The Omrie Golley Story: Return of the Kabbah administration – Major setbacks for peace

Noellie Marionette-Chambertin: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 October 2021:

The Armed forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) coup of May 1997 was short lived. With the assistance of ECOMOG troops, the militia known as the Kamajors, and the support of the sub region and the international community, the late Former President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, and his administration, returned to power in Sierra Leone, in February 1998.

This return however, brought in its wake severe repercussions including massive deaths and destruction of property relating to those individuals who had been proscribed by the Kabbah administration, as being supporters of the recently ousted military junta.

Over 59 individuals were arraigned before the courts charged with Treason, and the majority of those charged were executed. The term ‘junta collaborator’ became a by- word for anyone who the Kabbah Administration deemed as enemies, supporting the former military junta of Major Johnny Paul Koroma.

A number of senior civilian Ministers or senior Government officials donned military gear, under the guise of assisting ECOMOG troops and Kabbah controlled Civil Defence militia, otherwise known as the Kamajors, to flush out individuals deemed to be ‘junta collaborators’ with resultant death and destruction.

Many individuals were brutally murdered, some with tyres doused with petrol, being placed around the necks of the unfortunate victims. Scores of people, young or old, working, retired or semi-retired, politicians of previous administrations, were incarcerated, harassed, or simply humiliated in one way or another, under the guise of having supported the Junta.

It appeared that those individuals that had remained in the country throughout this period, and had not abruptly left when the May 25th coup occurred, were placed under suspicion of being supportive of the former military regime. Judges, Lawyers, Teachers, Newspaper Publishers, Doctors, Politicians, and many others who had remained, were prima facie collaborators. In addition, properties belonging to proscribed alleged junta collaborators were destroyed. These unfortunate events happened.

Omrie Golley had returned to his Practice in the United Kingdom in July 1997, after visiting Sierra Leone in order to assess the prevailing situation on the ground, and most importantly engaging the Johnny Paul Administration, with a plea to them, in the interests of peace, to return the country to civilian and legitimate administration.

However even though his motives for peace had been communicated to the Kabbah Administration prior to him leaving London in July 1997, he (Golley) himself had, by February 1998, been branded a junta collaborator by Kabbah.

On the day of the return of the late former President to Freetown, Golley’s well-appointed law office in the Centre of the Capital, was completely destroyed, by what observers stated to be a rocket propelled grenade, launched by Kamajor militia forces.

Meanwhile remnants of the AFRC junta together with RUF militia had retreated from the capital Freetown to the hinterlands in the North, South and Eastern parts of the country. Most of Kono came under the firm control of the RUF. The Leader of the RUF, Corporal Foday Sankoh, had in succeeding months since the return of the Kabbah administration, been brought back to Freetown where he was jailed. The militia came under the control of their senior Commander, Sam Bockarie, whose Nom de Guerre became widely known as ‘Maskita’ after the insect carrying the Malaria disease, the Mosquito.

The call by the RUF for the release of their Leader Foday Sankoh, became their mantra and the main condition for any resumption of the peace process, which had been placed in disarray, and on hold, by the coup of May 1997, its subsequent reversal in February 1998, and the return of former President Kabbah.

Omrie Golley remained in London and it was to be a number of months later in 1998 that he was to be contacted by Sam Bockarie, requesting that he (Golley) use his professional legal network, to assist the Movement in finding a lawyer who could act for their leader Foday Sankoh, who remained in custody in Freetown. In September 1998, Sankoh was charged in court with treason, usurping the executive power of the state of Sierra Leone, invasion of Sierra Leone by land, and soliciting funds for military logistics for use by forces hostile to the country.

This plea by the putative leader of the RUF, in the absence of Sankoh, for Golley’s assistance, became a turning point in his quest for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Sierra Leone. That call for assistance provided Golley with the opportunity of playing a positive direct meaningful role in the quest for a lasting and sustainable resolution of the conflict in his beloved motherland.

