Monrovia – A statement attributed to Sierra Leonean President Ernest Ba Koroma suggesting that “Liberia is a Disgrace to the Mano River Union”, is being strongly debunked by the President’s office.
Report by Rodney D. Sieh, firstname.lastname@example.org
“President Koroma and the government of Sierra Leone will never interfere in the politics of a sister country since it is the sovereign right of Liberians, just as Sierra Leoneans would do on March 2018, to determine who should govern them. To this end, let me seize the opportunity to wish you a peaceful electioneering process.”
Responding to a FrontPageAfrica inquiry Tuesday, Presidential Spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay described the post making the round the social medium Facebook as being “not only spurious, but a rather futile attempt by whosoever to throw spanners in the already ongoing excellent bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and Liberia as well as the solid existing cooperation at various multilateral levels including the MRU, ECOWAS the UN et al.”
Mr. Bayraytay added: “President Koroma and the government of Sierra Leone will never interfere in the politics of a sister country since it is the sovereign right of Liberians, just as Sierra Leoneans would do on March 2018, to determine who should govern them. To this end, let me seize the opportunity to wish you a peaceful electioneering process.”
The statement attributed to the Sierra Leonean President was allegedly made after the President is said to have addressed the nation last Friday, and was made after Friday prayers. But a spokesperson in the Sierra Leonean government told FrontPageAfrica that the post is “fake news”.
Mr. Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary for Sierra Leone at the United Nations told FrontPageAfrica: “First of all, President Koroma is a Christian and does not attend Friday prayers. Secondly, would you expect a man like President Ernest Bai Koroma, who is not only a seasoned leader, but an exemplary diplomat —Chair of the African Union Committee of 10 on UN Security Council Reform–to make such a statement?
“Liberia is one of the closest nations bound to Sierra Leone by enduring familial and cultural ties and she enjoys tremendous love and goodwill from our nation. President Koroma would never say that about any country, let alone Liberia. You know that the social media is infested with fake news. It is not true.”
The Statement attributed to the Sierra Leonean President reportedly states: “Liberia is a disgrace to the MRU” according to his Excellency. Charles Taylor and Prince Johnson shouldn’t be given any attention in any normal environments. I’m surprised to see these two men being glorified in this electoral process.
“I observe Liberians to have love for killers. In my country, all those who killed our people including their close friends were all kicked out of public offices. Liberia is such a country that cannot be predicted. We are tired of living in fear. They behave sometimes like children playing under moonlight.”
Liberia and Sierra Leone have always enjoyed strong ties although a bit tense during the presidencies of Samuel Kanyon Doe and Charles Taylor.
In 1983, Army General Thomas Quiwonkpa fled to Sierra Leone after being charged with attempting a Coup d’etat. During the Taylor reign, Sierra Leone Armed Forces clashed with the Armed Forces of Liberia, which left several people dead.
During the sessions of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, prosecutors claimed that Charles Taylor had actively participated in directing from Liberia the strategies of the Revolutionary United Front, a rebel group in Sierra Leone; among the allegations was that he had arranged to transport RUF commanders to Monrovia to meet with them personally.
In 2007, the two countries signed a non-aggression pact when Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma took office.
The two countries also share similar histories as both were destinations for former slaves from the Americas as well as people rescued by the British Navy from slave ships en route to the Americas.
Those who were resettled in both territories became known as Krios and Americo-Liberians respectively, and eventually formed the local elites of both states. Liberia became independent in 1847, while Sierra Leone remained a colony of the United Kingdom until 1961.