High we exalt thee – is Yenga now truly free?

Dr. Sama Banya – Puawui

30 July 2012

Thanks to the unique efforts of President Ernest Bai Koroma, the Guinean and Sierra Leonean governments have agreed to demilitarize Yenga, and to withdraw all military presence from the area.

Last Friday, a joint communiqué was signed by our own Foreign minister – J.B.Dauda and his Guinean counterpart on the vexed question of Yenga.

J.B.Dauda read the statement with such relish, that I was tempted to raise the Green, White and Blue national flag and bellow out: “High we exalt thee.”

What absolute nonsense!

What an absolutely detestable demonstration of playing politics on the suffering of that hapless Kissi community in Kissi Tongi chiefdom and bordering on the Moa/Makona river, which separates the Republics of Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Reference was made in the long winded communiqué to the African Union Treaty, the ECOWAS treaty, the Mano River Union Treaty and to two communiqués issued in the past from Guinean President Alpha Conde’ and Sierra Leone’s Ernest Bai Koroma.

What a mouthful of words it all was. And once again that tireless APC propagandist and boot licker – Sahr Mokuwa will be off to Kangama to gather the chiefdom people and inform them of how President Ernest Koroma has achieved what President Tejan Kabbah and the SLPP could not achieve in 11 years of misrule.

But what has actually been achieved, what does the long winded communiqué say?

All military would withdraw from Yenga and allow a technical committee to survey the area for the umpteenth time. What utter balderdash!

What is there to survey and by whom, and what report will the committee produce that would not confirm what all previous committees had confirmed, in addition to what we Sierra Leoneans know?

I hope Alpha Kanu would detain Mokuwa on a stockade.

The Guineans occupied Yenga on a technical and defence strategy during the rebel war, in order to protect their rear as they chased the rebels in the Kailahun area.

It was after that that they dug in, claiming the territory as their own. President Kabbah had made several direct representations to President Lansana Conteh on Yenga and also through the Mano River Union.

He almost stormed out of an Mano River Union summit in Conakry because of President Conteh’s intransigence over the issue. He was restrained by President Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast.

It was shortly after that that President Kabbah and Johnson Sirleaf, accompanied by Prime Minister Lansana Kuyateh of Guinea, crossed the Moa/Makona River in a dugout canoe to visit Yenga.

I can still see the look of amazement and disbelief on Prime Minister Kuyateh’s face, when Yenga was pointed out to him perched on top of a hill over a mile away.

And now without giving any thought to which military was occupying the area, our government submits its signature, which implies that our military was in the area as well.

And that is the question that is being asked, plus what about the reports of the previous technical committees, which at one point included French and British experts?

If it were not for the ineptitude of the then Governor Frederick Cardew of Sierra Leone, all those areas as far as Kenema Wonde in today’s Republic of Guinea, were part of greater Luawa under my grandfather – the warrior Kailondo.

So J.B.Dauda, the Guineans will “play cook” with you over Yenga, because your government’s immediate concern is to get the poor inhabitants in a state of false security and to vote APC and Ernest.

What a self centred government this is, which is only concerned with its re-election.


1 Comment

  1. This is one of the most beautiful articles ever written by Puawui. So indeed our history regarding this region is all this recent! And this is what President Koroma goes around playing cowboy games with?

    Oh! What does it matter to President Koroma in fact? After all, this region is part of the so-called SLPP strongholds in Sierra Leone. So President Koroma can actually elect to cut it off from Sierra Leone.

    This can increase his chances of winning the November elections, can it?

    But bravo to you Puawui! I guess you saw your grandfather and it is this message you have to tell the Guineans when the New Direction could have stood the grounds after November! Bravo to you again!!!!!!!!

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