Why President Koroma is again being highly commended by the International Community : He has a passion for his country’s progress and his human rights record is impeccable
President Ernest Bai Koroma is highly respected by the International Community. The United Nations Security Council high-powered delegation that recently went to Freetown on a fact-finding mission has presented its report to the UN and it was full of praise and commendation for what President Koroma is doing in Sierra Leone. The team held sessions with members of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) Government, the opposition parties, civil society, women’s groups and the press. They also received briefings from the UN Integrated Peacekeeping Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) and representatives of international organizations and the diplomatic corps in the country.
After their own personal observation and the analysis of all the feedbacks they got, the UN Security Council delegation reported that President Koroma is doing a great job in the nation. The team was pleased with preparations so far made and the structures put in place for the forthcoming elections and their belief is that the November elections will be free, fair and credible. The UN delegation also commended the government for its dialogue and constructive engagement with the opposition parties and civil society groups and for its respect for fundamental human rights. One of the diplomats who spoke to me off the camera said they were particularly impressed by the fact that there is no political prisoner in Sierra Leone and the press is one of the freest in Africa. The UN delegation also praised the developments projects being undertaken by the government to improve the quality of life of the people. Though they observed some challenges as well, the overall impression of the delegation is that Sierra Leone is making so much progress that it remains the model of a UN success story for post-conflict countries.
In December last year , the UN Peacebuilding Commission’s Sierra Leone Special Configuration sent a delegation to Freetown to study situations on the ground and preparations so far made for the forthcoming elections. They too returned with a very good report on President Koroma’s job performance and the progress being attained by the nation.
In our report , we said that ” The PBC Boss was also impressed by the fact that Sierra Leone is going through increased investments in mining and other areas. He said that this fact is palpable at the airport where people are entering the country in droves to invest. He stated that the government is doing well with the contracts which are being renegotiated to create transparency and new mineral agencies “and we applaud the fact that Sierra Leone has put together a legal and geological database. “ Ambassador Rishchynski said that Sierra Leone is well on the way to achieving economic growth and the plans to set up mineral agencies will create opportunities for interfacing with the private sector. He commended DFID, the World Bank and the UN for help being rendered in creating opportunities and conditions for extraction of minerals. The PBC Chair said Sierra Leone is deemed a best practice in business for transparency in preparing for prosperity. ” (Read the full report : http://www.cocorioko.net/?p=24112 ).
Also , this year, the AWARENESS TIMES newspaper reported : “At the prestigious The Times CEO Summit on Africa hosted in London on March 19th 2012, the UK Government Minister responsible for Africa and the United Nations, Henry Bellingham MP , tells the world how highly Ernest Bai Koroma is rated by the British Government. In the words of Henry Bellingham MP, “I don’t believe we (the UK) can have a better person than your President His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma” to ensure Sierra Leone achieves the prosperity it is seeking. The Minister glowingly described Sierra Leone Government, the President and also Finance Minister Samura Kamara. This YouTube video is a 55 seconds segment which contains the main endorsement of the man recognised as “His Excellency” by the British Government.” The Publisher, Sylvia Blyden, who herself was at the Summit , even provided this YOUTUBE video of Mr. Bellingham praising President Koroma ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8Z9PENKFdo ). We could go on and on and on.
Speaking to some of the diplomats who made the trip to Sierra Leone, one of the reasons for their good report is that President Koroma has a passion for his country’s development and progress. He has not attained perfection yet. No human system is ever perfect. There are still challenges but when they see the President’s passion for his work and his state of motivation to bring socio-economic and political development to his country, they know that there is hope for Sierra Leone. They see a President gradually making Sierra Leone a better place to live for its citizens and foreigners in their midst.
Another reason the international community is so excited about President Koroma is that he has an impeccable human rights record. Sierra Leone tops other West African nations for respect accorded to fundamental human rights and the adherance to the international standards of the observance the Rule of Law, humanitarian law and the protection of civilians and all vulnerable members of the society. Unlike other countries, there is no plitical prisoner or a prisoner of conscience in Sierra Leone . The press is free with over 50 newspapers, most of them opposition media; Civil society and women’s groups operate freely in the country. There is peace in the four corners of the country. President Koroma is the father of human rights observation and protection in Sierra Leone.
Opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) members wonder why all their lies and propaganda about the President are not holding water and why instead of being chastised by the international community, the President is always commended highly. The reasons are clear. The International Community have their own representatives in Sierra Leone monitoring the situation and the sum -total of their observation is that President Koroma is doing a magnificent job. The International Community has nothing to gain praising President Koroma unduly. They are praising him and working with him because he is the model of the right kind of leader they want to work with–focussed, efficient, effective and he has a passion for his country. Also, under him, Sierra Leone has one of the best human rights records in the world.
While interviewing members of the diplomayic corps in the UN for this article, a member of the EUROPEAN UNION ( EU ) has told Minister Plenipotentiary Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu that no member of the Commission in Brussels “slammed ” the APC Government for its brutal rule as falsely reported by the opposition SLPP online newspaper, THE NEW PEOPLE. He said that the EU has great respect for President Ernest Koroma, his leadership style and his respect for human rights. Diplomats have protocols they observe and speak within a context and through recognized channels. They do not conduct off-the-cuff interviews with lone newspaper reporters , especially providing criticisms on how another country is being governed. If the EU in Brussels has concerns, it will be expressed through the Permanent Representative to the EU, Ambassador Christian Kargbo or his recognized representative but never through a lone reporter. That is the diplomatic protocol. The opposition newspaper has been caught again in another lie.
COCORIOKO can authoritatively inform its readers that the story is false and there is no “J.J.Janneh”.