Omrie Golley’s Quest for Peace – Transition from Observer to Legal Adviser/Spokesman – Moral and Ethical Dilemmas for Peace

The repercussions of the return of the Kabbah Administration, in February 1998, after the failed AFRC coup of 1997, continued well into the early months of 1999. Accusations by Kabbah officials of named individuals being ‘rebel collaborators’ continued.

Reacting to a statement made on national radio on Thursday 1st January 1999, by Julius Spencer who was Minister of Information at the time, Dr Abass Bundu, now Speaker of the Sierra Leone Parliament, denied being an RUF supporter as alleged by Spencer, further rejecting the allegation that he had travelled at that time to Liberia to talk to the RUF leadership. Bundu in a written statement refuting the allegations stated:

”My stance on the crisis in Sierra Leone is well known. I do not, and will not support the use of violence in Sierra Leone as an instrument of political change in our country, nor as a means of ending the current conflict.” Culled from Peter Andersen: Sierra Leone Web 1996-2019.

The same allegations by Spencer had been made against the late Dr John Karefa Smart and Omrie Golley, both of who also issued written statements refuting the allegations. Golley in his own statement stated that he was on Xmas holidays at his home in Croatia during this period, and denied having ever travelled to Liberia by this time, let alone speak to the RUF leadership there.

During the early hours of the 6th of January 1999, remnants of the AFRC/RUF combatants, who had retreated to the hinterlands of Sierra Leone after the expulsion of the Junta from the capital Freetown in February 1998, descended on Freetown in large numbers, capturing State House and other buildings in the Capital Freetown, and unleashing death and destruction in the capital and surrounding areas.

Many civilians lost their lives, and the destruction of property was on a massive scale. The state Penitentiary at Pademba Road in the centre of Freetown, was forced open, and most of the inmates, including those who had been imprisoned by the Kabbah Government upon their return to the capital after the failed coup, were released.

Former Late President Joseph Saidu Momoh, was one of those who had been proscribed by the returning Kabbah administration in 1998, as an AFRC supporter and subsequently charged to court and imprisoned. He was among those who escaped from Pademba Road Prison. He retreated to the hinterlands of Sierra Leone, where he in turn became a prisoner of remnants of the AFRC/RUF, returning to their military camps after the sacking of Freetown in January 1999.

The destruction of the capital and the loss of life was almost complete and total. During this period, Former President Tejan Kabbah left the capital. It was rumored at the time, that he had sought refuge on a British naval Frigate that happened to be within the territorial waters of Sierra Leone at the time, and had been stationed there for a while.

For a number of days the capital was in a desperate state. However, with the support of ECOMOG forces, this attempt at insurrection was reversed, but the whole incident left a country and a people traumatized.

For Omrie Golley, this episode, added to those unfortunate incidents in the country which preceded it, left him completely perplexed. He considered the peace process at this time as being virtually non-existent. Great swathes of the country remained ungovernable, with the Government in control of the capital Freetown, and remnants of the RUF/AFRC militia operating in the surrounding towns and cities.

Golley’s main preoccupation was how the peace process could be resumed, even with the situation in the country as dire as it then was. He believed that he could play a positive role in the process by leveraging the contacts and emerging respect that had been building up between Golley and the RUF, with the ultimate goal of a lasting and sustainable peace.

In Golley, the fighting combatants saw an individual unconnected with any political party at the time, and also not part of any Government group. They felt that he was genuinely committed to a lasting sustainable peace Agreement which would end the fighting, and restore the country to peace and normalcy. They recognized the steps Golley had been taking by then to engage them and talk peace.

Golley had been contacted by the erstwhile leader of the RUF, Sam Bockarie, after the May 1997 coup, to assist the movement in engaging the services of a lawyer to seek the release of their Leader Corporal Foday Sankoh, who had been incarcerated in Nigeria. Sankoh was then transported to Sierra Leone, after Former President Kabbah returned to the Capital in early 1998.

