Monday, April 30, 2012

Ambassador John Leigh Goes Ballistic on Facebook

Several weeks ago I wrote an article on the defection of ex Sierra Leone Ambassador to UN under President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, John Leigh, from the now opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) to the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC)where he was given a ceremonial welcome into the APC by the current Vice President Sam Sumana and APC Secretary General Victor B. Foh at a hastily convened gathering in Freetown.

Leigh with his New Card

Ambassador Leigh, after trying unsuccessfully to be the SLPP flagbearer on two separate occasions had finally given up any hope of obtaining the coveted position which he claimed to have spent thousands of US dollars trying to attain and had resigned from the party giving a litany of  questionable reasons and pouring scorn, hate and vitriolic on the current leaders of the SLPP, including the current leader Julius Maada Bio, who ex ambassador hates with passion.

After the article which saw a fair amount of traffic to the Segbwema blog, John Leigh took to Facebook to respond to the article which can be accessed by following the link

John Leigh lamented that after two decades of pouring his cash, intellect, affection, labor and energy into the SLPP, the loss of the flagbearer position had suddenly made him had an epiphany and decide that after all, SLPP was not the party for him and though he had spent years condemning the APC leadership, he had now realised that President Ernest Bai Koroma was his man. He said he was a humble political refugee from the SLPP and would no longer serve in a party where there were crooks, kleptocrats, thugs and ex-Junta, but would now be in the APC, a party with exemplary characters, a messianic leader Ernest Koromaand honest people all around. When asked how he could say this with a straight face when he was surrounded by Victor Foh, an ex-felon and one of the architects of Sierra Leone's current decline, leatherboot a thug and indicted rapist and now Tom Nyuma an ex junta, Ambassador Leigh answered that Victor Foh had paid his dues and was now a reformed clean man and that leatherboot had been punished by being given light duty. When asked if he thought light duty was a suitable punishment for rape, the poor ambassador had no suitable answer and called the Segbwema blogger a not very intelligent and misguided fellow. When asked why he had been going over the USA the past years and on the Internet calling the APC the party of rapists, selfish people and criminals, he claimed that he was talking about the old useless APC, not the new reformed APC, in spite of the fact that the same characters in the old APC which he so roundly condemned, Joseph Bandabla Dauda, Victor Foh, Eddie Turay and others were the same people he was now embracing in the "new APC".

Leigh claimed that as he was not " a traditional folk", (a term he loves to use for people from the provinces) he would have no chance in a tribalistic party like the SLPP and he would now be in the APC, a party free from tribalism. He stated that after spending thousands of dollars for the nomination to be flagbearer, the SLPP had not given him chance but had voted on tribalistic Mende basis. The fact that Usu Boie Kamara a Madingo had gotten 186 votes to Maada Bio's 238 or that Alpha Timbo a Fula had gotten 44 votes or Kadie Sesay 28 votes which totalled 258 votes and was more than Bio got seemed to be lost on Mr. Leigh. The fact that Joe Moiba, Bu-Buakai Jabbie, Askia Koroma and other Mende candidates got very low votes seemed to be lost on the poor ambassador. When asked if the reason he had not been elected was simply the fact that his skills as a politician were extremely poor or the fact that he had spent so many years in America where money was important in politics that he failed to realize that in Africa it was charisma, likability, popularity and affability that were the traits desired in leaders, he answered that Maada had used Juju and Voodoo to get votes, a surprising statement coming from a man who had spent so much time in the developed world and had even represented his country at the Unitec Nations. One wonders if he had been spreading his Juju beliefs at the UN when he was there representing Sierra Leone. The other diplomats must have had a field day calling him the Juju ambassador.
Maada Bio Leigh's arch nemesis 
If John Leigh is to be believed, Abass Bundu, John Benjamin, Maada Bio, Kadie Sesay and other SLPP leaders are all personal representatives of Satan in Sierra Leone, with Julius Maada Bio being the devil's personal friend and buddy. In his rantings on Facebook, Ambassador Leigh claims that Maada is murderer, kleptocrat and a demon. In his latest post, this is his current claim :
John Leigh 
Bio used to follow me around Washington DC in 1997/8 as I went public speaking on behalf of the exiled SLPP Government. Bio would take a seat in the backrow directly in front of me. As I spoke to tell the audience what we've accomplished and what we expect to follow, Bio would start making 'babu yey' at me. At night I would receive telephone calls from ex-NPRC types threatening me and my family with violence. Things got so bad, the US Secret Service sent agents to protect us. Bio is a bad person. He is a crook and rascal. He sold passports with Abass Bundu and pocketed the money. He got paid by the donor nations for surrendering power to the winner of the 1996 elections. He was not for SLPP. He was for NUP. But the donors forced the junta to surrender poer to Tejan Kabbah who won the 1996 elections. Bio also supported the AFRC/RUF junta in 1997/98. under his chairmanship, his junta funded the establishment and the 1995/96 campaign of the National Unity Party to fight Tejan Kabbah. I fought like hell to help get SLPP elected in 1996. I fought like hell to help defeat the SAFRC junta. But you were a juvenile then. So I don't blame you for not knowning these things. Bio's people are lying to young fellows like you to fool them. Bio has no respect for you.
7 hours ago · "}" style="font-size: 11px; font-weight: normal; color: gray; ">

