Young protesters gunned down by police in northern Sierra Leone – A Rejoinder

John Baimba Sesay- China

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 August 2016

Rioting in kabala1

In a June 2012 article titled “A societal problem demanding societal solution”, I dilated on the relevance of having an acceptable level of trust and confidence when it comes to the public and our law enforcement agency – the police.

My argument back then concluded on the need for collective support as the police and public would need each other.

Sierra Leone had an extremely terrible civil war experience that lasted for over a decade. We today enjoy peace, which, though led by government, was as a result of our preparedness and resilience as a country to seek and subsequently achieve it.

Through that toughness and commitment to rebuilding our nation, we are gradually making progress in rebuilding the very broken foundation we had prior to our war era.

Recent development in Kabala is no good news for us. Protests form part of democracy. But crucially, security is vital for the growth of a nation’s democratic credentials.

Recent youth social disturbance in Freetown

The police and citizens alike are partners in development. This makes it compelling for us to collaborate, especially in enhancing our country’s internal security and stability.

Indeed, the public’s expectation of the police is great. That said, we should manage expectations realistically as that is vital in fostering healthy relationship between the two.

The police force may have its own challenges, but that should not warrant the public to have mistrust in it, because we always need security.

Public perception about the police comes to mind. Our respective attitudes should help shape our perceptions. Perceptions help determine the level of trust or mistrust one may have over the other.

police brutalityThe police force is expected to maintain law and order. There are moments they may be faced with huge challenges to the point of using all available means they have in calming down situation. Reasonable restraint and caution could be required.

The death of an individual may have a long term impact on his/her family. All available options, (rules of engagement) must therefore be utilized before resorting to firing live bullets.

That said, the death (killing) of one should not be avenged by attacks on the killer, rather the rule of law must be allowed to operate. When once we turn our anger on the law enforcing body, it then becomes a threat to national security.

We need to look at, and address key issues.

Local policing policy, through Partnership Boards was introduced across Sierra Leone. Can these boards get back to the table and have a thorough review?

Overall, there is need for a review of the relationship between the public and police; constant radio discussion programs, regular meetings with stakeholders will help; the media has a role to play- production of radio jingles on message of national cohesion could be of great help. All of that should help ensure a cordial working relationship.

It is good that we have an open space in terms of the use of social media. But it also has its own challenges. Given our past history, we could do ourselves good if we use it properly.

Sierra Leone policeFanning flames of anger via social media could not be the best thing to do to our nation. At the end, when there is a serious national threat, it affects us all as a country irrespective of one’s background or beliefs.

We do need the police; they have a major role to play in our growth process. They too should, however come to terms with the present day needs and expectations, and do all they could to meet them.

The public on the other hand should exercise restraint for the good of country. Without security we are bound to be ungovernable.

The Sierra Leone Police Force, close to a decade has been engaged in intensive reforms in the areas of change management and training, crime management operations and support services.

The government continues to invest huge resources into the force for the good of the country. We should not allow these successes to diminish overnight.

Security is a collective national duty, not only limited to government. These are basic societal challenges we should overcome. May commonsense prevail and may the souls of the departed youths rest well.


  1. The Ms Sylvia Blyden has just gone mad and crazy by ONLY outlawing Bondo female genital cutting on girls below 18 yrs of age. According to Ms Blyden, any girl above 17 yrs can have her private part chopped off consensually without governmental repercussions.

    There are many red blood cells or erythrocytes in a human adult, as the principal means of delivering oxygen to the body tissues and organs via blood flow through the circulatory system, than a girl-child.

    Approximately 2.4 million new erythrocytes are produced per second in human adults. The cells develop in the bone marrow and circulate for about 100–120 days in the body before their components are recycled by macrophages. Each circulation takes about 20 seconds. Approximately a quarter or 25% of the cells in the human body are red blood cells. Nearly half of the blood’s volume (40% to 45%) is red blood cells.

    See “Laura Dean. Blood Groups and Red Cell Antigens.”

    Ms Sylvia Blyden purports or claims to have a medical license but can’t see the reasoning to ban Bondo out-rightly for the well being of the girl-child and adult woman of Sierra Leone.

    What would the response of the women of Sierra Leone be if God were to ask them on that day of judgment:

    “Where are your private parts or clitorises? Would they simply say ‘we don’t know,’ and then go scot free?”

    Absolutely NOT!

    As a matter of fact, it is ONLY in ‘Sierra Leone,’ and maybe some parts of Liberia, where Bondo/Sande female genital mutilation is carried out by thoroughly sober minded illiterates and ungodly Soweis or female circumcisers with satanic devil-headed masks.

    Can’t you clearly see and comprehend or understand why it is called “Bondo Devil?”

    The definition of Devil is “the Chief evil spirit; aka Satan.”

    Consequently, Bondo female genital cutting is “evil” and must be immediately STOPPED without any delay. Amen.


  2. Is Sierra Leone’s Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Hon. Sylvia Blyden, really complete in her head, mentally sound and sober minded? Or is she just a knuckle-headed person? I just think so.

    Because she has made it abundantly clear to every sane and thoughtful reader of her “political interference” in an attempt to mask or cover up the cause of death of Late Ms Fatmata Turay. She claims that Fatmatta Turay died from “chest pain and abdominal problems,” rather than the Bondo initiation practice itself.

    May the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on Hon. Sylvia Blyden for her intransigence and hypocrisy in seeing other women’s private parts tampered with, excised and chopped off for no medical reasons whatsoever. Whereas hers is safe and sound without any Bondo Satanic Cut (BSC) on it.

    Hon. Sylvia Blyden, as somewhat lettered as she may be, is not clean and truthful at all in this Bondo traditional debate. For she is a woman that could not legislate and completely stamp out this inhumane cultural practice with a stroke of the pen and zeal in Sierra Leone. I hope she comes back to her God-given senses and stops this age-old traditional and cultural mess in the country. What a shame in the 21st century!

    In addition, I could confidently say, without any hesitation, that the cause of death of the late Ms Fatmata Turay is excessive bleeding due to the BSC or Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

    For my sister-in-law also had the same experience, and unfortunately she died in the Bondo bush. After that her entire family immediately stopped the Bondo traditional and cultural practice, with its bodily injury and lasting vaginal wound. That is sexual perversion on women.

    Of course, the Bondo traditional practice has to be stopped first in order for all Sierra Leoneans to move forward. We are under a serious curse, which must now be broken to set the captives of Bondo free.


  3. Against all odds, is life really worth living in Sierra Leone where people got unnecessarily shot to death for just participating democratically in a street protest against the actions of a senseless and barbaric government?

    What is the worth of life in a country where the remains of Late Mr. Moseray Fadika is far worthier than those vehemently gunned down in Kabala Town?

    Is life really worth living in a country where a young woman’s genital, from Late Fatmata Turay, got unnecessarily excised and chopped off to death?

    The list goes on and on.

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