Bockarie informed Golley, that he had been told that the RUF would find it extremely difficult to engage the services of a legal practitioner in country, because of fear, and suggested to Golley, that he assist by recommending a number of firms in the sub-region or beyond. In fact a number of firms in Nigeria and Ghana had offered their services, but it had become apparent, that the Kabbah Government would not readily grant approval for any of these firms to be heard in the courts of Sierra Leone.

Not long afterwards however, to this request by Bockarie to Golley for Golley’s assistance in procuring a law firm to represent their leader and the interests of the RUF, was added another request, which was for Golley to assist them directly, in putting their case to the wider world, in response to what Bockarie termed the ‘massive demonization’ of the RUF by the Kabbah Government.

Given the state of affairs in the country at that time, this latest request to Golley, put him in a difficult position with immense personal and moral dilemmas. On the one hand, here was an organization that had been accused of massive atrocities against ordinary civilians in the villages towns and cities across the country.

Added to this, was the realization that this organization with its combatants spread throughout the country, engaging in continuing military operations, were in fact rudderless, with the absence of their Leader, and with reports additionally of their Militia engaging in raids, abductions, and overall violence that the Kabbah Government assisted by ECOMOG forces were unable to resist.

Golley was aware that the Kabbah Government had actively encouraged negative publicity against him and others that they considered collaborators of the rebel movement. Not a day went by during this period, without the name of Golley and others being mentioned and presented to the people as individuals guilty of working with the rebels, and associating them with atrocities being committed.

Pro -Government radio stations continuously blurted their names as being wanted by the Government. Concocted stories of Golley being an arms dealer, providing military equipment to the rebels from his base in Croatia, in return for diamonds from the rebels, and additional false propaganda, were reproduced by government controlled publications, creating further alarm and panic amongst the civilian population. There was nothing however further from the truth.

Golley was unshakeable in his belief, that without another attempt at peace and reconciliation, the war would continue unabated, with the unfortunate civilian population bearing the brunt of these murderous activities.

In his continuing contact with the RUF, he (Golley) believed that he could make a positive lasting contribution to the peace process, by working constructively with the militia, encouraging them to move from the bush to the negotiating table in pursuance of peace. He believed that, having gone through untold suffering and anguish for months, his people deserved nothing less than peace. And if that meant going to talk to, and associate with the RUF, he was prepared to do that.

This is what ultimately moved Golley pursuing peace from the standpoint of being an observer, to acting as a legal adviser and spokesman of the RUF.

Fortunately for Golley however, international world opinion was, by early 1999, moving inexorably towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Sierra Leone. The erstwhile held view of moving decisively against the RUF militarily, became subsumed with a more practical solution, of bringing the warring parties to the peace table in pursuance of a political settlement.

Golley used this opportunity to actively promote the idea of a peace agreement, in line with what was now being promoted in Sierra Leone, to bring the war and the untold suffering of her people to an end. He (Golley) started accepting invitations from international news organizations like CNN, BBC, Radio France International, AFP, and other renowned outlets, and he used these opportunities to propound his views on the need for a political settlement, rather than the military prosecution of a war that the Kabbah Government appeared incapable of winning.

During this period, in the early months of 1999, a consensus also gradually started emerging and building up, amongst International World Bodies and Governments such as ECOWAS, the United Nations, sub regional Governments in West Africa, together with the Governments of the United States of America, France, the United Kingdom, Norway and others, of either wanting to explore, or supporting the idea of a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

Even with world opinion gradually moving towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict, Golley was fully aware of the need to be accepted as an interlocutor to an organization that become widely regarded as brutal. In addition, the nature of his work would require financial and moral support to effectively undertake this new assignment and situation.

On or around 14th January 1999, Golley travelled to Abidjan to meet with the ECOWAS Executive Secretary during this period, Lansana Kouyate, who recognized and supported the position of Golley as adviser and spokesman of the RUF in the pursuance of peace in Sierra Leone. He provided Golley, in the absence of any remuneration of any kind from the RUF, or any other body, with a $10,000 disbursement to assist him in this new role.

