''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol XI No 8

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Monday May 25, 2015 - Dare we forget? They wish. No way. For it was on this day 18 years ago in 1997 that the beasts were let loose upon an unsuspecting nation that was testing out new democratic principles even as the RUF did its best to gain power by whatever means - murder, abduction, rape, arson and looting.

No one at that time will ever forget that Saturday night as it turned into a Sunday morning. The sounds of heavy firing could not be dismissed as another prank by unruly security forces testing their firearms. The intensity and sounds including loud explosions suggested that this was more than met the ear. What made many suspect that things were amiss was the constant play and replay of Christian religious tunes by an announcer on duty on the national radio station, the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service, the SLBS, who from his voice, was not so sure of what was going on, nor what to tell listeners.

Again we would like to reiterate that the coup announced by one Staff Sergeant Gborie and whose unrecognised "government" became known as the AFRC headed by one Major Johnny Paul Koroma, who was on trial for an alleged coup attempt against the Kabbah government, was not a popular one. Press freedom was curtailed and all journalists perceived as anti-AFRC/RUF were subjected to massive repression with arbitrary arrests and detentions.

Despite all what had happened, with the disruption of democratic governance from May 25, 1997 to time they were ousted after nine months of brutal dictatorship, elements of junta supporters would still want their readers to believe that the ousted SLPP government ruled for 11 uninterrupted years from 1996 to 2007 deliberately and conveniently forgetting the dastardly military interregnum of the beasts.


Monday May 18, 2015 - Rewarding evil in Sierra Leone as operatives of the RUF/AFRC are given top positions to lord it over their surviving victims. Kicking the victims of their atrocities in the teeth. The Judiciary now an arm of the Executive.

On Tuesday April 21, this year the authorities in Germany decided that one of the guards at the infamous concentrations camps must stand trial for complicity in the mass murders committed by those who gave the orders as well as those who actually carried out the physical elimination of their fellow human beings. According to the BBC "Prosecutors in Lueneburg, northern Germany, also allege that he hid victims' luggage away from new arrivals, to disguise the victims' fate.

In Sierra Leone, despite the horrors visited on perceived opponents of the RUF/AFRC coalition of evil led by one Johnny Paul Koroma we now see those who took part directly or indirectly in the mass murder, rape and abduction of civilians given top roles in Sierra Leone. This is aimed at sending a message to surviving victims and the relations of those who were murdered in the most horrendous of circumstances that the thing which passes as a government in Sierra Leone is more interested in rewarding the perpetrators than compensating the survivors and the relations of the dead.


Wednesday April 29, 2015 - Lest we forget. On this day 23 years ago, something historic happened that was to shake the very foundation and inner fibre of an uncaring political setup that had practically enslaved the people of Sierra Leone. Twenty three years ago today, the autocratic and uncaring APC leadership and government was kicked out of power by soldiers from the war front and in all that time lessons have refused to be learnt.Internationally-recognised new Head of State of Sierra Leone Captain Valentine Strasser. His group ended 24 years of APC autocratic and murderous rule.

It was on this day - on a Wednesday too that the sounds of war was brought to the ears of residents in Freetown who had been made to believe that the war against the Foday Sankoh band of killers was a far-off event that they could not be bothered about. They were of the considered view that soon the war would be brought to an end. It was on that Wednesday twenty three years ago that Freetown residents saw for the first time a twin-barrelled anti aircraft gun mounted on a truck in front of a State House that used to be the office of President Joseph Saidu Momoh. Curious onlookers, not understanding what the heavy sounds they were hearing in the early hours of that morning made their way towards State House to see for themselves the unexpected and folding drama and indeed the security forces had a hard time holding them back - so keen were the widening crowds to witness what was unfolding.

The first set of journalists on the scene and who were invited to the gates of State House by soldiers at the gates were told by three of them that they had travelled throughout the night to be at their present position because they wanted to protest to the government of President Joseph Saidu Momoh about the way they were being treated by the government. They complained of the lack of logistics and all what was needed to successfully end the war against the rebels. Despite the presence of soldiers at the gates of State House, many doubted that it was the first moves of a military coup against the APC. The reason being - many had been hanged and imprisoned by an APC setup that had been in power for 24 years during which every trick in the book was employed to have them stay in power with a One Party Constitution thrown into the circus that made the APC the only legal party in Sierra Leone.

Those who dared oppose the government - be they APC party activists, not to talk about the then muzzled opposition were locked up, with some tried for treason and hanged as deemed fit by the autocratic regime that had become more uncaring and less accommodating of dissenting views. All became clear when in what had been described as an ill-advised move, then President Joseph Saidu Momoh went on air at the SLBS, the national broadcaster to tell the nation that the men at State House were a group of "misguided" soldiers.


Sunday March 29, 2015 - UK military hospital ship ends mission in Sierra Leone. Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Argus is awarded rare honour, an Admiralty Board Letter of Commendation for Ebola mission. Reports say this is the first time this award has been granted to an operational unit.