John Leigh's current anti-SLPP/pro-APC diatribes are not only interesting, but offer a glimpse into a mind filled with disappointment, frustration, rejection and rage. John Leigh took the loss in the past SLPP flagbearer contest very personally and cannot fathom why SLPP delegates would prefer Maada Bio a man he has the utmost contempt for over him. In a narcissistic mind frame, John Leigh sees himself as a refined, nontraditional and educated Sierra Leonean, who has been rejected for someone he considers his intellectual and social inferior. In his megalomania, Mr. Leigh does not for a moment realize that this individual he has so much disregard for has once had the distinct and unique privilege of becoming the leader of a sovereign nation, a position which he John Leigh would most probably never attain. John Leigh has somehow managed to convince himself that his role of UN ambassador was far superior to Maada Bio's role of Head of state, a classic problem with people with narcissistic disorder.
Leigh ejoying defection attention 
Currently John Leigh spends his days on Facebook trying too hard to clarify his new pro APC positions and running away from all the negatives things he had sain about APC and president Koroma in the past four years though his recent positions and writings are scattered all over the Internet

When he was running as party flagbearer, this what Ambassador Leigh told the Awoko Newspaper:
"Erstwhile Washington DC based Ambassador from the Republic of Sierra Leone John Ernest Leigh now an SLPP flagbearer aspirant for the upcoming primaries ahead of 2012 general elections has said that SLPP is stronger than before and will never split as was the case in the Makeni Convention which saw Charles Francis Margai spliting their votes.
Addressing the people marking his declaration for the Flag-bearership held in Kenema on Saturday October 30th and Sunday 31st in Bo respectively, John Leigh said he has what it takes to give the ruling APC a run for their money if he is made the flagbearer.
Speaking further, John Leigh said the Party will be victorious in both Parliamentary and Presidential elections with full national and international support for the purpose of building a modern nation free from injustice, tribalism after many years of sufferings.
As usual, John Leigh pleaded with delegates not to sell out their votes for money but for the benefit of the party and Sierra Leone to once more regain its place among world democracies.
John Leigh earlier praised the efforts of the national executives for being very effective.
On the question regarding APC’s call for an inquest into the death of one time Police Inspector General James Bambay Kamara, John Leigh lashed out at APC saying that they are up to destroying the good image of the party. He stated that APC is on record for having carried out a long list of summary executions and that they are up to violating the International Peace Accord signed and failing to go by the dictates of the TRC Recommendations.
He also exonorated his rival Maada Bio and called on APC to leave him alone and give peace a chance.
Concluding, John leigh lambasted APC for the misuse of the country’s resources and further said that they have only been up to finishing projects started by the SLPP.
By Easmon Moiguah" (Awoko, 2011)

