic relationship with us just after our country gained independence in April 1961,one starts to wonder what is there to learn about our country?

    Notwithstanding, everything including our history, our human and natural resources, the corruption amongst some of our fellow Sierra-leoneans politicians, the brutalitis of the Bio government in the killing of youths and Pademba road prisoners, the suppression of free press, the shredding of our 1991 constitution in by Bio and his government so he can have a free rein over our lives, the politicisation of our supposedly independent institutions like the Republic of Sierra Leone armed forces, Sierra-leone police and the judiciary, the illigal detentions, and subsequent trial of Dr Blyden, Major Poalo Conteh, and many others, the daily dose of corruption allegations against some of Bio’s ministers, the rising levels of poverty and inequality, the lack of opportunities for graduates and youths, the misuse of international financial assistance by some of Bio’s cabinet ministers. Well Minister Muller, if you are on a fact finding mission, this are the true representation of today’s Sierra Leone under the stewardship of president Bio and his government.

    You could have save your time energy, air travel miles and read some of our independent minded on line news outlets, like the Sierra Telegraph, maybe you would have gain more knowledge about whats really going on in Sierra Leone, than listening to Bio in State House feeding you half truths. I don’t think your mission to Sierra Leone will achieve anything if you failed to acknowledge those facts. I won’nt hold my breath, because just like the German government under Chancellor Angela Markel, and how her government was quick to condem Russian president Putin for his treatment of the anti corruption opposition leader Alexi Navalny, and Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko, and calling for sanctions against them because of their violation of the human rights of their citizens, we noted with deep scepticism about the muted response from the German embassy, and other Western embassies in Freetown in their failure to condems Bio’s government back then in 2020. Instead of sanctioning or calling for investigation to those killings of unarmed prisoners, and youths in Makeni, Bio’s government was rewarded with more international financial assistance. The best you can do now, if you rally have to, is use NGOs or work with the Mayor of Freetown to render assistance. Given Money to this Bio government with out following it up with the demands of auditing, transparency, accountability, you are unwittingly prolonging the suffering of the people, no doubt the ordinary German tax payer is hopping to help. Cut out the middle man and deal directly with local communities.

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