Archive for October, 2009
The eleven years civil war in Sierra Leone that officially ended in 2002 was caused by massive youths employment, high inflation, injustice, human right abuses, lack education to name but few is still ongoing, despite the effort of International aid. All the past and present politicians pays little or no effort to solve the menace in the country rather they will embark on flamboyant promises, nice political speeches while the problems still remain.
It is no doubt why the so called Minister made such appeal. That is exactly what they are good at, and this is not the first time for such speech by politicians in both local and International gathering just for them to fine more ways to enrich themselves at the expense of the youths population. According to the 2004 census report, youths population in Sierra Leone is about 60%, only about 5% are employed in both formal and informal sector.
This is the time for we youths of the country to start facing our problems by finding possible solution to it, instead of the politicians.
Afsatu Kabbah Appeals for Youth Support in Sierra Leone
By Aruna Turay
Oct 21, 2009, 17:26
During the recent presentation ceremony at State House of the new youth wing leadership of the All People’s Congress party, the youths clearly identified Haja Afsatu Kabba as a Minister seeking the interest of the youths of Sierra Leone.
This was demonstrated recently when the dynamic Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Haja Afsatu Kabba recently appealed to the Canadian Ambassador and Permanent Representative for further Peace Building Commission (PBC) support to bail Sierra Leone out of youth unemployment.
Minister Afsatu Kabba
Minister Kabba appealed to the envoy to help Sierra Leone address the problems facing her Ministry, in relation to job creation, which, she said, was vital to the maintenance of peace.
"Youths in Sierra Leone constitute a considerable proportion of the national population and they are the constituent that is largely unemployed; a scenario that poses threats to the peace-building effort," said the Minister, adding that her Ministry can engage youths meaningfully in the fishing industry, with support from the Peace Building Fund.
The Minister further informed that poaching on Sierra Leone’s high seas cost the economy to lose $40 million in revenue. Minister Kabba informed of her anxiousness to meet certain required criteria that will help put Sierra Leone on the European Union’s list of "certified" countries, so as to be able to export marine products to Europe and generate Foreign Exchange earnings for the economy.
She said minerals are the live bread basket for Sierra Leone’s economy, adding that "Unlike minerals which do not bring in quick returns, investment in fisheries yields automatic revenue-collection".
On behalf of the President and the people of Sierra Leone, Afsatu Kabba expressed appreciation to the Canadian Chair for the Sierra Leone Country Specific Configuration.
She said an all embracing joint Maritime Committee’ has been set up and approved by Parliament to involve Navy, Maritime Administration, Immigration, Office of National Security, Office of the President and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, in order to enhance security, address drug and human trafficking and money laundering.
Source: Awareness Times
Proudly I posted on our weblog about my graduation. I’m happy about it, but it is some how late, because I was suppose to graduate last year. I was enrolled for the bachelor program in 2004/2005 academic year, and it was suppose to last for four year.
With my feeling to help other needy people, which motivated me to become a founding member of Mind to Change created setback in my educational process. After the decision to establish an Organization was taken by Ginny Mooy the main founder of the Organization Mind to Change in the Netherlands after completing her research in Sierra Leone, contacted me that she would like to come back to Sierra Leone to do something for my colleagues (Sierra Leonean).
To establish an Organization is not an easy task, because it involves time, effort, energy and money. I was not and even now not in any position to offer money, but the time, effort, energy has always been my priority to make sure that this initiative ( Mind to Change) succeed. Since we started this initiative in Sierra Leone, which is one of the poorest countries in the world we have been facing so many problems with authorities wanting to rip money from the poor Dutch woman, and gave me held lot problems that I’m blocking them from getting money from her… That used to take up my time from concentrating on my studies, because I will make sure that whatever she is doing, and wherever she is going I must be present.