Now the same John Leigh is singing a different song and is calling on other Sierra Leone's to join him in the choir. For a man whose emotions are so intense and who has had so many different stands on so many different issues, John Leigh's main enemy has always been himself. His volatile temper, name calling and disagreeable nature combined with his lack of humility are very poor traits in a politician intending to one day lead his country. John Leigh's quarrelsome nature combined with his belief in the occult reminds me of the nature of Adolph Hitler and Sierra Leone seems to have been blessed that this man was not given the chance to be President. I know he will attempt to run as flagbearer for APC after Ernest Koroma's term. APC should encourage him now, but never give him that chance, as such hate filled characters are the stuff dictators are made of.

Segbwema Blogger

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sierra Leone's Currency over the Decades

Currency of the Settlers  1700s

Currency of the Pre-Independence Era before the 60s

Currency when I was born, late 60s

Currency of the Early 70s to 80s before Momoh-Siaka Probyn Stevens Era

Currency of the I don't Care Era from Joseph Momoh To Now
Value of Currency in the Ernest Koroma Era- What the heck!!!!! 

Dr. Ben Weller Passes On.

Dr. Ben Weller

 Benjamin 'Ben' F. Weller, age 69, passed away on April 15, 2012.

 Ben Weller was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, (West Africa) on February 28, 1943. He is preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin and Nellie Weller.

 He attended the Albert Academy (Sierra Leone), Rutgers University (Camden, NJ), University of Winnipeg (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he completed his PhD in Political Science. Ben was very interested in world politics. In his life, he attended conferences in numerous countries; Italy, Germany, North and South Korea, U.S. State Department, and other parts of Africa. In the mid 1990's, as part of his PhD coursework, he taught politics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He also worked at the Department of Multicultural Affairs for the University of Wisconsin-Madison while completing his dissertation. For 13 years, prior to his retirement in early 2011, Ben worked as a Policy Analyst for the State of Wisconsin in both the Departments of Workforce Development, & Children and Family Services.

Ben Weller was the founder and first president of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Tegloma International Federation Inc, the largest indigenous Sierra Leone nonprofit in the world and became Vice Chairman of the federation. In recent years he curtailed his involvement in Tegloma activities.In 2000 Dr. Ben Weller brought Sierra Leone musician Steady bongo to Wisconsin  A Tegloma delegation led by the the administration and board chairmen will travel to Wisconsin tomorrow to grace Dr. Weller's funeral.

Ben Weller is survived by his wife of 37 years, Koso, and daughters Jeneba, Amy, and Nyalay Weller. Sisters; Mrs. Beatrice Ajibade of London, Mrs. Elizabeth Fergusson-Nicol of Zimbabwe, brother, Prince Weller of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Nieces; Adele Temple, Layo Ajibade, Lisa and Lorna Fergusson-Nicol, and Elizabeth Weller, nephews; Franklin and Rupert Cole, the Wellers of Virginia, Maryland, Moyamba, and Freetown, and in-laws; Mr. and Mrs. AJ Williams & family in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The Bakarr family in Wales U.K., grandnieces & nephews and a great grandnephew. The Carew, Brewah, Farmer Joker, Fofana, Pieh, Sillah, Yaskey families, the AWA, AAM, Oluwole, Academy of Old Boys Association and friends in Madison and abroad.
Dr. Weller

A funeral service will be held at ASBURY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 6101 University Avenue, Madison, on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor Harold Zimmick presiding. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery in Madison. A visitation will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, on Friday, April 27, 2012 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and at church on Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. until time of service.

The family would like to thank the staff at St. Mary's Adult Day Health Center, UW Hospital, Nazareth Health & Rehab Center, and Asbury United Methodist Church.

