Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 June 2021:
Yesterday Friday, Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana and Sierra Leone, Kati Csaba presented her letter of credence via video conferencing to President Dr Julius Maada Bio, marking the commencement of her tour of duty in the country.
High Commissioner Kati Csaba extended fraternal greetings from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the government, and the people of Canada. She told president Bio that the two countries have had a long history dating back to the transportation of freed slaves from the Canadian province of Nova Scotia to Freetown in 1792, and later the two countries membership of the Commonwealth and the United Nations.
“I now, therefore, present to you, His Excellency, my letter of credence and the withdrawal letter of my predecessor. I look forward to the opportunity of making my first visit to your country to meet with you,” she said.
President Bio thanked High Commissioner Csaba and said that Sierra Leone has long waited for her to take up office, and expressed hope that the excellent bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and Canada would continue during her tenure.
“Through various stages of peacekeeping, to Ebola and to Covid-19, Canada has been of immense help to the Republic of Sierra Leone and continues other support in different areas. I hope that during your tenure we will be able to deepen this bilateral relationship,” the president said.
In terms of historical facts,apart from the United Kingdom, no other country shares more history with us than our Canadian friends. After the American civil war, a lot of slaves that fought on the side of the British, were transported and resettled in Halifax, Nova Scotia. But for some of this African Americans from the cotton plantations of the Southern States of the United States, the cold, and wintery weather, was there worst enemies. So the British decided to take them and resettled them in their new pacth of land they have aquired from the local chiefs. So in 1792 Freetown was founded for that purpose. A land where Freed Slaves fleeing persecution and death were brought to the African continent, the only home they knew before they were shackled and forcibly put in to Slaves Ships across the Atlantic ocean to the Americas and Caribbean Islands.
As the new High commissioner,Kati Csaba, who doubles in her role representing two countries,Ghana and Sierra Leone alluded to, our history goes back many centuries. I wonder whether the Canadian government under Justin Trudeau, takes our historical relationship seriously. As a sovereign nation of Seven million, your government can afford to have a diplomatic mission, in Freetown, just like the other western powers. The United Kingdom and United States. By staying in Acrra Ms Csaba, we fear you won’t able to get the feel of every day life for Sierra Leoneans that are suffering under the Bio government. The fact that you will be conducting your work by Zooming in to Sierra Leone, and paying lightning visits doesn’t cut the mustard with some of us Sierra Leoneans. That wants us to go pass the rhetoric about our historical connection, and how since our establishment of diplomatic relationship in 1961, our two countries have grew closer.
Where is the Canadian /Sierra Leonean museum celebrating the return of the Nova Scotians? Yes you might have helped us during the RUF wars to bring peace. But Canada owes Sierra Leone a huge gratitude and compensation for literally taking our returning African brothers. Just like Israel is home to all Jews, so is Sierra Leone is home to all retuning Slaves that have African heritage. So the message to all our brothers and sisters, whose ancestors were enslaved, Sierra-leone is your home.