Pres.Bio Pledges $500,000

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His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has pledged US$500,000 to the Extraordinary Humanitarian Summit and Pledging Conference at the opening session of the 16th Extraordinary Conference of the African Union, AU, Summit.

The summit deliberated efforts by African leaders to address the current humanitarian challenges in the continent, that were now being exacerbated by the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and disasters across the continent, identify durable solutions to address the current humanitarian challenges, especially of humanitarian financing and those that contributed to post-conflict recovery, peace and development.

As a way of positioning the country on the global stage for a well-deserved respect, President Bio told the summit that Sierra Leone had gone ahead since to establish the National Disaster Management Agency to primarily deal with disasters of any sort, adding that his government believed that it should take care of their internally displaced and distress persons because of manmade and natural disasters.

“Sierra Leone fully supports the setting up of the Africa Humanitarian Agency, and Sierra Leone is pledging $500,000. Thank you,” he concluded.

SLRSA road construction destroys houses…

Leicester Road residents call for compensation

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By: Mustapha Dumbuya.

The Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) is a government agency responsible for the planning, control, construction and maintenance of all roads across Sierra Leone.

Over the years, the government of Sierra Leone through the Sierra Leone Roads Authority awarded a contract to the China Railway International Group (CRIG) for the construction of a road leading from Berry Street to Gloucester in Freetown.

The Human Resources Manager for CRIG, Aruna Babgura said because government had delayed payment to the company that has delayed the completion of the road, and causing it being done slowly.

“I felt sorry for those that have been affected by the heavy down pour of the rains and hoping that the Management of SLRA will try by all possible means to compensate them,” he explained.

One of the affected person Boi Davices explained that he is currently looking for another resident because he is any longer safe with his family, adding that he had almost lost all his appliances because of the mud and water entering their homes.

He requested for the government to help them because they have nothing ‘to write home about’ and he is currently sleeping in a neighbor’s house with his family.

Fatmata Koroma also explained to this medium that if government does not intervene immediately they will find it very difficult coping with the onslaught of water and mud. It has already destroyed her property to the tune of millions of Leones.

She also pointed out that they have been sleeping in a neighbor’s house for over two weeks. She added that if government should compensate them they will try to relocate themselves, as the location is no more conducive for them to stay. 

The Public Relations Officer for the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) Keifa Jaward informed this medium that they always do routine site inspection visit and they are aware of the incidents and the management would accept its responsibility.

Mr Jaward assured this medium that the management of SLRA is currently working with the community in making sure they address the issues.

“The Management of SLRA had also given some stipends to some youths in that community to construct drainages for diverting the water in the meantime”, He said.

He added that the China Railway International Group (CRIG) is currently building a retaining wall to finally solve the problem.

The PRO said that the management is facing huge challenges with their budget, even though they had submitted their budget to the   Ministry of Finance, but yet still is not approved.

“We are aware of their situation, we are very much concerned after we had mobilized resources for the project to recommence and we will be able to sort out their problems”, the PRO Concluded.

It’s Malicious to Compare the Taiwan Question to the Ukraine Issue

Amb.Hu Zhangliang

Recently, certain Western politicians and media, by taking advantage of the international community’s attention to the Ukraine issue, deliberately compared the Taiwan question to the Ukraine issue with a view to confusing the public, creating more troubles and emboldening the separatist forces for “Taiwan independence”. Such acts are malicious. Anyone who is familiar with the historical development of the Taiwan question and who has some knowledge about the international law knows that the Taiwan question and the Ukraine issue are not comparable at all.

Since 1991, with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has been an independent country recognized by the world. However, for the case of Taiwan, it has always been an inalienable part of China’s territory since ancient times and has never been an independent country. From the middle of the 12th century onwards, successive Chinese governments established administrative organs in Taiwan and exercised jurisdiction. In 1945 when the Chinese people, together with other people of the world, won the great victory in the war against Japanese aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War, the Chinese government restored administration in Taiwan. A series of international law documents, including the Cairo Declaration (November 26, 1943) and the Potsdam Proclamation (July 26, 1945), have clearly and unambiguously confirmed China’s sovereignty over Taiwan.

On October 1, 1949, the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China was formed, replacing the government of “the Republic of China” as the sole legal government of China and the sole legal representative of China in the international arena, fully enjoying and exercising China’s sovereignty, including sovereignty over Taiwan. In 1971, the 26th session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution No. 2758, which decided to restore all rights of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations and recognized the representatives of the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations. The reality that Taiwan has not yet been reunited with the mainland does not change the fact that Taiwan belongs to China. In 1992, representatives of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait reached a consensus that both sides belong to one and the same China.

