Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma has expressed concern over the latest political developments in Guinea. He spoke at a news conference at the country’s State House on Tuesday September 29th. Sierra Leone shares boundaries with Guinea. Guinea has been very instrumental in pre-conflict Sierra Leone, especially during Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war that lasted for over a decade. Guinea became host country to many Sierra Leoneans, including ex-Sierra Leone’s President Tejan Kabbah when his government was overthrown by the military Armed Forces Revolutionary Council regime of Johnny Paul Koroma in 1997. The country also helped to put an end to Sierra Leone’s civil conflict, an assistance that saw the forceful occupation of Yenga, a Sierra Leonean territory along the Guinea/Sierra Leone borders.
Guinea has had military intervention in its political setup, the latest being the current government of Moussa Dadis Camera, following the death of President Lansana Conte. Conte also came to power through a military takeover and served as President until his death in 2008. However there have been several calls from Guineans for the military to stay off from the country’s political arrangements, an act that led to recent fracas between the military and civilians, leading to the death of over 90 civilians.
When commenting on that situation, President Ernest Koroma stated that as a government, they are ‘observing the situation in Guinea’ with the greatest interest and that the position of government is that, at this critical stage of Guinea‘s development, the international community, especially ECOWAS and MRU should engage with the leadership in Guinea to finding lasting solution to the current problem.
According to the President, Guinea should be helped to restore democratic progress in place in an effort that ‘what is happening in Guinea does not deteriorate further’. ‘Personally’, the President said ‘we are contacting the leadership in Guinea to ensure the situation returns to normalcy…’ However, the chairman for the Opposition People’s Movement for Democratic Change, Mohamed Bangura, has on behalf of his party condemned the brutal killing of peaceful demonstrators in Guinea.
Meanwhile, the President who used the occasion to brief the press about the successes of his government since he came to power two years ago, also said that his government has gone miles in meeting the challenges of the time and that they have made strides in brining development for the people.
Speaking on the fight against corruption, President Koroma stated that this was given a priority by his government and that the Anti Corruption Commission has prepared a strategy which they are working on and revealed that they have prosecuted over 16 cases, and ‘the commission has recovered about one billion leans as money that would have been deprived of the state…’
He paid tribute to the international community especially DFID and other development partners for their continued support to Sierra Leon and also called on Sierra Leoneans to work together for the growth of the country.
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