Call Us Now: (240) 429 2177

our-picks

Gambia: EX- Minister of Interior apologizes for giving wrong statement about the April 10\11 incidence
October 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Adama Makasuba


Ousman Badjie

By Adama Makasuba

Ousman Badjie, former secretary of state for minister of interior has apologized before the Truth Commission for giving a false statement in about the April 10\11 students’ demonstration in 2000, describing his action as ‘unprofessionalism.’

Mr Badjie who served as a minister of interior from 1999 to 2003, was testifying before the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission on Wednesday.

“I apologize for my own for the statement I made, it was wrong and unprofessional of a public official, I was misled and I regret it,” he said.

Badjie, 52, said he was misled by some police officials, as he said that “I really regret it and, I apologize for my mistake. It was a lapses on my side and I accepted it” adding that” it was unprofessionalism and I will accept it as wrong.”

He however told the Commission that after realizing to have made error statement that he apologized in an interview with the Gambia Radio Television Services for his statement.

Badjie, who also served as Gambian ambassador to Morocco and France, said he was never briefed about the tragic incidence of the April 10\11 by neither the Inspector General of Police nor a senior police official or the cabinet of the APRC regime.

He said that he hadn’t attended any meeting with the state authorities about the incidence, adding that  throughout his ministerial position that he had never received any security assessment,

However, he denied a statement from the Commission of Inquiry that was established to probe into the financial dealings of the former president Yahya Jammeh and his associates, saying he can’t remember giving such statement to that Commission.

Mr Badjie, who is a former military officer, said he now works with a Senegalese organization in Cassamance.

0
Read More
Cameroonian Journalist, Amindeh Blaise Atabong wins 2019 Kurt Schork Memorial Awards in International Journalism.
October 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Multiple Award Winning Journalist Amindeh Blaise Atabong Sharing experiences in Europe

Cameroonian journalist, Amindeh Blaise Atabong is the 2019 winner of the Kurt Schork Memorial Awards in International Journalism.

The award hosted by Thomson Reuters Foundation honors brave journalists the world over for their reporting on conflict, corruption and injustice.

Competing against dozens the world over, Amindeh Blaise Atabong grabbed the award for Local Reporter award while Sangar Khaleel and Amanda Sperber won the news Fixer and Freelance award respectively.

Now in their 18th year, the Kurt Schork Memorial Awards are named in honor of American freelance journalist Kurt Schork who was killed in Sierra Leone while on assignment for Reuters in 2000.

Amanda Sperber, an East Africa-based foreign correspondent, wins the Freelance Award for her reporting on armed conflict and politics in Somalia. The judges highlighted how Somalia is often overlooked in global media, and that her years of reporting “in difficult and dangerous conditions” have helped to shine a light on “elusive truths”.

Cameroonian journalist Amindeh Blaise Atabong is the winner of the Local Reporter Award. Atabong’s bravery in documenting the sometimes-violent split between Cameroon’s English-and-French-speaking communities was commended, with his reporting “digging into how the conflict is playing out everywhere from Cameroon’s orphanages to its wildlife reserves”.

This year’s News Fixer Award goes to Iraqi news fixer Sangar Khaleel, who has worked with journalists from major news outlets covering the rise and fall of ISIS in Iraq. The judges applauded his courage and dedication in the field. Yet what stood out to them was his “empathy and genuine care for those he meets and a strong sense of purpose in giving a voice to the victims of war”, combined with his unrelenting “dedication to follow up on people and places when most media have moved on”.

The News Fixer Award aims to recognize the rarely credited yet often at-risk individuals who typically act as the correspondent’s eyes and ears on the ground. It is the fixers’ local knowledge, as well as their network of official – and unofficial – contacts that helps to secure critical interviews and access to all important areas for the out-of-town correspondents. The prize was inspired by the freelance journalist, author and friend of Kurt Schork, Anna Husarska, and pays tribute to the vital role that these unsung heroes play in coverage from difficult, dangerous and hostile locations.