In Bo Town, we faced so many problem with people that are position of trust. Like for the house issue in Bo, we paid the sum of Le 6,000,000 (1,200 Euros) for office space they ended up duping us as that is my first time to take such venture. With the registration of the Organization, we also went through so many difficulties with the powers that be, and I was the only person even though I’m know nothing about such deal, but my presence is worth wile… The most interesting thing about the society is that people with achievement does not care for the poor that is while we were going through such difficulties, because I used to tell them that Ginny is here to help us…. That was the same attitude of people in authority led to the eleven years reel war. But with the help of Ginny Mooy, and all those in one way or the other have been supporting us to continue with the work will make sure that we change things in the positive way for the young generation.
Forty three (43) live rounds of ammunitions and an empty rifle magazine have been discovered in a primary school in Freetown, the police have disclosed.
Police Media Boss, Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP Ibrahim Samura yesterday told newsmen that on Monday 5th October 2009, a teacher of the Tomsonia Primary School in Wilberforce, Freetown, Mr. Vandi Moseray, reported the discovery of a quantity of ammunition in the school compound.
“Upon this report, a combined team of CID and GD personnel visited the scene. At the scene, forty three live rounds of ammunitions and an empty magazine were discovered. Snap shots of the scene were taken,” ASP Samura explained.
It was also reported that unknown gunmen attacked a police patrol team in the early hours (02:15hr) of Tuesday 6th October 2009. The incident took place at the junction of Leicester and Gloucester. The unidentified gunmen reportedly gunned down one PC 8333 David Abu Musa attached at the Central Division who was rushed to the Connaught Hospital were he subsequently passed away. The matter is being rigorously investigated, police have assured.
The Police also seem to be highly embarrassed over what is now clearly an illegal detention of the vehicle of one of the country’s outspoken newspaper Publishers, Dr. Sylvia Blyden and two of her staff. At the same Police press briefing, Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Professional Standards, S.I.S. Koroma told pressmen that the populace should “trust” that the police would not hold anyone “beyond the 72 hours without charging them to court or freeing them”
The Sam King Stationeries Headquarter Shop, situated on Gloucester Street in Freetown, has been attacked by robbers. The thieves stormed the shop on the night of Monday October 5, 2009.
Director of Operations for the Sam King Services Stationeries Shop, Mr. Ernest Ndomahina has disclosed that the shop was firmly closed after business hours on the day in question. He said staff members were griped with shock when they report for work the next morning and noticed that one of the windows has been forced open with all it glasses smashed and blood all over the place. According to him, the police was immediately alerted even before any staff member was allowed to enter the premises.
Two police officers attached at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), were dispatched to the scene of crime. “On arrival, the police officers inspected the windows and proceeded to enter the building,” he explained adding that properties worth millions of leones, including computers and stationeries were stolen.
The matter is presently being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP).
Source: Awareness Times
A former child soldier who is one of the key founding members of Mind to Change Organization has graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in Geography Linguistics Education (B.A. Ed. Geo./Ling.).
This is a clear test of the aim of the organization being established by one Anthropologist called Ginny Mooy together with the former child soldier based on their experience with the subject (child soldier).
I voluntarily became a child soldier in a Sierra Leone’s leven years rebel due to the death of my parents in 2007. Before that time, I was being taking care of by my parents, running from one village to another in escape for our lives. But even with that, wherever we settled, my parents will make sure that I started attending school. I attended a lot of displaced school right round the country wherever we found safety.
My life was safe through education. In 2007, I was supposed to to write the Basic Education Certificate Education (B.E.C.E.), and that was the year the Arm Forces Revolutionary Council (A.F.R.C.) took over power. For the rest of the year, there was no school. In 2008, the Government asked us to write the examination and I was fortunate to pass the exams, but school was not properly functioning in Segbwema where I was attending. My parent asked me to go to Kenema, the Regional Head Quarter Town for the Eastern Region. There I got a message that rebel had killed my family.
From that time, I was having no option to continue with life but to take up volunteer work with Civil Defense Force (CDF) that was fighting to safe the lives of the peaceful citizen. CDF was a fighting force that dominated by 95% of illiterate young men without any woman. I started the volunteer work in Segbwema to write their names, pass (a document that will allow somebody to travel in their territory), and most of the administrative work for me to survive. I did that until end of the war in 1999 when the symbolic disarmament started. From there I went to Freetown, because I heard an information that there is an opportunity for children took part in the war and also those that have lost their parent.