Happy 51st Anniversary Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone, happy anniversary as an independent nation. We know the past 51 years have been tough on you, but though you may have heard this before, better days may be ahead. You have done a lot for your children. You have provided us fertile land to grow our crops. You have filled your rivers from Moa to Scarcies with fishes of every kind for our consumption. You have provided us fertile palm trees to provide us palmoil for our food and palm wine for our entertainment. You have filled our plantations with cocoa and coffee to sell and send our children to school.

You have provided us mineral deposits in abundance. You have given us diamonds so beautiful they have become the envy of the world. You have given us gold, bauxite, rutile, iron ore and now we have heard that you want to add crude oil as one your abundant blessed gifts to us, what can we say, but thank you.

You have given us the best weather anywhere on earth. We are plagued by neither the extremes of heat nor the extremes of cold. All year long we can walk on the streets of Segbwema and Freetown with songs in our hearts and a spring in our step. We do not know drought or famine. Every year you give us so much rain that we sometimes pray for you to send some to the poor people of Somalia and Ethiopia.

You helped us build good schools, from Wesley Segbwema to Saint Francis Makeni, Bo School to Grammar School, QRS to Methodist Girls High, Njala to Fourah Bay College you have help teach your children the knowledge and skills to go forth in the world and make the sky their limit. From academia to the United Nations your children have excelled. 

You have given us great men. Milton Margai, Siaka Stevens, Sorie Ibrahim Koroma, Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, Davidson Nicol, Arthur Abraham, Eustace Palmer, Lightfoot Boston, Cyril Foray, Strasser King, Salia Koroma, Bai Bureh, James Jonah, Salia Jusu Sheriff, Abdulai Conteh, Akiwanda J. Lasite, Modupe Taylor Pearce, Isaac Wallace Johnson, Kandeh Yumkella,Sir Banja Tejansie, David Kekura Jimmy Jajua are all sons that have made you proud and shown the best you can offer to the world. 

You gave us great women trail blazers; Madam Yoko, Sallay Satta Gendemeh, Yasmin Jusu Sheriff, Shirley Gbujama, Zainab Bangura, Constance Cummings-John, Ella Koblo Gulama, June Holst Roness, Elizabeth Lavalie, Amy Kallon, Isata Nyambe, are all daughters you should be proud of.

You have done all that a mother can do to provide for her children and yet still today we continue to wallow in poverty, destitution and despair. We continue to sleep hungry, to cue for fuel, to have banks deny us our own savings. Some of your sons have over the years repaid your generosity with callousness, corruption, stupidity and greed, and for that we are extremely sorry.

The past 50 years we have failed you. Instead of coming together to build you, we have thieved and warred. Those in power have fallen prey to the temptation of easy money and loose women. We have fornicated, whored and engaged in adulterous behavior. We have stolen and lied. We have burnt and coveted each others property and attacked and murdered our brothers. We have hacked the limbs of the innocent and smeared their blood on the faces of the streets of Freetown. In essence we have sinned and through you we ask the Almighty God for his forgiveness and patience.
As we enter another tumultuous period in our history, we pray to the Almight God for divine guidance. May he expose and shame those who are planning evil and mayhem. Just as we have dragged our malevolent neighbor Charles Taylor to justice may we also accumulate the evidence to lock up any human being that plans evil in your land, no matter which area of the country he is from or what political party he belongs to, as before party there was you, Sierra Leone.

Give us the strength to expose wrong and the audacity to speak to power. Give us eyes to see evil when it occurs and the voice to talk again. No longer will we sit in silence and see others doing wrong while we go to our Mosques and churches and wait for your intervention. We will use our cellphone cameras to record wrong and use Facebook to expose them.