Golley was invited to engage the United States Government on the prospect for peace in Sierra Leone, and in late January 1999, the State Department facilitated his visit to Washington to meet with State Department officials.

Testifying to the Sub Committee on Africa, Committee on Foreign Relations of the US House of Representatives, in March 23rd 1999, Salih Booker, of the Council on Foreign Relations, a US Government think tank, who had also invited Golley to present a paper, on the ongoing conflict in the country during his visit testified:

‘In late January 1999, the State Department facilitated a phone conversation between Sierra Leone President Kabbah, and Omrie Golley, the Legal Representative of the rebel RUF who was visiting Washington. That conversation led to a commitment on the part of both parties to the conflict to pursue a negotiated solution’.

The statement went on to mention the names of Ambassador Howard Jeter of the State Department and Rev Jesse Jackson in playing their role in pursuing peace. Golley had actively engaged both individuals during the process up until the signing of the Lome Peace Accord in July of 1999.

It was also during this visit to the United States in late January 1999, that Golley first met and engaged fellow Sierra Leonean Dr Sylvia Blyden. Dr Blyden was instrumental in facilitating a telephone conversation, acting as an interlocutor initially, between Golley and the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasango, who was later to play a vital role in securing the peace process in Sierra Leone.

Golley was to make additional trips to Norway, France, Togo, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Liberia, Burkina Faso, all in support of a renewed process which was to culminate with the Lome Peace Accord of July 1999.

The next episode will focus on the events leading up to and surrounding the signing of the Lome Peace Accord and the role of Omrie Golley in the process.

 

10 Comments

  1. Thanks Ms Konneh.Now we can all say we have agreed to disagree.What ever differences of opinions we expressed on this matter or any other matter henceforth , the one undisputed fact that remains, we are all Sierra Leoneans. With one country, one flag, Green, White and Blue, and one national language that we are blessed with, the Krio language that have been the main glue that unite all of us. I might be a Fulani from a different part of the country, but armed with the Krio language, I can communicate with my Mende, Temene, Limba, and Kurankoh brothers and Sisters in Pujehun Yengema, or Falaba District, without having to hire an interpreter. Time to move on other matters of national importance, that we were highlighting before this topic of Mr Golley and the RUF resurfaced. I respect each and everyone’s opinion.

    Those are your invaluable rights, that are guaranteed in our constitution. No one should take that away from you. The right to free speech is just as valuable as the right to life, security and the pursuit of happiness.And to top it all, is the the right to famliy life. Apart from our creator or incurable illnesses, no human being have the right to take that away from you.The right to family life is something you can’t compromised.With freedom of speech, you have the right to offend and the right to be offended.

    Ordinary citizens and journalists spend time in prison, and in extreme cases pay the ultimate price, defending those very rights governments tries to deny ordinary citizens. The biggest problem we have now, is Bio and his government. Corruption undermines everything we want to achieve for our country. And we should concentrate our efforts on some of those issues affecting our country. May God bless the Republic of Sierra Leone.

  2. Brother Abraham amadu Jalloh, as our joint brother said in his last comment on the role of Ambassador Omrie Golley on the peace process, let us just agree to disagree. It is perfectly ok for you not to share the views of some of us forumites on the part he played in taking our country out of war to peace. The research study undertaken was done to highlight the role of this worthy gentleman. For me the fact that he associated with the RUF at that critical time was instrumental in bringing the peace rather than prolonging the war. Reasons have been put forward by the researcher as to why Ambassador Golley went to talk to, and associated with the rebels. She has even directly quoted from him as to what was in the back of his mind and what circumstances prevailing at that time moved him. You can disagree. But let’s move on.

    You also made a suggestion that Ambassador Omrie Golley would have done well to bringing investors into the country. Well I am not sure whether you are living as I am in Sierra Leone, or whether you are based outside the country. Because if you were in country you would not have made this suggestion! Why? Because I honestly believe that there are not many Sierra Leoneans who have worked in a private capacity and as a public servant, as much as Ambassador Omrie Golley, to help bring investors into the country.