A shortlist in each of the first two categories was selected by judges Simon Robinson, Reuters Global Managing Editor, The Guardian’s Julian Borger, and Dan De Luce from NBC News.

The 2019 Freelance category finalists were Sally Hayden (UK), Shola Lawal (Nigeria), Charles Matthew (UK), Ruchi Kumar (India), Kenneth Rosen (USA), Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (Nigeria), Erica Gies (Canada). The Local Reporter category finalists were Disha Shetty (India), Parth Nikhil (India), Chinedu Asadu (Nigeria), Amos Abba (Nigeria), Namrata Acharya (India), Damilola Banjo (Nigeria). 

The 2019 News Fixer category finalists were Fadiel Fadel (Libya), Kamiran Sadoun (Syria) and Kateryna Malofieieva (Ukraine). The judges in this category were Jon Lee Anderson from The New Yorker, Global Editor of the Daily Mail Online Jake Wallis Simons, and journalist and author, Minka Nijhuis.

1+
Read More
African Energy Chamber Opens Applications for 2020 Africa Energy Fellowship Program
September 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber and CEO at the Centurion Law Group
Selected fellows will be joining the African Energy Chamber for 12 to 16 months
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 26, 2019/ — In order to provide young energy professionals with the tools and experience to become future leaders across the industry, the African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) is launching its first Fellowship Program in 2020. Applications are open throughout October 2019, for a one-year program that will start in January 2020.

In line with its growing international cooperation, the African Energy Chamber will be welcoming young professionals from across Africa, North and South America, Asia and the Middle East to join its office in Johannesburg for 12 months. The Fellows will be provided with an opportunity to apply analytical skills on concrete challenges and problems across the energy sector, and an opportunity to specialize in upstream oil & gas and local content development. They will be working in collaboration with the Chamber’s dedicated oil and gas sector advisors and experts located around sub-Saharan Africa, and help deliver research and consulting projects that address on-the-ground challenges faced by Africa’s oil & gas sector.

“Our range of partners from across government agencies, national and international oil companies, Oil service companies, investment banks and institutional investors offer the perfect network and ecosystem for a young professional to develop herself or himself and grow as a leader,” declared NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber and CEO at the Centurion Law Group. “We are truly excited to get this fellowship program started and see it grow over the coming years. Ultimately, our goal is to contribute to training and nurturing the next generation of energy leaders by bringing on board any young people willing to grow and contribute to the development of Africa’s energy industry”

Selected fellows will be joining the African Energy Chamber for 12 to 16 months and join a team that provides comprehensive and thought-provoking research on the African oil & gas industry and energy sector at large, along with critical support to local content development programs across the continent. A large part of the roles will focus on sharing and presenting data and informed views to the Chamber’s partners and the industry, and developing the right capacity building programs to institutional and private parties across the continent.

The 2020 Fellowship Program will be focusing on the following key aspects of the value-chain: upstream oil & gas, midstream, downstream and local content. Interested applicants should send their resume at the soonest to mickael@energychamber.org and highlight the contribution they wish to bring to the work of the African Energy Chamber.

The African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) is the largest African energy industry association, gathering companies from across the oil & gas, power and mining value-chains. The Chamber counts over 100 partners from the private, public and financial sectors. With a key mission to make energy work for Africans, the Chamber focuses its efforts on building domestic capacity and developing strong and capable local companies across Africa, and on facilitating regional and international investors’ entry within the continent’s fastest growing energy markets, including Senegal, Nigeria, Angola, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and South Sudan notably.
0
Read More
Sierra Leone : Sierra Leone’s Anti-graft body files 2nd indictment against former Master and Registrar and four others
September 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
The current Head of ACC Francis Ben Kaifala

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

Sierra Leone’s  Anti-graft agency , the Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) has in a statement on Wednesday said it has  filed a 2nd indicted against the former Master and Registrar of the High Court of the country.

