Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 September 2019:
With growing dissent and unrest in Egypt, and the possibility of a major crackdown on the opposition in Cairo and Suez, the president of Egypt – Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who is this week attending the UN Conference in New York, is looking for every friend he can find in the African Union, in advance of any major assault on the opposition to stay in power.
Opposition groups in Egypt are calling for the resignation of Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, accusing him of corruption, gross abuse of power and human rights.
Yesterday Monday, 23 September 2019, president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met his Sierra Leonean counterpart – President Julius Maada Bio in New York where they discussed bilateral cooperation and progress in Africa and the African Union.
According to Sierra Leone’s State House report, President Bio said that the two countries have enjoyed a long relationship, which started before Sierra Leone’s independence on 27 April 1961.
President Bio thanked President El-Sisi and the people of Egypt for being a true friend to the people of Sierra Leone.
“As a sign of gratitude, on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone and on my personal behalf, I invite your Excellency to Sierra Leone. It will be a memorable and historic visit because you will be the first Egyptian President to visit Sierra Leone,” he said.
He also commended President El-Sisi’s exemplary leadership as chair of the African Union and for the strides that he has taken to reposition Africa on the world stage, highlighting, in particular, Africa’s recent expansion of its global reach.
In his response, President El-Sisi accepted the invitation with gratitude and agreed to visit Sierra Leone. He affirmed his country’s continued support for Sierra Leone, adding that he was particularly confident in President Bio’s strong commitment in coordinating Africa’s position on the reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
President Bio has been the Chairman of the Committee of Ten Heads of African States and Government (C-10), which is looking at the reform of the UNSC since June 2018.