''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 2

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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Friday May 9, 2014 - As the search for more than two hundred abducted girls gets even greater momentum, former UK Prime Minister and UN envoy Gordon Brown launches the Safe School Initiative to make other schools other than Chibok safe for children. Meanwhile at State House in Freetown, the rat sits tight knowing that within his kitchen closet are perpetrators of school children abduction, war bride, rape and murder.

The UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is now in Abuja, Nigeria and he has told the BBC this morning that he has spoken with US Secretary of State John Kerry, top government leaders in his country UK, France and China in an effort to co-ordinate the search for the more than 200 school girls abducted from their school in Chibok by the terrorists and mindless killers calling themselves Boko Haram.

Mr Brown told BBC TV this morning that the countries offering Nigeria help are not only concentrating on getting the children back, but initiating plans that would ensure that other schools in Nigeria are safe for children to study in peace, devoid of any fears for their safety that would impact on their education. On his website before today's interview from Abuja, he noted

"Starting with 500 schools as the pilots in northern states, the “Safe Schools Initiative” will focus on school and community interventions, with special measures for the most at-risk and vulnerable children.

The initiative will build community security groups to promote safe zones for education, consisting of teachers, parents, police, community leaders and young people themselves. In the longer-term, the initiative will focus on bolstering the physical protection of schools, providing school guards and police in partnership with Nigerian authorities, training staff as school safety officers, providing communications tools and school counsellors.

The initiative will also work to help schools create school security plans and work with the government to develop a rapid response system so that even when faced with attacks, response units are set up to quickly repair or rebuild, and destroyed education material is replaced."

Meanwhile a very worried world is increasing pressure on both terrorists and the government of President Goodluck Jonathan to do whatever they can to deliver the girls, some of whom are believed to have already died from the rigours they had been subjected to since their abduction by the terrorists who not only razed the school but shot and burnt their way through any structure and human being that came their way.

The Nigerian government has been blamed for inaction when news first broke of the abduction of the school children wanting to play down the whole event.

The hapless so-called First Lady Patience, is reported to have ordered the arrest of the protest leaders who had gone to Abuja to ask the government about the whereabouts of their children. After massive pressure, the women were released and the campaign "Bring Back Our Children" continued with even greater zeal as rising apprehension on the fate of the school children rose.

The Nigerian army, on its part got a real scorching when it initially told the international media outlets that all but a few of the school children had been rescued from their kidnappers. That was a deliberate and wicked lie that did the image of the Nigeria security forces and the government of President Goodluck Jonathan a really big blow. Sierra Leone's First Lady Sia Koroma - time to act in solidarity now. Photo: African Young Voices

Resident and parents from Chibok denied the claims by the security forces insisting that the school girls had not been "rescued" as the security forces claimed, but were still in the hands of their abductors. More evidence emerged from the parents and others in the Chibok area nailing the lie of the government and security forces.

Some of the girls who escaped from the hands of their abductors told the Nigerian and international media that the men who raided their school were in Nigerian military colours and who assured them that they were from the military who had decided to move them from the school for their safety. However the heavy shooting, the razing of buildings and other evil acts convinced them that these men were not what they claimed to be and slipped from their hands.

Reports from Chibok itself, soon after the abductions would seem to indicate that the Nigerian security forces were too stretched and could not cope with the ravaging hordes of Boko Haram and despite assurances that they were on top of the game, were forced to admit failure and have the government request and accept outside help.

What has been played out in Nigeria is reminiscent of our own dark days when rebel forces aided by men wearing the colours of the Sierra Leone national army would engage in the mass kidnap of children from all places they can be found - homes, schools and places of worship. These were later to become victims of rape, torture and amputation and murder. Those who survived and were forced not only to have sex with the beasts but were to bear children of the beasts. These were the so-called war brides.

Our very own Zainab Hawa Bangura knows enough about these atrocities.

Those who carried out such wanton atrocities against children in Sierra Leone are still in place enjoying the protection of the rat. Now is the time for the rat to come out and condemn what happened in Nigeria with a vow that beasts engaged in such practices should be brought to justice.

We know he would not because deep within his kitchen government are those who encouraged such acts against defenceless and unprotected civilians.

The BBC has reported that US security officials are now on the ground in Nigeria and could well be providing such vital items like intelligence, aerial surveillance and group and individual tracking systems to locate and bring back the surviving girls who have been in the hands of their abductors since April 14, 2014.

US Secretary of State John Kerry says a specialist team is set to start work in Nigeria to help find more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by militants. He said the US team, working with the Nigerian government, would do everything possible to free the girls. Earlier, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said he hoped "a turning point" had been reached in the fight against Islamist insurgents Boko Haram. Nigeria has been criticised for its slow response to the kidnappings.The schoolgirls were seized from their boarding school on the night of 14 April in the town of Chibok in north-eastern Borno state.

We are now calling on our very own First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma to join the call of solidarity with the parents of Nigeria. We call on her, a mother too, to organise a rally this weekend in support of all those forces seeking to make school children safe not only in Nigeria but all over the world. Go for it First Lady Sia. Go for it and show solidarity with other mothers and parents.

Join Michelle Obama, the US First Lady in this campaign.

Yearning for the mother country?

The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002