President Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday joined most of his West African/African Union counterparts, including other world leaders in Senegal to attend the inauguration ceremony of the fourth President of The Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall. Among President Koroma’s delegation were the Ministers of Information and Communications Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, Lands and country Planning, Pat Sowe, and Political Affairs Alpha Kanu. Also was the Chairman/Leader of The United Democratic Movement (U.D.M) Mohamed Bangura and the Personal Assistant to President Koroma.
President Koroma and delegation were met and welcomed on arrival at the Dakar International airport by the Sierra Leone Ambassador to Senegal H.E Khadijatu Bassir, Head of Chancery Sahr Johnny, my good self and members of staff at the Embassy and Sierra Leoneans in Senegal. The ceremony, which was security tight took place at the king Fahd Hotel in Dakar and attracted people from all over the country and beyond. What was however noticed differently, was that this inauguration ceremony unlike many was very short, no speeches besides the oath taking. The former President Abdoulaye Wade was not present to officially do the handing over to President Macky Sall. Therefore, it is one of the shortest inauguration ceremonies that I had ever witnessed, lasting not more than half an hour.
Soon after the ceremony, West African Leaders, including the African Union representatives, were summoned to a closed door emergency Meeting, to discuss the situation in Mali, where Army officers had seized power and suspended the constitution. At the end of the meeting, Economic and bilateral sanctions were reportedly imposed on the regime and an ECOWAS stand-by force being put on the alert. The coup leaders were warned in no uncertain terms to hand over and return the country to constitutional rule. It was also learnt that the United Nations Security Council is to hold a meeting on the situation in Mali. President Koroma and delegation had the opportunity to hold separate talks with President Macky Sall, bordering on economic, bilateral and other related issues.
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