Sierra Leone Happy 51st Anniversary!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nyuma's Big Welcome to the Empty Streets of Kailahun

People waiting to  Welcome Nyuma
A few weeks ago, a high level delegation of the ruling  All peoples Congress Party (APC) of Sierra Leone, made their way through the torturous eastern terrain and horrible Kenema-Kailahun road, one of the most neglected and dangerous roads on the face of the earth; sometimes called "hell's highway, to present Sierra Leone Peoples Party ( SLPP) turncoat and now APC strongman Tom Nyuma to the people of the town of Kailahun, where he is the current SLPP district chairman. Tom Nyuma is one of the newest entrants into the SLPP wing of the APC, currently populated by such high profile SLPP defectors like Dr. Lansana Nyallay of Tegloma fame, Joseph Bandabla Dauda, Tom Nyuma himself and most recently,  the garrulous ex-Ambassador John Leigh.
APC supporters being bused into Kailahun

Tom Nyuma it can be recalled, was a major player in the 1992-1996 National Provisional Revolutionary Council (NPRC) regime that chased the then APC leader, Rtd. Major General Joseph Saidu Momoh out of power and the country, on the unusually cold and cloudy morning of 29th April 1992.

The NPRC coup, which  then president Momoh dismissed as a minor event by a group of disgruntled officers and men in the Sierra Leone military and other malcontents, was welcomed with jubilation and enthusiasm after years of APC misrule characterized by corruption, nepotism, runaway inflation, blackouts, national insecurity, low military morale, high unemployment, insane income inequalities, leading the United Nations to classify Sierra Leone as the poorest and most miserable place to live on the face of the earth.
Main APC Delegation arrives

Captain Valentine Esegrabo Melvin Strasser, who was hastily installed as the coup leader was showered with tremendous adulation. He became a local  folk hero and his portrait and that of his other fellow revolutionaries was ubiquitously painted across the streets of Freetown. Prominent amongst the 1992 military coup leaders in terms of sheer force of character, courage and physical presence were Solomon Anthony J. Musa, Tom Nyuma, Karefa Kargbo, Komba Kambo, Julius Maada Bio, Charles Mbayoh, and of course the leader Valentine Strasser. Other less notable military figures included Idriss Kamara, Abdul Karim Kamara, Fallah sewa, Mani, and others.

After the war, Tom Nyuma left military duty and found his way to America, where he generally maintained a low profile, until he was sent back to his homeland in dubious circumstances. Nyuma went back to Sierra Leone, destitute but with name recognition was resuscitated by the opposition SLPP who did not want a popular son from the party's eastern base to be moving around town in dire straits like his former boss Valentine Esegrabo Melvin Strassser. In 2008 SLPP gave tom the party symbol to contest for the District council chairmanship of Kailahun district, an election he won by a landslide.
Kailahun APC supporters waiting for Nyuma

Since Tom Nyuma became district council chairman though, things have not been smooth. As opposed to the days when they were ministers and had permanent and administrative secretaries do most of the work while they moved around in new cars attending ceremonial functions, the work of District Chairman was an administrative job for which Tom Nyuma who was more a fighter than a thinker was supremely unqualified. News from Kailahun was that he was way over his head and did not know what he was doing most of the time. Tom Nyuma was never the brightest bulb in the room, but the post of district chairman was not one that appealed much to him. He still yearned for the glory days and started to hang out more with APC folks, though these same people had flogged him so severely in 2007.  Leatherboot, a former subordinate of Tom Nyuma's who later joined the infamous murderous West Side boys, led the team that flog Tom Nyuma in a hotel in Bo so badly that it was a miracle he survived at all.
Tom Being Given State Ride to the event

Tom Nyuma's head was swollen after the beating and many people believe he must have received some traumatic brain injury that was not properly treated, as he started to behave more erratically after the incident. Tom Nyuma started to have major problems with the SLPP when he started to cavort with APC power players, including president Koroma. The problem came to a head when he was presented with a brand new Rover truck that SLPP members thought was a sort of bribe by the APC to Tom. The opposition SLPP vocally derided Tom for his close alliance with APC folks. Tom Nyuma grew increasingly disillusioned and distanced himself more and more from the SLPP leadership and became chummier with the APC leadership.
Tom's head swollen from gun butts and boots
was his brain injured?