The Royal Navy hospital ship the RFA Argus set sail from the shores of Sierra Leone on Friday 27th March 2015 having completed its vital mission to Sierra Leone in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease, a scourge which has claimed more than ten thousand lives in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea with Sierra Leone recording over three thousand of those who perished. In an article Sam Bannister of the Portsmouth News outlet, wrote - "Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Argus, which carried servicemen and women from Portsmouth, is heading back to the UK after deploying to Sierra Leone in September to provide air and medical support efforts against the killer disease. In recognition of her efforts and deployments spanning back to 1982, defence secretary Michael Fallon has now awarded Argus an Admiralty Board Letter of Commendation. It is believed to be the first time this award has been granted to an operational unit. The last similar award was made in 1939 to the family of Captain Edward Kennedy, who was killed when his ship HMS Rawalpindi was sunk following action against the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Mr Fallon said: ‘During her deployment to Sierra Leone, Argus has made a significant contribution to the UK’s effort to halt the spread of Ebola.

Captain David Buck in charge of operations is quoted as saying that he was extremely proud of everything that Argus and her people have contributed to the mission in Sierra Leone over the past six months. The Argus has helped to establish the crucial medical treatment centres and has provided vital transport capability allowing medical workers to reach the areas most affected by the disease and by providing medical reassurance to the British personnel deployed to the region. ‘From delivering helicopters and Harrier jets to the Falklands conflict in 1982, to acting as a casualty receiving ship in the first Gulf War in 1991 and Adriatic in 1993, Argus has made her mark in a significant way.’ Over six months, the ship’s three Merlin helicopters and detachment from 1 Assault Group Royal Marines helped deliver much-needed equipment, supplies and food packages to remote areas of Sierra Leone. "The award of the Admiralty Board Commendation for Argus’ lifetime contribution to defence is a huge honour that I am privileged to accept on behalf of all of those who have served in her over the course of 33 years service."


Sunday March 8, 2015 -The world observes International Women's Day with a theme that calls on all those in authority to make the lot of the woman easier. This year's theme "Make It Happen" is an urgent call to all governments to treat women as equals in terms of opportunities.The blood soaked body of the murdered Musu Conteh. She was killed while protesting for her rights in Sierra Leone

The world is today celebrating the lives of women while calling on all those in authority to put words on paper into action and give women their rightful place in all spheres of public endeavour. Indeed as Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, for International Women’s Day 2015 has noted in this year's message - "Women want their leaders to renew the promises made to them. They want leaders to recommit to the Beijing Declaration, to the Platform for Action, and to accelerated and bolder implementation. They want more of their leaders to be women. And they want those women, together with men, to dare to change the economic and political paradigms. Gender parity must be reached before 2030, so that we avert the sluggish trajectory of progress that condemns a child born today to wait 80 years before they see an equal world. Today, on International Women’s Day, we call on our countries to “step it up” for gender equality, with substantive progress by 2020. Our aim is to reach ‘Planet 50:50’ before 2030. The world needs full equality in order for humanity to prosper. Empower women, empower humanity. I am sure you can picture an equal world!"

Today is a time to remember the fate of women (and indeed girls) in Sierra Leone where rape and other forms of violence against them appear to be encouraged by the law as victims are subjected to all manner of tactics aimed at discouraging them from reporting while protecting their abusers. We have in the past highlighted the plight of women and girls and how they are treated like wares to be used and abused as thought fir by the oppressors and rapists passing off as government and other officials. It is no secret that pupils and students at various strata of education are forced to endure abuse and molestation at the hands of the looters of state coffers just so they can pay their way through school. The International Rescue Committee's unit in Sierra Leone in one report talks about rape victims reaching a mindset where instead of outing their violators get blamed for the outrage committed against them - "women and girls are regularly blamed for the rapes they suffer and assailants are rarely prosecuted...a dedicated team help dozens of girls like Fulamatu every month at the IRC’s three Rainbow Centres – facilities that provide medical care, counselling, legal aid and educational support for survivors of sexual violence...the vast majority of clients are girls who have been sexually assaulted by men whom they know — neighbours, relatives, even pastors. And this is Sierra Leone, peace time Sierra Leone - a country that should have woken up from the nightmare of the war in which rape was used as a weapon of war. Today is also a day for all decent and justice-loving Sierra Leoneans and friends of Sierra Leone to remember one woman. Musu Conteh who was shot and killed by machine gun wielding state forces because she dared to lead a protest against working conditions at Bumbuna.

As Sierra Leone struggles to eradicate the Ebola Virus Disease from our communities, we pay our respects and homage to all those women in the front lines - those women who put their lives at risk to comfort the affected and who in turn got the disease and passed away. We salute the women health delivery workers - the nurses and doctors, mothers, grand mothers, relations and all those who risked everything including their lives so that others may live. We salute all our women health delivery workers praying that the Good Lord will reward them.

We salute women all over the world and pray that the oppressed and enslaved will be free and given equal rights one fine day.


