What a shame!!
The Sierra Leonean communities in Belgium and Holland are a divided lot whose actions, if not thwarted will eventually bring shame and disgrace to the country, and portray our nation as a divided and disunited one.
These divisions have deepened so much that the opposing sides now looked at themselves as enemies and bitter rivals, even though they are from the same country.
In Holland, for the past three years, there are two Summer Outings organised by Sierra Leoneans living in Holland. That is not all. These Outings are held on the same day, the same city, the same time but different venues, and most importantly, whilst others are charging Entrance fee, the others organise theirs – pro bono (free of charge) FOC.
In Belgium, a similar scenario has been rearing its ugly head for the past two years when it comes to the Sierra Leone Independence Day celebration – two opposing groups of Sierra Leoneans will organise the Independence Day celebration on the same day, the same city and time. Like it happened in Holland, while others are asking for an Entrance fee, the other group provides everything for free including food, drinks and entrance fee.
This unfortunate wrangling has left many neutralists in a state of dilemma and keep asking where has the peaceful co-existence and tolerant attitude of Sierra Leoneans been buried?
I am not casting aspersions on any group, neither blaming any individual for the rancour and animosity prevailing now among the Sierra Leonean communities in Holland and Belgium, but the glaring truth is that these ugly developments have the tendency (if not already), to portray our country negatively among other African and non-African communities in these two neighbouring countries and even beyond as a nation of disunited people. This is a shame to all those propagating and fermenting these divisions among Sierra Leoneans.
Back home, our country prides itself for its religious tolerance and inter-tribal marriages, but only to see divided Sierra Leonean communities in Holland and Belgium.
The Embassy has been doing its best to discourage these rivalries and bring unity, but there are recalcitrant individuals whose only joy is to see these divisions continue unabated. What a shame!!
By Chernor Ojuku Sesay,
Sierra Leone Embassy,