So Tom's announcement that he was leaving the opposition for the ruling party came as little surprise to political watchers and commentators. The loquacious and rude editor of the Awareness Times opinion rag, Sylvia Blyden, had even predicted Tom's move.

Tom Nyuma flanked by APC supporters bused into town.
So the APC delegation sent in truck loads of supporters and expected to make a major show in welcoming Tom Nyuma to Kailahun as APC! Alas, most of the people of Kailahun may have never gotten the memo or did not even care. The only people present to welcome Tom Nyuma in his new capacity were some young fellows who thought APC had brought food and money to share and those who knew that not being there would cost them their government jobs. Most of the people just kept away from the spectacle. The Segbwema blog correspondent stated that though the delegates managed to put a brave face on, Tom Nyuma became ill and was unable to speak at the event. Later loads of APC guys brought to the event managed to create a semblance of a crowd around the area.

Tom was later given a vote of no confidence by the other district councillors, but he is still hanging on to his post, as the ruling party which he now supports will not let him be kicked out of office.

Interior Minister Tarawally
Vowing to shed opposition blood in November
Many human rights watchers are watching Tom Nyuma and documenting his every move as the ruling All Peoples Congress has brought in millions of dollars of arms and ammunition into the country in preparation for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, and the interior minister has publicly claimed over BBC focus on Africa that the arms were brought into the country to target the opposition. Tom Nyuma has a gross propensity and reputation for violence and it is feared that APC will use him to carry create mayhem in the Eastern Region this year.

Sierra Leone Convicts Charles Taylor

Rebel Charles Taylor
Charles Taylor, former warlord and ex-president of Liberia, who was dragged from the presidency and brought before the Sierra Leone Special Court several years ago was this morning convicted of indirect involvement in the genocide and horrendous crimes perpetrated by elements of Revolutionary United Front on the civilian populace of Sierra Leone during that country's bloody civil war.

Charles Taylor, was a former Liberian civil servant found guilty of embezzlement of state funds. He was caught and jailed in USA, but managed to escape under dubious circumstances, only to emerge as the head of a rebel movement called the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) that had as its main purpose the overthrow of the bloody Liberian Dictator Samuel Kanyon Doe. Taylor's war against Doe was initially popular as Samuel K. Doe was a vicious and cold blooded killer who used state security forces to eliminate his rivals by announcing regular coup attempts against his government and brutally eliminating those involved.
Cold Blooded Killer

Taylor soon became as cold blooded a killer as the man he was trying to overthrow and his rebels embarked on a campaign of murder and ethnic cleansing. The NPFL was particularly cruel to Liberians of Madingo descent and embarked on the whole scale slaughter of thousands of Madingos and other unfortunate Liberians. As the war progressed, some elements of Taylor's forces led by Prince Johnson, a bloodthirsty drug addict and alcoholic who is today a key politician in Liberia, broke away and formed the Independent National Patriotic front of Liberia (INPFL). Prince Johnson became an obstacle to Taylor succeeding in capturing the capital. Eventually there was a stalemate with the country divided between loyal elements of Doe's government forces, Prince Johnson's INPFL and Charles Taylor's NPFL. With the stalemate and no one faction having the upper hand, all the factions embarked on committing atrocious acts against the civilian populace and Liberia became a killing field were human lives were nothing of value.
Retired Murderer turned
Senator Prince Y. Johnson

Other West African nations tired of seeing the widespread massacre, decided to intervene forcefully to put an end to the carnage. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) put together the a regional military group called Economic Community Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) with operational headquarters in Sierra Leone, under the command of Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone that was to act as a peace keeping and peace enforcement force with the main purpose of putting an end to the senseless slaughter of innocent civilians.