Sunday February 15, 2015 - It is another Sunday and all who fear and believe in the powers of the Good Lord would be singing His praises, praying that all those who made money, all those who gained/benefited from the death and suffering of thousands of Sierra Leoneans would get their just due.Sierra Leone's Auditor-General Mrs Lara Taylor-Pearce

We had stated it all along - that the uncaring rat and his cabal were in the fight against the dreaded and deadly Ebola Virus Disease for one and only one thing - making money from the suffering masses. They never cared about the misery of Sierra Leoneans. They never really cared about the many suffering families affected by the ravaging disease. They never cared about the many health care workers including cleaners, drivers, nurses and doctors who perished in the frontlines as they threw everything they had to try and combat and possibly halt the rampaging disease that was claiming and continues to claim the lives of many Sierra Leoneans in towns, communities and families. All the uncaring beasts of no nation were interested in was - how much money they could make out of the suffering and death that is a hallmark of the Ebola Virus Disease. The new audit report of the Auditor General titled "Report on the Audit of the Management of the Ebola Funds" has confirmed what we had suspected and many knew all along. That the rat and his accomplices would not think twice about walking on the corpses of the Ebola dead to grease their filthy pockets, increase their bank accounts and show off their blood-dripped wealth to shameless admirers who feed deep on corruption, rot and filthy lucre. And this is just the tip of the iceberg or as somebody put it - we are just seeing the nostrils of the hippo of corruption with the main activities controlled by the rat himself yet to emerge and we do hope that the tax payers of the Western countries especially those in EU countries and the United States would now sit up and take a good look at the ogre they had been dealing with parading himself as the President of our rich but extremely poor country - Sierra Leone. Kindly take a look at a part of the report on the cesspit that is the main referral hospital in the capital Freetown - the Connaught Hospital in front of which we saw a picture that depicts the state of Sierra Leone's health delivery system with pigs - piglets and lactating sows at the entrance of a once-pristine and fit for purpose establishment.

On this Sunday, February 15, 2015 - we pray that the Good Lord as the Great Judge will punish all those who stole funds meant for the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease. Now we know why Pallor Conteh was made head of the Ebola Response Centre. Now we know why, despite reports of the Auditor General, the thieving rat has never used his executive powers to punish thieves - (he's one of them.) Now we know why he could use the state of emergency to lock up journalists he is displeased with, locks up people in Kono but fails to use the same powers to bring to book all those mentioned in the latest report. May they all, everyone of them we pray eat of the bread of sorrow as we pray that the Good Lord in His mercy will have pity on the victims of these heartless and shameless uncaring and thieving cabal. AMEN


Tuesday January 6, 2015 - Lest we forget - it was on this day sixteen years ago in 1999 that the murderous band of rapists, arsonists, abductors and beasts in human form collectively known as the AFRC/RUF coalition of evil otherwise known as the beasts invaded the country's capital Freetown unleashing mindless violence on civilians whose only crime was that they had cried for freedom and justice. Over five thousand were killed.

Now sixteen years later we have to keep reminding the world of what these sub-humans did to Sierra Leoneans. We published this reminder in 2012 - again so that those who were not yet born or indeed could not understand why they were the target of these sub-humans could get to know more and appreciate the sacrifices made by others that Sierra Leone may be free of the scourge, of the pestilence that was the Johnny Paul Koroma/Foday Sankoh war machine of unbridled cruelty and mass murder that could have shamed the hordes of Genghis Khan of yore. We continue to see the beneficiaries of this mayhem in their justification for the mindless mayhem insisting that it was all the fault of the late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah - that he should have had a dialogue with the beast Foday Sankoh and that if he had done that Sierra Leone would have been spared. This is like saying that because Winston Churchill of England refused to sit at a table with another beast named Adolf Hitler, the persecution of the Jews, the enslavement of many of the peoples of Europe in countries that were overrun by the Nazi war machine, the concentration camps should be put squarely at the foot of Winston Churchill. May the Good Lord punish all those who continue to justify the carnage unleashed upon the innocent and unarmed civilians of Sierra Leone.

Kindly allow us to remind you of the opening lines of the summary of the Human Rights Watch report on the January 6, 1999 atrocities - "Sierra Leone - Getting Away with Murder, Mutilation, Rape"

"As the rebels took control of street after street, they turned their weapons on the civilian population. By the end of January, both government and independent sources estimated that several thousands of civilians had been killed. The rebels dragged entire family units out of their homes and murdered them, hacked off the hands of children and adults, burned people alive in their houses, and rounded up hundreds of young women, took them to urban rebel bases, and sexually abused them. At the trial of Charles Taylor, one RUF commander who was among those who entered Freetown one Alimamy Bobson Sesay painted a graphic picture of what they did to civilians after they were forced from State House. We pray that the Good Lord in His mercy will grant all those who perished the peace only He can give. That survivors of the mindless violence would be comforted by His Grace. AMEN


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