''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 9 No 5

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 March 18, 2012 - The second term syndrome - Desperate Ernest Bai Koroma arms the APC armed wing, the OSD. Incidents of violence against the main opposition SLPP in the past a dress rehearsal for rigging November polls in favour of the smoke and mirrors President Ernest Bai Koroma using intimidation and extreme violence as the tactics of choice.David Sesay - the true face and disciple of the armed wing of the APCFrancis Munu - the new face of terror in Sierra Leone

It does not require the wisdom of Solomon nor the detective skills of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot to read through the plot of the Ernest Bai Koroma government to know that reports so far of recorded violence against the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party, the SLPP, by the ruling APC party had been a dress rehearsal for the November polls this year. It has been and continues to be a test of the resolve of the people of Sierra Leone as well as the international community, including the guarantors of our fragile peace to put in place all the necessary measures that would prevent Sierra Leone going back to a crisis situation that would threaten the stability, peace and democratic credentials of a country that is emerging from a brutal war, the genesis of which could be traced to the terrible governance of the past. This is now reinvented, recreated and nurtured by an APC set-up led by Ernest Bai Koroma and his thugs aimed at getting a second term in office at all costs.

It is no accident nor a chance incident that the Shears-Moses report lies unattended and not acted upon by President Ernest Bai Koroma as the contents, indeed the recommendations of that report had exposed the government as being a part of a master plan to rig the November polls for a desperate Ernest Bai Koroma who would do anything, we mean everything to get his much-desired second term. These are examples of part of the dress rehearsal for the violence and elections-rigging planned before, during and after the November polls that would see elections in opposition strongholds postponed after violence and acts of intimidation initiated by the APC. This is nothing new as we know the APC and what they are capable of doing when it comes to vote-rigging and bad governance. We would urge our dear readers to ask one E. T. Kamara who was at one time Secretary General of the APC how the postponed Bo elections ended with all eight APC candidates declared unopposed.

September 17, 2007: Freetown - The Day President Koroma was sworn in, APC supporters and thugs vandalized and comprehensively looted the SLPP Headquarters in Freetown. One man reported killed. No police investigation into the death of a Sierra Leonean as then Police Chief Brima Acha Kamara publicly stated that the acts of vandalism were carried out by SLPP supporters who had not been paid by the party.

March 12, 2009: Ward 323, Sorogbema Chiefdom, Pujehun District - Elements of the APC led by the Resident Minister Southern Region, Mr. Musa Tarawally and backed by a contingent of armed OSD police officers and APC party supporters imported from Bo and other areas brutalized residents in the Ward. Some people, mainly women and children, were forced to flee across the border into neighbouring Liberia, while others hurriedly fled into the surrounding bushes. Vehicles and motorcycles belonging to SLPP campaigners were destroyed and burnt down. The wife of an SLPP Chiefdom Chairman was stabbed.

March 16, 2009: SLPP Headquarters - Freetown - In broad day light, the APC thugs aided by the police, launched another raid on the SLPP headquarters in Freetown and this time succeeded in entering the office. These hoodlums comprehensively vandalized the party office, looting and carting away anything they could lay hands on. At least two vehicles belonging to opposition party members were set on fire as elements close to the ruling party and State House aid and abet the violence.

September 9, 2011: Bo - The SLPP Flag Bearer and supporters were attacked by APC supporters and thugs in which the newly-elected flag bearer Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, was seriously injured.

September 3, 2011: Koidu Town, Kono District - The nation yet again witnessed violence by APC. This time, it was APC members shooting at each other in Kono. The APC Minister of Internal Affairs, Musa Tarawally accompanied by armed security personnel, was attacked by alleged thugs of the APC Vice President Sam Sumana in Koidu Town.

In all the reported incidents involving the main opposition SLPP and the ruling APC, it has always been, without any exception, opposition SLPP members who would be hauled before the courts whose officials and functionaries are slowly beginning to compromise justice in favour of the ruling APC. This was the same situation that led to our troubles. The shooting incidents and clashes in Kono involving APC functionaries only has not been properly investigated nor acted upon if so done because it was the APC vs APC - the same parts of an untouchable law-breaking and violent entity.

That is why we are requesting the United Nations Security Council to view the recent importation of war weapons for the use of the armed wing of the APC, known as the OSD of the Sierra Leone Police as something extremely serious and very dangerous for a country that is still trying to consolidate the gains made after a brutal war that left thousands killed, hundreds of thousands raped and millions traumatised.

The international community and the guarantors of our peace are therefore requested to revisit UN Security Council Resolutions 1940 and 1941 of 2010.

We would urge them to seriously consider the redeployment of UN blue helmets from Liberia into Sierra Leone to provide the necessary security for the November polls. We would also advise that those UN blue helmets so deployed contain elements of the previous mission who know the country well. They should not be total strangers but staffed by troops who had served in Sierra Leone and overseen elections in 2002.

Below - our observations last year. Little did we know that the government was already making preparations for arming the OSD, the armed wing of the APC party.

Wednesday September 7, 2011 - Political violence and the threat of violence - guarantors of Sierra Leone's fragile peace and fledgling democracy must act now lest things get out of hand with disastrous consequences. We do not have to wait for a Kenya-type post-election violence and subsequent ICC trials. Time to act...and now.Vice President Sam Sumana - another power-hungry APC operative

Reports that there had been violent confrontations between supporters of two key members of the ruling party headed by President Ernest Bai Koroma must be taken very seriously, not only by Sierra Leoneans who have had to put up with more than forty years of political violence and now want to enjoy peace, but by the international community which has tagged Sierra Leone as a post-conflict country that is oMusa Tarawally - the APC's new thug on the block - Photo: Internet sourcesn the right path to peace, democracy and the rule of law.

Reports say that Interior minister Musa Tarawally (left) and Vice President Sam Sumana (right) have been named as being at the core of the disturbances in Kono district where it is reported that Musa Tarawally whose responsibilities include the police has taken upon himself to have a phalanx of state-paid armed OSD (renamed Siaka Stevens ISU attack beasts) police officers whom he directs and orders to discharge weapons with deadly consequences. It is to be recalled that violence and the threat of violence against perceived opponents, had for a long long time been the calling card of the All People's Congress (APC) party since the time of Siaka Stevens with the army drafted in to serve such political purposes when Rtd Major-General Joseph Saidu Momoh took over from him.

Guarantors of our peace and democracy must also note that even after the then ruling SLPP accepted the result of the 2007 polls that ushered in the Ernest Bai Koroma administration, every excuse has been manufactured to attack SLPP members ranging from the sacking of the SLPP offices through allegations of rape by APC operatives to the use of excrement in Kono on the offices of the SLPP in Kono.

It will also be recalled that one SLPP Presidential aspirant, Usu Boie Kamara was prevented by the police when he tried to enter the district to campaign support from SLPP members in the district. We have seen the illegal use of state security forces in the political arena before and how this plunged the country into our troubles and we would urge the government to take all necessary steps to ensure that personnel of the national security forces are not used by individuals for political and other purposes.

The Sierra Herald condemns any politician who makes it a duty to be accompanied by armed personnel in a country that is no longer at war. We would urge the government to rein in the excesses of the Interior minister and the Defence minister Paolo Conteh who love to parade armed men as their personal security detail.

All ministers are supposed to be "protected" by trained and qualified bodyguards from the Special Branch of the Sierra Leone Police. It worked in the Sierra Leone of yore where the rule of law was supreme and we see no reason why it should not work now. The display of firepower is bound to create disaffection within certain sections of the community and this is not good for our fledgling democracy and new-found peace.

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