    Even before he was made Ambassador to Korea, Omrie Golley, in his private capacity, was bringing in investors from Egypt, South Africa, the UK etc. As Sierra Leone’s very first Ambassador to Korea, Omrie Golley greatly contributed to the building of the new city hall in Freetown – which is the largest building in the whole country. He also procured funding, materials and personnel from Korea, during the Ebola and mudslide disasters. He procured funding for fisheries development, procured funding for a clinic in Tokeh, pushed for scholarships for deserving students to study in Korea, and much more! And brother Jalloh, these are all facts, and just like the account of the French researcher, cannot in truth be denied.

  3. Totally agree with Mr Yillah . After the RUF wars we had the truth and reconciliation commission, not the belated untruth, and confessions commission. Twenty years too late. We don’t need divisions in our country. We’ve been through that after eleven years of brutal and senseless civil war, in which thousands of people died, all in the name of what? Fighting corruption, and economic emancipation, not in the current state our country finds itself. You just have to read through some of the contributory comments made here on this forum regarding Mr Golley’s contribution to peace building in Sierra Leone, then you realised how some of our fellow Sierra-leoneans thinks is their God given rigth to shove their righteous indignation in our throats because we dare to disagree with them. And this has always been the problem in our country finds itself.One group of people thinks they knows what is best for our country. What they forget we are a country of almost eight million people, so we all cannot be swimming in the same wave lengths.

    Disagreements, yes. But to throw insult at some one that disagree with you, means only one thing, you’ve lost the argument. All the ingredients that led us to the civil war has never left us. Tribalism, regionalism, corruption, lack of free press, human rights abuses, economic deprivation, hunger, lack of basic human needs like food, water, health care, electricity, good roads, housing, youths unemployment are all around us. We know this because all of the above miserable human conditions are hidden in plain sight. Thanks to Bio and some of his corrupt unrepentant members of his one directionless government, our country with all its natural, and human resources, is now at the mercy of our international donor partners to meet our budgetary needs. The RUF wars ended more than twenty years ago. We don’t want anyone to be collaborating with a foreign french national to destabilise our country.

    Foday Sankoh committed the same sin. We live in a rough neighbourhood hood. Mr Golley should use his connections to bring investors in our country, not to gas light a situation that is already standing on its tenterhooks. We live in a rough neighbourhood. The security in the sahel region is at the mercy of Islamic jihadist. As president Kennedy once said”:Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country “. May God bless Sierra-leone.

  4. Ms Isatu Konneh, many thanks for your response and for reinforcing once more your position on the Omrie Golley story; a position that, needless to say, is the exact opposite of mine. I didn’t want to say anything further but given the way that you and others who disagree with me have tended to distort what I have written, I feel compelled to add one more thing or two if only to clarify further my view and, in the process, set the records straight. I agree completely with you when you say that we need to work as brothers and sisters to rebuild our broken homeland in the wake of the savagery and mindless destruction that some of our own very compatriots unforgivably unleashed on our nation for over an entire decade.

    I believe very strongly however, that that essential and much hoped for healing will only begin and subsequently come to fruition if we are honest with ourselves in the first place. For instance, you speak of ‘my personal animosity’ towards Mr Golley quoting to justify your claim what are deliberately truncated elements of what I have written. I will mention just one quote of yours to illustrate my point These are your words: ‘You go on to say that the patriot and peacemaker should be happy to alive after 20 years’. I consider this statement an intentional misreading and misinterpretation of my point. What I have written is this: ‘And Mr Omrie Golley is a very lucky man; lucky to be alive and kicking and able to participate in a project aimed at his own rehabilitation – or should one say deification – while the victims (tens of thousands of them) of those on behalf of whom he spoke are long gone, having been hacked into oblivion, and thus unavailable sadly to tell their own individual stories of terror, pain and death’.

