Vigilante groups have been successful in providing local security. But subcontracting security functions to vigilante groups for counter-insurgency purposes is a dangerous option for fragile African states. African leaders should set clear objectives and mandates when enlisting vigilantes and invest in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programs.
Deadly clashes erupted between protesters and security forces in north, while doctors went on strike amid COVID-19 pandemic. Security forces 18 July opened fire on protesters who attacked local offices of President Bio’s political party in northern Makeni city, Bombali district, leaving at least four killed and ten wounded; hundreds had gathered to block relocation of power generator to another city, fearing loss of electricity supply. Govt immediately imposed curfew in Makeni. In statement published 21 July, MPs from Bombali district condemned violence and demanded investigation into “use of excessive and disproportionate lethal force by police and military personnel”. Bishop of Makeni diocese 26 July called for calm and “immediate, independent and transparent investigation” into recent violence. Amid escalating tensions between health workers and govt over alleged misuse of COVID-19 funds, doctors 2 July went on strike to protest unpaid hazard allowance and lack of protective equipment, suspending care of coronavirus patients; 7 July threatened to suspend care for all patients if govt failed to meet their demands. Govt 22 July reopened air borders for commercial flights, closed since March amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Sierra Leone has made much progress since the civil war ended in 2002, but a number of social and economic time bombs must still be defused if an enduring peace is to be built. The 2007 elections, in which Ernest Bai Koroma won the presidency and his All People’s Congress (APC) wrested the parliament from the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), restored legitimacy to the electoral process.
Sierra Leone holds presidential and legislative elections in August 2007. President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, who won a landslide victory in 2002 at the end of the civil war, split the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) by anointing a successor, Vice-President Solomon Berewa.
The interventions in Liberia and Sierra Leone are failing to produce states that will be stable and capable of exercising the full range of sovereign responsibilities on behalf of their long-suffering populations.
There was euphoria in Sierra Leone in 2002 as the country finally emerged from eleven years of war and entered a period of democratic transition and better governance. Since the successful elections on 14 May of that year, however, the donor community and the people of Sierra Leone have grown increasingly frustrated with stagnating reform and recovery.
The landmark guilty verdict today against former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor is a warning to those most responsible for atrocity crimes that they can be held accountable.
Originally published in International Herald Tribune
Originally published in allAfrica
Originally published in International New York Times