Hinga Norman was responsible for bad blood between Army and local defence unit



Friday September 23, 2005

First_Name:  Marian
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Comments:  Hinga Norman was responsible for the Bad Blood between the Sierra Leone Army and the local defense unit

The local Defense unit first started in Tongo when the people of Bambara chiefdom approached the military commander in Kenema that they wanted to put together their local hunters to help the Army defend Tongo and its environs .There relationship with the army at that time very good . They armed themselves with shot guns(single Barrel) and all their logistics was provided by their local leaders. They never operated or undertook operations by themselves ,neither did they have specific areas of responsibility. They operated purely under the command of the Army.


With the Tongo example other areas followed suite and formed their local defense units all under the guidance of the Army. When Kono fell in 1993 it was the local Tamamboro from Kabala who along side the army liberated Kono from the RUF.By then the kono people did not have a local defense unit. It was after the second Attack on kono that they also formed the Donso to help defend Kono.On the southern front there were local vigilante group operating and one such group was under Norman’s control. Since he was the regent chief of Tailu Bongoh and as an ex military man he was given the free hand to coordinate with his vigilantes without much interference.


When the SLPP came to power and appointed Norman to the Position of Under secretary of Defense (USOD) his first agenda was to convert the local defense unit into a private army under his direct command. For God sake readers how can you be the political head of the National Army and having a private army. That was were problem  started. The army and the kamajos automatically became rivals.

Norman Created a special fund from the national coffers and from the military budget to support his Kamajos, his bodyguards were all kamajos, he ordered the national Army out of certain towns and villages and replaced them with kamajos, he armed the kamajos by replacing their shot guns with AK 47  machine guns and RPG’s.He ordered President Kabba to inspect the Kamajos in a special guard of honor parade organized by the national Army. While he was doing all this he never recognized the importance of the other local defense units in the country. Take the Tamamboros for instance, they suffered a severe blow in 1994 when Fode Sankoh othered RUF to attack and kill all the tamamboros in  kabala for their assistance to the army in liberating Kono.The local tamamboro commander was brutally massacred. Norman visited his local kamajos ever week in the southern province and seldomly visited the local military units or other local Defense units in the country.

In a few words , the main reason for the May 25 coup was that of dissatisfaction and frustration among the ranks of the Army. Norman recommended to President Kabba to cut the military budget by half .He even suggested that Kabbah Disband the National Army after the May 25 coup, but thanks to Maxwell Kobe who advised Kabbah sensibly on that.  More on Hinga Norman later…


By Mohamed Tarawally
What took you so long? What took you so long my brother? Nevertheless It is better to be late than never. I was so happy and full with joy when I heard your voice on focus on Africa tonight. You said it all. There are two candidate among the crowd that will mean well for Sierra Leone and Hinga Norman’s name is number one. If a man can give up his life and everything he has to save me there is nothing he cannot do for me. John continue to preach the truth, this is what I call leadership. For those of you who did not listen to the program, John Moriba is a member of parliament from the ruling party, he has broken rank with the party’s silence over the treatment of Hinga Norman. He said the government and the people are ungrateful to Mr. Norman. He said Mr. Norman is the most qualified man to lead the party, he is endorsing Mr. Norman for party leadership and the next President, Thank you my brother, we need more of you.
Mohammed Tarawally

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