    It is clear from the above that I am making a distinction between Mr Golley being alive today and able to tell his story or have it told from his own perspective and the circumstances of those who went to early graves because of the atrocities committed by those for whom he served as a spokesman. In fact, Mr Golley and all those who were in Sierra Leone at one point or another during the civil war including my own very self and who somehow through Allah’s infinite mercy survived it and are able to debate it two whole decades after it ended, should all be considered lucky! Those who died remain dead, deprived forever and unforgivably so of the privilege of being alive today. With this clarification, do you still consider the point I have made indicative of ‘my personal animosity’ to Mr Golley? I believe not, my dear sister, as I completely trust your capacity to discern the context and meaning of what I have said.

  5. Mr Dauda Yillah, much as I consider you to be a brother Sierra Leonean, I cannot but remain so dissapointed in your personal animosity and dislike of brother Sierra Leonean Ambassador Omrie Golley, which has clouded whatever contributions you have been making towards the debate. You have been so inconsistent in your texts that all that comes out, is what Leo Africanus properly calls bluster. In an earlier text you said

    ‘There is much more to Mr Golley’s role and activities than the TRC Reporters ever knew and the French researcher can ever know’.

    You go on to say that the patriot and peacemaker should be happy to be alive after 20 years! Now you are saying that only Ambassador Golley knows what was in his head when he decided to go talk to and associate with the RUF. All these comments have left me with little doubt that you just dislike the man you yourself say you do not even know! This in turn clouds anything you may want to educate us with to what you perceive his role to have been.

    Brother Omrie Golley is a peace maker and patriot for me, and others, and will always be whatever you say. My only final comment to you brother, is that we must learn to understand and love one another. Our country is still at the crossroads. We have many problems to overcome. We still have many of the factors that the TRC said contributed to the very war we are now debating! Rather than decry the valued efforts of Ambassador Omrie Golley, we should be working to prevent another catastrophe

  6. ‘Mr Kaitongi who was a Kamajor and as such has no interest in the matter…’. No interest in what matter, Mr Leo Africanus? It seems to me on reading Mr Kaitongi’s comments that he did develop a good, affectionate relationship with Mr Golley to the point that he will surely be interested, I believe, in seeing him declared innocent of allegations of crinminallty in his association with the RUF. I am not saying Mr Kaitongi’s feelings for and relationship with Mr Golley are by any means a crime. What I am saying is that the feelings and relationship should be seen in their proper context and not be taken as a tried and tested proof of Mr Golley’s innocence or guilt.

    I see you are very astute in your choice of words when you write that the French researcher’s stance backed by Mr Kaitongi’s testimony ‘seems credible’. Of course you go on to say that on the contrary, the stance taken by the other contestants is illogical, being mere posturings. And yet the fact that you say ‘seems credible’ rather than ‘is credible’ is quite significant. To me at least. It seems that the gap between ‘seems’ and ‘is’, though a fine point, still leaves open the question relating to the ultimate authenticity and credibility of both the research findings of the French woman and the personal testimonies of Mr Kaitongi, thereby justifying the point that there is perhaps much more to the so-called posturings of the other contestants in the debate than meets the eye.

    Indeed, Mr Kaitongi has himself stated quite rapturously that the research has ‘ been written with the knowledge and cooperation of Omrie Golley himself’. A normal thing you might say. That said, will a man of sound mind readily, voluntarily accuse himself of infamy even though he might well be guilty of it? Whatever position one takes on the debate, for or against Golley or the space between, the fact remains that only he alone knows his true motives and for siding with the rebels.

  7. Mr Africanus, please this is not a beauty contest. Who won what and when. We are debating about a war that killed fifty thousand people. And the collaborators of that war wants to rewrite the history of what took place. once again you and many people taking part in this ongoing debate of Mr Golley giving succour to the RUF is completely missing the point. No one here is suggesting he is a war criminal. Or he actually fired a gun in anger. The special court investigated, those people, that were involved in perpetuating violence, against civilians in which thousands lost their lives and some are still carrying the physical and mental scars today. The UK, the European Union, and the United States have laws to try any individual that commits war crimes in other countries and is now resident in their countries. Charles Taylor’s son is serving time in the United States. Tom Woewiyu the NPLF spokeman was last year convicted of war crimes in the United States. Recently a Sierra-leoneans national was placed on Trial for war crimes committed in Liberia, in Finland.