The Ukraine issue arose from contention between two countries, namely Russia and Ukraine. It is the moves of NATO, which is led by a certain super power, that have pushed the Russia-Ukraine tension to the breaking point. On the Ukraine issue, China has adopted an impartial position and a responsible attitude based on the merits of the matter itself. China has been promoting peace talks in its own way, supporting the efforts of all parties in favour of easing the situation and political solution, and providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine. Unfortunately, some other countries have kept “adding fuel to the fire” under various pretexts, making the situation more complicated and difficult to resolve.

The root cause of the existent tension in the Taiwan Strait is that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities refuse to recognize the one-China principle and attempt to renege on the consensus that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. The DPP authorities have sought to create “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan” and tried to misrepresent Taiwan’s history and sever Taiwan’s historical and cultural ties with the mainland. The peace and future of Taiwan rests on the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and the final reunification of the motherland. To seek “Taiwan independence” is not only doomed to failure but also disastrous for the well-being of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan’s future. Some Western forces, in a bid to hold back China’s rejuvenation, have condoned and abetted the growth of the separatist forces for “Taiwan independence” and tried to challenge and hollow out the one-China principle. This grave violation of the basic norms of international relations would not only push Taiwan into a precarious situation, but also bring unbearable consequences for themselves.

Those who intentionally compare the Taiwan question to the Ukraine issue attempt to create the illusion that “Taiwan is also a sovereign state” so as to enhance Taiwan’s political status and international influence, to interfere in China’s internal affairs by internationalizing China’s domestic issue with a view to disrupting the pace of China’s reunification and to worsen China’s development environment and clear the way for some countries to maintain their hegemony. This tactic designed to divert attention, instigate confrontation and profit from the situation is immoral and very harmful.

The Taiwan question is entirely China’s internal affair, where no foreign country has any right to interfere with. The Chinese government and people will strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with utmost sincerity and efforts, but their resolve and will to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity are unwavering. Some people, while being vocal about the principle of sovereignty on the Ukraine issue, have kept undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Taiwan question. This is a blatant act of double standards.

China and Sierra Leone are time-honored friends. China appreciates Sierra Leone’s long-standing adherence to the one-China principle. I believe that our friends in Sierra Leone are able to see through the true intentions of certain people using the Ukraine issue to speculate on the Taiwan question and will not be misled by them. I am sure that Sierra Leone will continue to firmly support the Chinese government and people in defending their core interests and legitimate rights.

DSTI Advises Youths On Career Path

The directorate science and technology (DSTI) on Monday 23rd may 2022 advised young people to advance their career path in technology world.

In this statement during the ceremony scheduled at the Lebanese school hall in Freetown on the theme career in technology featuring data science.

The junior (Jr) data scientist of the DSTI Abdul Rahman Jalloh said that the programs are a kick start to sensitize school children on their career path advising young people to kill the phobia and no other negative perception they hold against technology.

He enlightened young people on the benefits of technology underscoring that computer science, social media and like are study that combines domain expertise on programming skills and knowledge of mathematics and statistics to extract meaningful scored that data science could be used to diagnose cancer, adding that social media platform.

Facebook is another technology that connects family and friends and other citizen of the world.

Their focus is also to use technology to transform the health sector, adding to that DSTI has further supported the free quality education by using technology and they are also planning to hold a seminar for school children.

Pres. Bio Addresses AU summit

His excellency president Julius Maada Bio has addressed the Africa Union summit at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Below is the press statement.   

Let me, from the outset, thank His Excellency, President Nguema, for the excellent hospitality accorded me and my delegation since our arrival, and the outstanding facilities he has so generously put at our disposal.

  1. I also wish to thank your Excellencies for the confidence reposed in me for appointing me as Chairperson of The African Peer Review Forum of Heads of State and Government. I wish to commend my predecessor, His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa, for the excellent manner in which he chaired the proceedings of the forum during his tenure. We have made great progress and we will continue building on our successes.
  • I embrace this weighty task not just with gratitude, but with modesty. I spend time thinking of what this illustrious body, the African Union, has come to mean to us, especially in a fast-changing world.  But beyond that, I dwell constantly on what great potential exists through this body.
  • We are not here to wag fingers at fellow leaders or member states; I am not one, who, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “points out how the strongman stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. I am actually in the arena, my face is marred by dust, sweat, and blood; striving valiantly.”

