Amin Kef Sesay: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 01 November 2022:
President Julius Maada Bio and First Lady Fatima Maada Bio, last Friday 28th September 2022, hosted neighbouring Guinea’s military Junta leader, Col. Mamady Doumbouya, who was on an unannounced, surprised visit to Freetown, said to be geared towards strengthening mutual bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The Guinean military strongman was received by a high-powered delegation comprising the Vice President, Senior Government officials including the IGP and CDS at the border town of Gbalamuya, Kambia District.
They later headed for State House in Freetown where the Guinean Leader and President Julius Maada Bio held bilateral discussions on the peace and tranquillity of both countries.
It would be recalled that on Monday, 11 October 2021, President Julius Maada Bio departed Sierra Leone for Conakry, Guinea on the invitation of the Military Head of State, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.
During the one-day working visit they discussed security co-operation issues between the two neighbouring countries, the restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Guinea and the ECOWAS democratic transition roadmap.
It should be noted that although the Republic of Guinea was suspended by ECOWAS from all Community activities due to the military coup, ECOWAS member States are not prevented from engaging the Republic of Guinea on bilateral issues.
The Guinean Head of State departed Freetown for Guinea at the end of his one-day working visit.
According to BBC Umaru Fofanah, President Bio is the first head of state to visit Guinea since ECOWAS slammed sanctions on the regime following the military takeover.
It has been speculated that the Sierra Leone leader pushed for the final resolution of the issue of the disputed border town of Yenga and the joint security patrols along the two countries’ borders which stalled following the coup in Guinea.
Also speculated was that the new military Head of State, Col. Mamady Doumbouya briefed his guest on their plan of transition to civilian rule.
However, according to Sierra Leone’s Vice President, Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh the Guinean Head of State, Colonel Mamady Doumbuya was on a one-day working visit to bolster the strong socio-economic, cultural and political ties between the people of Sierra Leone and Guinea.