According to the ACC, on 23rd September 2019, filed an indictment against Stephen Yayah Mansaray , former Master and Registrar of the High Court of Sierra Leone; Richie Edwin Asgil, former Principal Accountant in the Judiciary; Adele Faya, former Account Clerk of the Judiciary; and Clarence SSolomon Will , a Legal Assistant at a Law Firm in Freetown; on various counts of Misappropriation of Public Funds, contrary to Section 36(1); and Conspiracy to Commit a Corruption Offence, contrary to Section 128(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, respectively.

‘’Stephen Yayah Mansaray and Richie Edwin Asgil were the signatories to the Judiciary’s Master and Registrar’s account domiciled at the Bank of Sierra Leone. On diverse dates, between June 2014 and May 2018, both accused men, conspired with others to sign a number of cheques through which they authorized the withdrawal of funds from the aforementioned account for their personal benefit or for other unjustified purposes,’’the release stated.

 The release further stated that similarly, Adele Faya, former Account Clerk of the Judiciary, also instructed the encashment of various cheques from the same account, and misappropriated these monies adding that Clarence Solomon Will, a Legal Assistant at Bah & Co., a law firm in Freetown, also on diverse dates between 25th April, 2018, and 14th March, 2019, conspired with unknown persons, to misappropriate public funds by illegally facilitating the encashment of cheques from the Judiciary’s account.

The ACC said all four accused persons misappropriated the total sum of Four  Hundred  and  Sixty Million , Two Hundred  and  Ssixty -Eight  Thousand, and  Two Hundred Leones (Le460,268,200/00) from the Judiciary’s Master & Registrar Account domiciled at the Bank of Sierra Leone.

 All accused persons are expected to appear in the High Court holden at Freetown on Monday 30th September 2019. 

 ‘’The Commission wishes to reassure the general public of its continued resolve to fight acts of corruption at all levels and at all times in Sierra Leone,’’the ACC release ended.

0
Read More
The AfCFTA: The first step of a long marathon
September 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Angelle B .Kwemo*

Angelle Kwemo

Earlier this summer, the two final holdout countries, Nigeria and Benin, signed on to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. When this ambitious plan—which has created the world’s largest free trade zone—was first expressed a couple of years ago, I admit that I was a bit doubtful and wondered if African leaders were fully committed to achieving this historical milestone. However, the progress and enthusiasm around the agreement, as well as its potential to be transformational for all Africans, have eased my reservations.

As noted by many experts, including Dr. Landry Signé in a recent report on this subject, the AfCFTA has great potential: By 2030, Africa will have a combined consumer and business spending of $6.7 trillion, offering some of the world’s biggest opportunities for international investors. The United Nations Commission for Africa also estimates that the AfCFTA has the potential to boost intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022.

There are, however, significant obstacles: Africa is still heavily reliant on commodity and agricultural exports. Industrialization has been slow and, in some places, stagnant. With a global trade share of less than 3 percent, export diversification is yet to be achieved. Current intra-African trade accounts for a mere 16 percent of the continent’s total trade volume.

MIXED VIEWS ABOUT THE POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE AFCFTA

As I consider and generally welcome this historical milestone, I still have some mixed feelings about it. Indeed, many experts are torn: While many see the agreement as a crucial move toward fostering regional economic integration and overall economic growth, others fear that African markets are ill prepared for such heightened levels of competition.