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EXCELLENCIES,

  • We have made commendable gains in advancing democracy and human rights for our people since attaining independence. With the reintroduction of multiparty democratic politics, we further consolidated those gains. Democracy is not necessarily sustaining. Its survival depends on consistent, conscious efforts; on the blood, sweat and tears of patriots who ensure that questions of governance and resource distribution, as well as disputes, are resolved through democratic processes.
  • Accordingly, the Constitutive Act of the African Union is underpinned by key principles that condemn and reject unconstitutional changes of Government, impunity and political assassination, and acts of terrorism and subversive activities.
  • To concretise those principles in our states, we have put in place AU Shared Values as contained in various instruments and normative frameworks such as the Lomé Declaration on the OAU/AU Response to unconstitutional changes of government; the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; the Peace and Security Protocol; and, the APRM, as an African-owned and African-led platform for self-assessment, peer-learning, and experience-sharing in democracy and good governance.

EXCELLENCIES,

  1. You will recall that in its report to the 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly, the African Peer Review Forum of Heads of State and Government, denounced and condemned the resurgence of military coups d’état on the continent. As Heads of States and Governments, we must stress that all kinds of unconstitutional changes of government undermine the gains the continent has realised so far in the areas of good governance, democracy, peace, security, and stability, and the collective quest to silence the Guns in Africa by 2030. 
  • In this regard, as Chairperson of the African Peer Review Forum of Heads of State and Government, I would like to submit the following.

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  • Firstly, we should not view the resurgence of unconstitutional changes of government as broadly indicative of democratic regression or the collapse of our AU Shared Values. Instead, we should see these incidents as new challenges in the development of political pluralism and the consolidation of our AU Shared Values. 
  • These new situations are an opportunity to address the gaps in our normative framework and our response measures to unconstitutional changes of government. In this Summit, we should generate ideas and a roadmap to address these gaps.
  • Next, there is a need for deep and holistic introspection, at the country level, on factors that breed conditions supportive of changes of government in Africa. Unconstitutional changes of government may be occasioned by both internal and external factors. The internal factors could include socio-economic factors putting pressure on our people, and political contestations prevailing within our countries. We should not ignore the subjective factors that lead to citizens celebrating rather than condemning a coup. We should also reflect on whether those unconstitutional changes of Government are acts of popular uprising; what precipitous factors may have led to those changes; and, most importantly, what are our efforts at preventing and responding to unconstitutional changes of government as the AU and as regional economic communities. 
  • It is imperative therefore for us to urgently address the underlying causes of unconstitutional changes of government, including governance deficits, mismanagement of diversity, marginalisation, violation of human and peoples’ rights, refusal to accept electoral defeats, and the illegal review of constitutions, among others.
  • In our engagements on each country that has seen unconstitutional changes of Government, our objective interpretations must be unique to each country’s situation while focused on ensuring strict adherence to our cardinal principles and normative frameworks. 
  • For external, non-African factors that lead to unconstitutional changes of Government, it is imperative that we, as a Union, engage with governments and multilateral institutions within and outside the

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Continent ready to receive feedback that we must internalise and contextualise in order to inform solution-finding. 

  • Further, Your Excellencies, the APRM can play a critical role in initiating and moderating dialogue between countries under suspension as a result of unconstitutional changes of government and regional blocs and the AU. Done in a timely and structured manner, these dialogues can help contain incidents of unconstitutional changes of Government or facilitate the restoration of constitutional order on the African continent. 

EXCELLENCIES, 

  1. There is agreement within our Peace and Security Council on an urgent need to undertake an in-depth analysis of both the 2000 Lomé Declaration on unconstitutional changes of government, and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, with a view to ensuring that these frameworks and instruments respond appropriately to the challenges that we are currently facing as a Union and as a continent.
  1. We should also enhance the capacity of our Africa Governance Architecture Platform Members (including the APRM and our African Peace and Security Architecture Pillars). Thus, they can continue supporting Member-States in the promotion of democracy, good governance, peace, security, and stability with a view to preventing constitution-related crises. 
  1. Your Excellencies may recall numerous decisions by the Assembly, that the APRM, in collaboration with the African Governance Architecture (AGA), should develop the Africa Governance Report. That report can provide us with in-depth, evidence and expert-based analysis of existing instruments and normative frameworks.
  1. In that regard, on behalf of the APRM, I, therefore, propose that this Summit mandate the APRM, in collaboration with AGA, to develop the Africa Governance Report 2023. 
  1. Member-States affected by unconstitutional changes of government should be encouraged to collaborate and cooperate with the APRM and

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AGA to conduct targeted reviews and develop the African Governance Report 2023. The targeted reviews are a collaborative and facilitative approach that has been used to address specific issues related to governance challenges. It ensures that outcomes, findings, and recommendations are African-driven and African-owned. This is critical in building resilience and strengthening the capacities of our states in addressing the catalysts and triggers of unconstitutional changes of government.

  1. We should not allow any form of disunity to impede our resolve to address these issues around unconstitutional changes of Government on the African Continent. We must speak with one voice and act in concord. 

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