I went to Freetown in 1999, and I was staying at Brookfield Hotel that was occupied by the CDF. Their also there was a vacancy for somebody that can read and write to take over the administrative affairs of the boys, and I applied for the position. Successfully, I was giving the position which I held for four (4) months. And we were repatriated to our various home of origin, and I choose Kenema. In Kenema, School, I was interested in doing volunteer work for people to be able to meet my day to day need including my younger brother I met in Kenema that survived the death.
Life was not easy for me, but I took my education very seriously, base on what my father used to tell me about education (may their soul rest in perfect peace). With my interest in volunteer work, one Organization went to Kenema Called Conciliation Resources with aim of providing recreation for post-conflict young people. There also I became I volunteer, and I was given Le 10,000 (2 euro) after every three months, but there was library facility without internet.
Based on my performance, I recommended to be assisting researchers that started visiting the country to do research, and one of the research felt sympathy for me with the promised that if I pass the University entrance examination will help me to have University education, which is a privilege in my country where 85% of the population is illiterate. In 2006 December, I met Ginny Mooy as a research assistance to her, and she felt deep sympathy for my situation and we became friends. From there we found out that we have similar ideas about the world, we decided to start this organization.
What a child soldier is needs no further explanation. We’ve all seen pictures and news-footage of young boys and girls fighting wars. Still, even though the images speak for themselves, questions remain. What is it like having to fight, when you’re still a kid? Movies like Blood Diamond give us a little insight, but always from an external perspective. Biased, and for the sake of box office numbers not diving into the details of this difficult and complex subject.
Through what we see in the media we tend to think of child soldiers as people who are severely traumatized, and will remain violent for the rest of their lives. The question arises whether these people even stand a chance of becoming normal citizens again. A justified question as such, since most of us believe that once you’ve killed someone you’ll always be a killer. No matter how much sense that makes to us, to the child soldiers it seems unfair. Especially when you realize the things they have to endure to leave their pasts behind them, trying to gain acceptance from their communities again. Being treated as ‘ruined for life’ is an added burden with a devastating effect on their lives.
We mean well, being genuinely concerned about them. We can’t even begin to think what it would be like had we been forced to kill when we were only children, and somehow it’s hard to believe we would ever be able to.
But that’s exactly what I’d like to ask you to do. Imagine what it would be like to be a child-soldier. Sit down, take your time, and close your eyes in-between sentences if you like. Imagine finding yourself in a dusty landscape. Derelict, bullet-ridden buildings to your left, lush green forest to your right. You’re eight years old. So far life has been all school and play, but now you find yourself in the midst of a violent and cruel war. An mob of rebels, raging with fury, appears from behind one of the huts, carrying enormous machetes and automatic rifles. The biggest one of them appears to be the leader, a black bandana covering his right eye. A vicious scar trails along the left side of his face. In a blur of bone-chilling screams, your grandparents are slaughtered before your very eyes. The noise takes control of your mind as you watch people scatter in all directions. Bullets are tearing through the air like a hailstorm. Your dad grabs you and together with your mother you make a run for the bush.
UNITED NATIONS — Eight more UN member states have agreed to sign on to the 2007 Paris Commitments aiming to protect children from being recruited by armed forces or armed groups.
Albania, Guinea, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Jamaica, Liechtenstein, Panama and Senegal endorsed the commitments on Tuesday at a ministerial session, bringing to 84 the number of countries which have done so.
The Paris Commitments were adopted in February 2007 as an expression of strengthened international resolve to prevent the recruitment of children and highlight the actions governments should take to protect children affected by conflict.
"It is important that all children, whether they have joined an armed group by force or by circumstance, have access to vital assistance to help them reintegrate and lead empowered and productive lives, said Ann Veneman, the executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund.
"The support for the ?Paris Principles? and new endorsements show that the international community is mobilized to stop this unbearable phenomenon," said Alain Joyandet, France’s junior minister for cooperation.
Around a quarter of a million children are fighting in the ranks of armed groups across the world, down from around 300,000 five years ago, according to UN officials.