Indeed, the continent remains plagued by a number of ­­unpredictable tariff and non-tariff barriers, poor infrastructure, few supportive policies and legal framework, a lack of a transportation network, heavy layers of government bureaucracy, and still-high levels of corruption.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE AFCFTA TO DELIVER ON ITS PROMISE

In order to be successful and deliver on the AfCFTA’s promises, a labyrinth of regulatory hurdles need to be addressed and a number of enabling intertwined actions need to be considered by all stakeholders. These include:

1. Keep African unity in mind through education and communication

The African continent is very diverse in every aspect of its societies, from political and economic systems and currencies to religion, race, culture, and language. As much as the idea of building an African single market is very popular on the continent, some countries remain very protectionist: For example, some small countries like Equatorial Guinea and Gabon are still reluctant to open their borders. In fact, Equatorial Guinea announced earlier this month that it intends to build a border wall to prevent Cameroonian and West African illegal immigration, citing security threats. There have even been some cases of xenophobia-inspired attacks in South Africa.

Therefore, before it become fully implemented, the African Union must bring awareness of the AfCFTA to the general public–especially youth, women, and informal sector actors–by educating them about what it entails and how it might affect them. Importantly, leaders should showcase the agreement’s success stories—not just those of multinationals but also the achievements of small, medium, and large African firms. The goal will be to debunk the misperception that reducing borders will equate to jobs lost or mass immigration from lower income countries.

The African Union should declare an official “Africa Economic Community Day” to celebrate the creation of the AfCFTA, and appoint special envoys from among influencers— such as African celebrities in the arts, media, business, and sports—to engage in commercial diplomacy and to promote unity, tolerance, and a sense of common purpose. Their role will be to educate the general public on the importance of reducing barriers and building a common market. It will mitigate future losses and misperceptions of the AfCFTA in general, prevent xenophobia, and, more importantly, turn African ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity into an asset and not a cause of conflict.

2. Attract investments in power and infrastructure development

Perhaps one of the most pressing issues facing the region is the lack of supportive infrastructure. Without enhanced infrastructure, businesses cannot affordably transform products or move people, goods, and services in a cost-effective way. Unfortunately, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa’s infrastructure financing needs come down to an estimated $130 billion to $170 billion per year. The African Union (AU) must encourage international partners to invest in regional infrastructure projects as well as national infrastructure development, including through the Africa Investment Forum, the Afrochampions Initiative, and the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa.

3. Establish a fair mechanism to level the playing fields among member countries

The AfCFTA is host to the greatest level of income disparity of any continental trade agreement. It is more than double the levels witnessed in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and CARICOM (Caribbean Community) countries. As discussed by Signé and van der Ven, these economic disparities could be addressed by putting in place special and differential treatment (SDT) provisions, especially for least developed countries, coupled with technical assistance programs allowing them to gradually fulfill their obligations under the AfCFTA, monitor progress, and establish safety nets.

4. Strengthen the role of the private sector

Despite the continent’s growth, economists still predict a shortfall of 68 million jobs by 2022, not including the tens of millions of currently underemployed. Even within the context of AfCFTA, the African Union should encourage member states and other institutions to strategically prioritize their private sectors, encouraging investment in infrastructure, technology and power development, and agribusiness. Perhaps more importantly, local and national governments should focus on creating an enabling environment for businesses to prosper and ensuring that the wealth they create is inclusive, sustained, and reinvested in African communities, in youth, and in women.

The informal sector merits special attention, given that it represents more than 66 percent of total employment in sub-Saharan Africa and 52 percent in North Africa. Reducing government bureaucracies and corruption, improving fiscal policies and accountability, and providing training, technology, and access to financial services, will empower start-ups to get out of the informal sector, access the gains of the continental market, and, as a result, increase government revenues.

To conclude, for the AfCFTA to be successful, it is essential that African leaders play their part, keep the bigger picture in mind, and put long-term economic growth and Africa’s betterment before their short-run political agendas. A marathon always starts with one step, but as Madiba said, “It is always impossible until it is done.” Africans have every reason to have hope for a better tomorrow.

*Angelle B. Kwemo is Founder – Believe in Africa,CEO – AstrategiK Group and Author – “Against All Odds”. Article was originally published by the Brookings Africa Blog

0
Read More
Gambia: National Assembly Suspends session calls for President Appearance
September 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

President Adama Barrow

National Assembly members in Banjul on Monday have suspended the session requesting the appearance of the President or Vice President on the debate on the President address to the nation which was held Thursday 19th September.

