''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 6

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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President Koroma Swears in Riots Commission on Birthday


President Ernest Bai Koroma has today 2nd October 2009–his birthday–sworn in the Independent Review Commission set up to review and determine the circumstances as well as establish the facts relating to (i) incidents of political violence and intolerance that occurred during the month of March 2009 in Gendema (Pujehun District), Freetown (Western Urban) and Kenema (Kenema District), and relating to the roles and responsibilities of political parties, law enforcement agencies or any other persons or groups with regards the afore-mentioned incidents of political violence and intolerance.

The other functions of the committee include to make necessary findings or conditions that shall provide a full understanding of the circumstances that resulted in the incidents and to recommend measures to be taken and mechanisms to be put in place to effectively prevent the occurrence of any such incidence in the future.

Addressing the Chairman and commissioners, President Koroma, after congratulating and thanking them for answering to "the national call and sacrifice", said they were "carefully selected after due consideration" by both the All People's Congress (APC) and the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP).

The President maintained that, "We believe you can look at it objectively and with a great thought in relation to the sensitivity of the issues", noting that Sierra Leoneans should now be prepared to put the past behind them for a better nation.

"We've come a long way in terms of showing the signs of good governance, as we have been graded by the World Bank as the country with the fastest move towards political stability, having in mind where we are coming from....We have a great responsibility to maintain this record. We should therefore discourage all isolated incidents with the tendency to reverse our gains. There must be a commitment to ensure that we don't move backwards anymore."

The Head of State commended both the APC and SLPP for in the first place signing the April 2 joint communiqué which made provision for the setting up of this committee and the just-concluded Bankole- Thompson Commission on rape allegations which were proven to be untenable in law.

"As a government, we will ensure that the communiqué and its contents are implemented to the letter."

Giving the vote of thanks, the Chairman of the Commission, E.E. Constant Shears-Moses, on behalf of his commissioners, expressed gratitude for "giving us the opportunity to serve our nation and for the confidence reposed in us," assuring the President that they are determined to succeed in this onerous task in a bid to put violence behind us .

"Having made sure you appointed people who are independent minded, we shall deliver the goods...
We shall not let you down," he declared. Other members of the commission include William J. Saffa and Brig. (Rtd.) Mustapha Kahota Dumbuya, while Harun Alrashid Bah is the Secretary.

Present at the meeting were APC Deputy Secretary General Franklyn Bai Kargbo, SLPP Women's Leader Isata Jabbie Kabba, and civil society activist Charles Mambu.

The Press Secretariat
State House
02 October 2008

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