Charles Taylor saw ECOMOG as an obstacle to his quest for power and resisted the force, but with the support of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and Prince Johnson's INPFL, ECOMOG was able to land its forces in the capital Monrovia and occupy the harbor. Taylor never forgave Sierra Leone for being host to ECOMOG and vowed that "Sierra Leoneans would taste the bitterness of War" He then proceeded to help Foday Sankoh, a frustrated former Sierra Leone Army corporal turned photographer to put together a group of Sierra Leoneans called the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and launch an attack on Sierra Leone in 1991 that became one of the bloodiest civil campaigns ever fought on the African continent. The RUF embarked on full scale terror; burning, looting, maiming, raping, decapitations, amputations, disembowelment and every imaginable depravity under the sun, all in a bid to control and put the fear of the group in the people. Children as young as 6 were caught, given guns and made to kill their relatives. They were drugged and made to commit unmentionable crimes that have left them both physically and psychologically scarred for life.

Eventually ECOMOG was able to stabilize Liberia, Samuel Doe was captured and brutally murdered by Prince Johson and taped for all the world to see and elections were conducted that saw the Liberian people voting for no one else but Charles Taylor to lead them as a civilian president.
The Prince Johnson Horror Show-Murder of Samuel Doe
Sam "Maskita" Bockarie
But as they say, once a rebel, always a rebel. Even as president, Charles Taylor continued to behave with reckless abandon. He put his son called Chucky in charge of a special security team that continued to terrorise innocent Liberian people. He sponsored rebels in Sierra Leone with arms and ammunitions in return for raw uncut diamond and raw cocoa and coffee. Even when Foday Sankoh was in exile in Nigeria, where he was trapped by ex-Nigerian Strongman Sanni Abacha, Taylor continued his dealings with Sam "Maskita" Bockarie, a retired disco dancer that was the battle group commander for RUF, a young depraved killer that was responsible for most of the terrible crimes of RUF. He had sinister names for his attacks on civilians. "Operation no living thing" meant that his troops should kill everything that moved. They burnt towns and chopped limbs, all the while depending on Charles Taylor for arms.
President Taylor on Trial

Taylor Arrested
Taylor's wickedness finally caught up with him when a group of some of his ex fighters and his victims came together and launched a rebellion against his government that he could not handle. On the brink of defeat, he negotiated his way to Nigeria where he promised to live in obscurity. Of course Taylor was a man who never kept his promises. He attempted to escape, was caught and eventually found his way to Freetown charged with crimes against humanity.

Though the RUF rebels never gave up their godfather CharlesTaylor and denied his direct involvement,  the prosecutors at the war crimes tribunal in the Hague were able to prove that he was involved in giving them substantial military support and the court found him criminally responsible for planning the crimes committed during the attacks on Kono, Makeni and Freetown in Sierra Leone and collaborating with the AFRC Junta.

In order to prevent him from giving evidence, Charles Taylor had Sam Maskita Bockarie murdered. Foday Sankoh died while he was on trial. Prince Yormie Johnson is now a Liberian politician who came third in that country's just concluded presidential elections. He will also one day face justice.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More Sierra Leone Independence Pictures

Police Playing Nice
Commissioner with the people
Everybody dancing to My area
Beautiful Decorations
Mohamed and Hassan Listening
Pastor Sowa in holy mood
Keynote Speaker Dr. Gary Johnson
Attentive Audience

More Scenes from Sierra Leone's 51st Anniversary in minneapolis

Juldeh Jalloh MCing
Dennis Bango thinkind about Sa lone Politics
Massah Sheriff looking cool
Fadima Jalloh looking cool
Margaret Ayers in charge of the slide show
Lahai Ansumana promoting Sa lone
Joshua Murray  friend of the police
Safia Kamara 
MC Sarah Cassell doing her stuff
Keynote Speaker and Wife Jeanne Ayers

COVID-19 Preparedness in Sierra Leone

As the saying goes, once bitten, twice shy. In Sierra Leone, the Julius Maada Bio led government has been very eager to prevent a repeat ...