 According to  Section 77 of the Gambian Constitution which reads: “The Vice-President shall answer in the National Assembly for matters affecting the President, and the President shall be entitled to send a message to the National Assembly to be read on his or her behalf by the Vice-President”

On Monday, Hon. Sidia Jatta , National Assembly Member of Wuli  West tabled a motion for the assembly to suspend session until the Vice President or the president appears in the National Assembly for the debate on state of nation address and the Assembly stand down waiting for the appearance of the Vice President or President.

 After the break, three ministers appear on behalf of the president for the session to continue but Hon. Sanna Jawara, National Assembly of Upper Fulladu raised a point of order, drawing the attention of the Assembly to Section 77 of the Constitution which reads: “The Vice-President shall answer in the National Assembly for matters affecting the President, and the President shall be entitled to send a message to the National Assembly to be read on his or her behalf by the Vice-President”

Hon. Halifa Sallah, National Assembly member of Serekunda stressed that “President in this National Assembly, it is only the vice president who is authorized and mandatory to represent the President. What we also know that all members of cabinet may also come to this National Assembly shall also be requested to appear to deal with any matter dealing with their Department of State. That’s what the Constitution says,”

The veteran lawmaker said: “Hon. Speaker we need to put an end to this practice of having a minister absent or a vice president absent and the session has to be suspended. The Constitution is very clear on the absent of minister or vice president the section 270. They are acting appointees; anybody who appoints a person can also appoint any other authority to act on the behalf of that person. And we must begin that trend in this country”

Sallah further explained that they have abundant, the principles of good governance. What is important is that anytime any minister goes abroad, the president should appoint an acting person from any of the other ministers and simply publishes in the gazette. And that person can appear on behalf of the minister on behalf of the vice president.

“This is what should start. If we are going to continue to proceed, we can’t on the basis that the ministers are simply representing their offices and their department, but not representing the president here”.

 At this juncture, Speaker of National Assembly Hon Mariam Jack-Denton requested for the members to vote for or against the motion of the assembly to continue in the absence of the vice president or president or continue without the president or vice since there was different views on the issue.

The Assembly then proceeded with voting, 28 voted for the Assembly to suspend session for the President or Vice President to appear while 11 voted for the session to continue.

Going by the votes the session was suspended until a request is sent for the President or the Vice President to appear on a later date for the debate on the Speech of the President on the State of the Nation Address to commence.

0
Read More
Mozambique: New armed group claims responsibility for lorry attacks
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Arnaldo Cuamba

?

The leader of the self-styled Renamo Military Junta, Major-General Mariano Nhongo, has taken responsibility for the two attacks on lorries in Manica province on Tuesday, and has warned that attacks will continue unless the elections scheduled for 15 october are suspended.

“Junta Militar is not the same as the late Renamo president [Afonso Dhlakama], who was patient. Those who do not hear us will get shot, which can hit anyone, journalist, administrator, governor and others,” Nhongo told journalists on Thursday in Beira by phone.

Nhongo added that, when peace negotiations had been ongoing, he had warned an ambassador not to endorse the deal, particularly the part that dealt with disarmament and reintegration of Renamo fighters into the security and defence forces.

The spokesperson for the General Command of the Mozambican police, Orlando Mudumune, says the defence and security forces are hunting down the gunmen involved and hope to bring them to justice.

The Junta was formed by Renamo dissidents who describe the Renamo leader and presidential candidate, Ossufo Momade, as “a traitor”, and do not recognise the peace agreement he signed with President Filipe Nyusi on 6 August.

The Tuesday attacks occurred in the Zepinga area of Gondola district. There were no fatalities, but five people were injured and the two trucks were damaged.

 

 

0
Read More
Central Africa: President Touadera Honored With PALOMA DE LA PAZ” (PEACE DOVE) From World Organization of Peace
September 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

Juan Samuel Delgado Cedillo, President of the World Organization for Peace (OMPP/WOFP), presented the special prize La Paloma de La Paz, to Professor Faustin Archange Touadera, President of the Central African Republic and Head of State, for the results obtained during the pacification process in some regions of Africa.

The Dove of Peace is the most important symbol that the OMPP grants as a special prize to those who with their actions have sought, fought or contributed to global pacification and to the resolution of conflicts in any region of the world, without distinguishing beliefs religious, political preferences or skin color.

In an event held at the official facilities of the Presidency in the city of Bangui, capital of that country, attended by the highest officials of the government and Central African politics, as well as Ambassadors and Ministers of some countries in the region, Samuel Delgado said that peace is a universal right for those who inhabit this planet, and our existence depends on our actions and how we interact with others. Working for peace is not only  about words and good intentions, peace comes with the actions we carry out  every day, he said. Inner peace is where everything begins and is transmitted with our behavior as a species. We all need to carry out peace actions, said Delgado.

Speaking at the event, President Faustin Archange Touadera, who has become a well-known and respected interlocutor in the African continent for deactivating, through dialogue, clashes between rebel groups and authorities in Africa, highlighted the support he received from the civil society to reach the results obtained during the process of pacification of the region, an achievement that until then had been denied for many years to the inhabitants of the countries involved, although there is still much to do.

The World Peace Organization will continue to support those peace projects aimed at the population that needs it most, always in conjunction with the authorities, civil society and those public and private sectors in all countries of the world that want to carry out peace and well-being, always in favor of people.

 

 

 

1+
Read More
African Leaders converge in Accra for maiden edition of Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum
September 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
0
Read More
African Development Bank launches US$ 2 billion 1.625% Global Benchmark due 16 September 2022
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

AFDB President Adesina

AFDB President Adesina

 

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 13 September 2019 – The African Development Bank, rated Aaa/AAA/AAA (Moody’s/S&P/Fitch, all stable), has launched and priced a US$ 2 billion 3-year Global Benchmark bond due 16 September 2022, its first US$ benchmark of the year.

Launched on September 11, the bond issue is the Bank’s second Global Benchmark of 2019, following a EUR 1 billion 10-year priced in March 2019. With this transaction, the Bank has now raised US$ 4.4 billion in 2019 to date and executed 61% of its borrowing program for the year. The transaction received strong support from investors globally, with order books reaching US$ 2.8 billion and 53 investors participating. The high quality of the order book is illustrated by the strong participation of Central Banks and Official Institutions, taking 64% of the allocations.

The African Development Bank decided to take advantage of favorable investor sentiment post summer break to access the 3-year tenor, in spite of volatile market conditions ahead of the Fed Meeting the following week. The mandate was announced on Tuesday, September 10, at 12:00 London time with Initial Pricing Thoughts of Mid-Swaps + 13 basis points (bps) area.

The transaction met strong interest from the outset, with Indications of Interest in excess of US$ 1.8 billion (excluding Joint-Lead Managers interest) when order books officially opened at 08:00 London time the following morning, with initial price guidance of Mid-Swaps + 13bps area.

Momentum continued throughout the European morning, with orders in excess of US$ 2.5 billion around 11:20 London time. At this time, final pricing was set at Mid-Swaps + 13bps. Following the close of the order book in the US, the size of the transaction was set at US$ 2 billion by 14:20 London time.

The transaction was priced at 16:24 London time with a re-offer yield of 1.679%, equivalent to a spread of 8.75bps vs UST 1.5% 15 September 2022, the issuer’s tightest print vs US Treasuries to date.

 “We are delighted with this successful dollar Global Benchmark, and particularly pleased by both the very high quality of the order book and the solid participation of African Central Banks. The African Development Bank achieved its tightest ever spread to US Treasuries, and we are grateful to our investors across the world for this outcome, and the financing it will bring to the African continent”. Hassatou Diop N’Sele, Group Treasurer, African Development Bank

 

Investor distribution statistics:

         By Geography                                                By Investor Type

 

Transaction details:

Issuer: African Development Bank (“AfDB”)
Issuer rating: Aaa/AAA/AAA (Moody’s/S&P/Fitch)
Amount: US$ 2 billion
Pricing date: 11 September 2019
Settlement date: 18 September  2019
Coupon: 1.625%, Fixed, Semi-Annual 30/360
Maturity date: 16 September 2022
Re-offer price: 99.843%
Re-offer yield: 1.679% Semi-Annual
Re-offer spread: Mid-Swaps + 13bps / UST 1.5% 15 September 2022 + 8.75bps
Joint lead-managers Citi, Daiwa, HSBC, JP Morgan, Société Générale
 ISIN: US00828EEA38

Contact: fundingdesk@afdb.org

*AFDB

0
Read More
Right Group commends President Bio for showing leadership over ACC saga
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

File Pic.President Julius Maada Bio has today declared his assets in June 2018 before the Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Francis Ben-Kaifala, in line with Section 119 (1) of the ACC Act of 2008

File Pic.President Julius Maada Bio has today declared his assets in June 2018 before the Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Francis Ben-Kaifala, in line with Section 119 (1) of the ACC Act of 2008

One of the leading Rights groups operating in the country Christian Legal Centre, popularly known as LEGAL LINK has in an open letter dated 11th September and addressed to the President Julius Maada Bio commended him for showing leadership over the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Saga.

According to the letter, LEGAL LINK said it gives them the greatest joy and delight to be amongst the first of Civil Society Organisations to openly and formally congratulate the President over his exemplary display of leadership regarding the open apology given for the inhumane and degrading treatment of suspects by the ACC.

‘’In the midst of the widespread dissent, outcry, hullabaloo, hustle and bustle and claims and counter claims lashed out by the public and a good number of rights organisations, your swift intervention and timely acknowledgement of the mistake by the Commission has not only succeeded in dissipating the tensions but has further set you apart as a leader with a deep sense of cosmic responsibility and moral rectitude,’’the letter stated.

LEGAL LINK said,  as a civil society organization that defends the rights of vulnerable groups in society, they  believe their  role should not just be limited to holding the state accountable for its excesses, inaction and omissions but also to give compliments and commendations when good initiatives and actions are taken out by state authorities that contribute to social cohesion, nation building and development.

‘’We therefore make bold to say that we at LEGAL LINK are proud of your excellency’s intervention as chief defender of human rights in this matter and would like you to know how much this meant to us. Also, your open apology has further engendered dynamism within us and revitalised and energised our spirits to continue to be the voice of conscience for the nation and demand respect for the fundamental human rights of the people as enshrined under our noble constitution,’’the letter reads.

The Right group said, it is beyond dispute that the fight against corruption under President Bio’s leadership and that of Francis Ben Kaifala has been exceptional stating that Ben Kaifalah’s passion and commitment to the fight has indeed been forthright and exemplary thus extending Kudos to him and the ACC team.

‘’But as you have rightly pointed out, on this singular occasion, the ACC CZAR, in his quest to vigorously address corruption in the country, threw away both the BATH WATER AND THE BABY. It is for good reasons why the UN adopted a framework known as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). This was to principally ensure that states address corruption from a human rights-based approach’’

It said, the African Union has also embraced this thinking when it passed a Protocol on the Prevention and Combating of Corruption for its African member states adding that Sierra Leone is a signatory to the above legal frameworks which  put obligations therefore on the state and by extension the ACC to ensure that its policies and strategies in the fight against corruption adopts a human rights based approach.

The letter argued that it is clear from the recent act of the ACC against its suspects that perhaps a human rights-based approach has been lacking in its strategy to fighting corruption in Sierra Leone thus stating that their incessant refusal of the granting bail to suspects in many occasions further corroborates the above assertion in fundamental terms.

‘’But notwithstanding the above however, we at LEGAL LINK have pledged to give our legal expertise free of charge to help review the National Anti- Corruption Strategy and other internal policies at the ACC to ensure that they are in tandem with the human rights-based approach as expressed by UNCAC and the African Union Corruption framework,’’

It reiterated that they have pledged to doing this because they believe in the good work of the ACC and its place and relevance in terms of ensuring transparency and accountability in post conflict Sierra Leone.

‘’Certainly, in our candid view, the mistake done by them in recent times is forgivable as it was occasioned out of good faith as the Commission strive towards eradicating corruption in Sierra Leone. But looking beyond the extra-judicial act of the ACC, we want to draw your Excellency’s attention to a couple of other unfortunate developments that have happened in the country which in our judgment might have the proclivity to undermine the body politic of the nation if not urgently addressed by you’’

They urged the President to look at NEC’s cancellation of the entire Parliamentary re- run elections in constituency 110, the petition cases filed by opposition members and civil society organizations including the recent alleged assault of two female journalists during the Sierra Leone – Liberia football match by guards in the office of the president.

The Human Right group therefore appeal that His Excellency looks into the above issues raised in this letter and take a firm stand against state institutions and officials that disrespects the rule of law, constitution and fundamental human rights of the people of Sierra Leone.

‘’And certainly, it would be an easy work over and perhaps an overwhelming endorsement by the populace if it can be shown clearly by you that you were at no point in time complicit in holding to account officials and institutions within your government that violate fundamental human rights and undermine the body politic of the nation. We wish you all the best in the remaining years of your tenure and once again thank you very much for your leadership over the Anti-Corruption Commission saga,’’the letter ended.

 

0
Read More
Rwanda not likely to quit International Conference on the Great Lakes Region- ICGLR
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ferdinand Maniraguha

In May this year in Kinshasa, a summit was held summit which brought together President of DRC, Felix Tshisekedi, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and João Lourenço of Angola, In May this year in Kinshasa, DRC

In May this year in Kinshasa, a summit was held summit which brought together President of DRC, Felix Tshisekedi, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and João Lourenço of Angola, In May this year in Kinshasa, DRC

Rwanda is still in discussion on its wish to quit International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) due to this body’s failure to address security challenges in the region.

Rwanda’s state minister of foreign affairs, Olivier Nduhungirehe echoed the move to leave is not likely given the will shown aimed at resolving security issues.

In September last year, Rwanda announced its wish to leave  ICGLR , alleging the body  have failed to address security problems in the region.

ICGLR was founded in 2008 and was  mandated to bring security, stability and development in the Great Lakes region.

During its formation, the region was a hub of rebel groups mainly operating in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Among the rebels was FDLR which is composed of many who are accused participation in 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis which claimed lives of more than a million in Rwanda.

FDLR is still present on Congo soil.

Last year, Nduhungirehe says Rwanda is considering to quit ICGLR because Rwanda cannot handle to keep spending money in a dormant organization.

Speaking to Pan African Visions’ Ferdinand Maniraguha this week, Olivier Nduhungirehe said they are still in discussion.

“This issue is still in discussion, given the new dynamics of the Trilateral Summit in Kinshasa” he said referring to the summit that brought together President of DRC, Felix Tshisekedi, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and João Lourenço of Angola, In May this year in Kinshasa, DRC.

Nduhungirehe added that those ICGLR members agreed to cooperate to  bring stability in the region.

“ We are going to work together on security issues in the region and if course  ICGLR was given responsibilities by Kinshasa’s communiqué” he said.

ICGLR has 12 members, with Angola as its major donor

0
Read More
1 2 3 4 5 6