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Football leaders condemn violence in Sierra Leone

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The Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) has issued a strongly-worded statement condemning violence, abuse, discrimination, and intimidation in football and the West African nation. The letter signed by SLFA President, Isha Johansen (standing left in this archive photo), said that what was expected to be a 'healthy campaign atmosphere' quickly degenerated into an ugly, almost fatal scene. Johansen apologized to Victor Lewis and wished the football veteran a speedy recovery.  Lewis has served as chairman of the Sierra Leone Premier League Board.  Rodney Michael (photographed with Johansen in happier times) also posted a rebuttal to a listserv, known for its controversial online activity.  On the platform, Michael said Mohamed Kallon,  who is considered the most famous footballer from Sierra Leone in some quarters, was not his supporter as reported by Mohamed Kamara of Sierra Leone Football News . "He  (Kallon) may be my friend and hero, but he is a Presidential candidat

Man Arrested for 'Brutal' Stabbing in Sierra Leone Football Association building

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Days after human rights activists held vigils to commemorate the victims of acts of violence on January 6, 1999, the owner of Freetown's East End Tigers football club Victor Lewis is reportedly fighting for his life after being stabbed in the neck. According to Mohamed Kamara of Sierra Leone Football News , Lewis was attacked during a brawl that took place inside the football headquarters of the Sierra Leone Football Association. It is not known whether Isha Tejan-Cole Johansen, the current president of the Sierra Leone Football Association, was in the building. The football association is yet to make a statement. Kamara said witnesses taking part in the elective nominations at the football headquarters blame former Inter Milan striker Mohammed Kallon, lawyer Emmanuel Abdulai Saffa, and Rodney Michael, the brother of the Mercury betting company manager, for instigating the stabbing.  Apparently, the fight started when Lewis, chief executive officer of East End Lions, a premier foot

"Yeah, can Sylvia Blyden live? Can She live?

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' Yeah, can Sylvia Blyden live? ' is an odd headline. But Jay-Z's 1996 song symbolizes the increasing frustration some of us feel with the escalating harassment of Sylvia Olayinka Blyden.   'So, what do you want to do with Sylvia?' I recently asked one of her detractors. Those who write about  Sierra Leone's most vocal critic  in violent and aggressive ways.  'Do you want to kill her?' I pressed.  Plus, I added, any country with a president who orders three police truckloads to surround his critic's house is THE banana republic. Sylvia Blyden is no more an enemy of the state than all the revolutionary united front (RUF) sympathizers and combatants in government. If Sylvia's detractors consider her actions self-serving, why bother with a sledgehammer for such low-level agitation? I argue Sylvia is a target for broadsides and innuendoes because the preferred candidate was roundly defeated in the recent election.  Sure, some Sierra Leoneans I know d

What's the point of a 100-day Benchmark three years After the Fact ?

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Julius Maada Bio has been president of Sierra Leone since April 4, 2018. One hundred days from that date is Friday, July 13, 2018. So why are Sierra Leoneans talking about his “First 100 Days” more than two years after he took office? What's the importance of his first 100 days as a  benchmark for an administration when non-mining activities are still constrained by the lack of access to power and good roads; and corruption and undeveloped human capital continue to deter investors? Sierra Leone still ranked 43rd among 47 countries in the region, and although its economic freedom improved earlier in the decade, Sierra Leone fell back into the repressed category in 2019 and remains there in 2020.  An influential public policy organization in the United States calls Sierra Leone 'one of the world’s 10 most impoverished and least developed countries' with the most pressing areas for improvement being financial freedom, government integrity, and labor freedom. Moreover, Sierra L

Sierra Leone law firm calls action taken against their colleagues 'dangerous and unprecedented'

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Yada Williams & Associates, barristers, and solicitors in Freetown, Sierra Leone have written a letter to the president of the Bar Association about what they call 'unworthy attack on the persons and integrity of senior legal practitioners in the course of carrying out their duties.'  Dear Sir, RE: THE UNWORTHY ATTACK ON THE PERSONS AND INTEGRITY OF SENIOR LEGAL PRACTITIONERS IN THE COURSE OF CARRYING OUT THEIR DUTIES; INTRODUCTION: We refer to the above-mentioned matter and write to convey our dismay and dissatisfaction with the findings of Honourable Sir Justice Biobele Georgewill against Ajibola Emmanuel Manly-Spaine Esq. and the firm of Basma & Macaulay, legal practitioners and members of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, whilst sitting as the Chairman and Sole Commissioner in Commission of Inquiry No. 1 and to call for action against the said findings by the Sierra Leone Bar Association. ACCOUNTABILITY & THE RULE OF LAW: Diverse occurrences in Sierra Leone conf

Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority and the prescient remark about Savage Street Bridge

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Two years ago, an executive director at Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority told everybody who would listen that the Savage Street Bridge was a disaster waiting to happen. “I would like to fix it if I had the mandate,” he reportedly told officials from the Ministry of Finance at public budget hearings held in Freetown. A prescient remark, given that Savage Street Bridge collapsed today.  This  May,  David Panda Noah, described as — one of the brains behind the SLPP election team, which engineered access to the electoral commission’s election database in 2018 — took office as Sierra Leone's  Minister of Internal Affairs. No doubt about it, Noah has his work cut out at internal affairs.   Y ou can't help but wonder what he  c ould have done differently. Or what he would say if Awoko  reached out for comment.  ( Savage Street Bridge is a disaster waiting to happen, says SLRSA Boss, by Zainab Iyamide Joaque ) Press release from the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority The board and ma

Who decides for Sierra Leone? The ICSID, ICC, or the People of Lunsar?

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In case you missed it, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal has announced that the ICSID, a World Bank Group, has refused to restrain the west African country from pursuing criminal proceedings against several employees of the claimant’s local subsidiary. According to Global Arbitration Review, a business law website, the subsidiary had " been accused of inciting a deadly riot before the case was dropped without charge ." In October 2019, a subsidiary of a London-based commodity trader applied to a court in the United States of America to confirm an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) emergency arbitrator order that directedSierra Leone to lift measures prohibiting the export of high-grade iron ore – a dispute that has also given rise to the threat of an ICSID claim. ICC is the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries. According to their website , their "mission is to make business