    The other year a Sierra Leonean driving instructor in the North of England was arrested for war crimes. The debate here is not so much about his efforts to convince Foday Sankoh to sue for peace, but the fact that he volunteered to be their legal advisor in the first place, thats what the debate is all about. Why should an educated man leave his legal profession and join a reble group that have killed so many of his countrymen and women? One could argue, by being there legal representative, he threw a life line to Foday Sankoh, who was losing ground to ECOMOG and what remains of the Sierra Leone Armed forces. Effectively suspending the day of reckoning for the RUF. Nobody knew this better than Foday Sankoh. For him the contact with Mr Golley was a God’s sent opportunity. With Mr Golley on his side, he was able to take ECOWAS, and the international community in a merry go round of peace initiative that he knew, he will never honour.

    So Mr Golley should stop using a French surrogate, and come clean and apologise to the Sierra Leonean public. Better still join a political party and put his name forward to be a local Member of Parliament. Or run for the presidency in 2023 Becuse thats what I suspect this is all about. Iam sure he will make a better president than Bio.

  8. The French researcher backed by Mr Kaitongi who was a Kamajor and as such has no interest in the matter seems to have a credible stance. The other contestants in the debate have no logical arguments or assertions. They simply posture, however as yet have provided no tangible evidence of Mr Golley’s alleged crimes.

    • Thank you very much Leo Africanus for your own contribution. The problem is when someone just dislikes another for no clear reason, it completely clouds his judgement. Most of the comments against Ambassador Golley, particularly those from Dauda Yillah and his friend Jalloh, do not give any reasons for their opposition to role he played in the peace process.

      They say he associated with the RUF and he joined them as their legal representative and spokesman. Is this of itself proof that Omrie Golley was culpable or complicit?? Also what basis do they have to cry down the study of the French researcher? Because she presents a set of facts hard to deny that puts Ambassador Golley in a good light? What would they have said if the Study had been very much against Golley ? Let them come out with hard facts to convince some of us that this man was a bad man! Not bluster as you very ably put it!

      I am sure you understand why I even bothered to contribute and you clearly get the point I was making! If Ambassador Omrie Golley was such a bad person as Yillah clearly implies in his statements, why on earth with a Government Minister and leader of the CDF assign me to protect and look after someone whose Movement he was fighting against?!! Even I, as said in my earlier text was originally baffled by this! I went in to recount the rest of the story of Hinga Norman’s relationship with Golley. Even now as I write this, it still brings tears to my eyes. May the soul of Hinga Norman continue to Rest In Peace. Amen! God bless you Omrie Golley

  9. Ms Isatu Konneh, I see in your comments about me that you are spoiling directly for a fight with me. However, I won’t take the bait. So I won’t say that I ‘ distrust your motives’ for supporting Mr Golley nor will I call your comments or texts ‘evil’. This is because I respect you and the views you hold way too much to do so. What is more, I consider you to be a sister, with whom I disagree, obviously, but who remains one of my own none the less. Indeed, your name Isatu reminds me of my own little sister, Isata, who lives in Kambia District, North-Western Sierra Leone. You and I have never met but share an unbreakable bond grounded in our common Sierra Leonean nationality.

    Furthermore, I feel that ‘evil’ is too strong a word to be used freely. To my mind, if anything or anyone deserves that descriptive word in this debate, it will be the RUF, who maimed, raped and killed their fellow compatriots. And I was at no point whatsoever their advisor nor their spokesman. So our disagreement should not degenerate into our calling each other evil. You have murdered no one, have advised or spoken on behalf of no murderer. Neither have I. Can we therefore, my dear sister, carry on debating with utmost civility?

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