Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 July 2018:
As is now customary in Sierra Leone’s politics, the newly elected president Julius Maada Bio has dismissed the country’s Ambassadors, High Commissioners and diplomatic staff appointed by the former president Koroma, to be replaced by loyalists, activists and supporters of his ruling SLPP party.
Yesterday, thirty-seven senior diplomats were appointed by president Bio, amid the continuing row over the payment of repatriation costs of those he has sacked.
The sacked diplomats who were last month given an ultimatum to return to Sierra Leone with immediate effect, are accusing the president of failing to honour their contractual entitlements.
Critics say that yesterday’s list of newly appointed diplomats is exclusively made up of SLPP party activists, who played a major part in seeking the election of Julius Maada Bio in March 2018.
In response, one of the newly appointed ambassadors told the Sierra Leone Telegraph that “there is nothing unusual about the sacking of diplomats appointed by a former president to make way for loyalists of the incoming president to help promote his agenda”.
But is this practice good for the development and utilisation of human resources in the country’s diplomatic service?
While this question may be pertinent to those seeking a lifetime career in Sierra Leone’s diplomatic service, to those appointed yesterday, it is simply academic, as they now look forward to five years of life changing opportunity abroad.
So, who are the new diplomats? This is what State House said: