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Armed Police in York

Dozens arrested in York Village

York village of Constituency 110 in the Western Area Rural District is currently under siege and panic has gripped residents in the village and its surroundings for days now.

The uncalm situation followed a massive wave of arrest of dozens of residents in the village by armed officers of both the military and the police last weekend.

Many of the youths in the village have gone in to hiding in nearby communities and the bushes for fear of being trapped by the police who have mounted several a raids not spearing the village elders and headman Julrick Pratt who are presently in police custody in Freetown.

Reports say that the villagers of York had clashed with the police  afterthe Ministry of Lands Housing and Country Planning officials had clashed with residents in the village over large acres of land which the Ministry had claimed belong to the state.

The ministry , the resports continued had insisted that it wanted to utilize that huge portion of the acres of land but the villagers on the other hand had argued that the land belong to the village; hence the ministry should negotiate with them for the land which they said had been with them for hundreds of years.

As at press time, dozens of those arrested including elderly village leaders are being locked up at the OSD headquarters on Barth Street, off Kingharman Road. Police at OSD headquarters have refused to speak to Public Review on the issue.

Femi Cladius, the Chairperson for the Unity Part who is an indigene of York has in a  statement condemned what she described as, intimidation , unlawful arrest and detention of her home town people.

She said the police and officials of the Lands ministry acted wrongful to evade the villagers to capture acres of land which she said were reserved for them by their forefathers for hundreds of years.

Sheexplained that York is a peaceful community which had never had any land saga since and thatthe Ministry’s claimon half of the Village land is undone and illegal.

Madam Cole expressed disappointment at the minister of Lands whom she said she had advised to get an advisory council before moving to York Village on such land matters.

She said she was touched by the manner in which the youth and several others were manhandled by the armed officers who stormed the village. The Western Rural District chairman , Kasho Holland Cole has also condemned the move by the police and the ministry’s officials citing due process and negotiation approach that could have been a better option .

Mrs Elfruda John the Deputy Headperson has confirmed to Public Review that the move by the police occurred on Saturday 5th February 2022  when police arrested a total of 16 Youths including the Headman, Pratt who is reported to be seriously sick.

Mrs John has expressed her frustration over what she described as police deliberate refusal to release the villagers whom she said are languishing in arduous cells.

Police spokesman, CommissionerBrahimKamarasaid he was not aware of any arrest of the villagers in York and that the issue has not reached his desk officially yet. But promised to revert to Public Review once he gets information on the issue.

.

 The Inspector General of Police, Ambrose Sovula, accompanied by operational police personnel and senior staff of the Ministry of lands are said to have planned the move to York.

Sources within the police said the arrested people may be charged to court on alleged crimes of trespass, deforestation, destruction of growing plants, obtaining money by false pretense, riotous conduct, building without permits, illegal sale of land, among others.

The police, the source saidis also investigating the Headman of No.2 River for alleged connivance with one Martin Macauley to sell State Lands.

Economic & commercial Counselor of Chinese Speaks on illegal Fishing 

Vessels in Sierra Leone

ssthe Report of So-Called Description: https://www.forumnewssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Mr.-Du-Zijun-Economic-and-Commercial-Counselor-of-the-Chinese-Embassy%E2%80%82in-Sierra-Leone.jpgessels in Sierra Leone

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Sierra Leone has noted with concern that some local and foreign media recently published a report titled “Illegal overfishing by Chinese trawlers leaves Sierra Leone locals ‘starving’”. I wish to make the following points:

First, the remarks in the report on low license fees and the inability of the Chinese fishing enterprises to promote the economic development of Sierra Leone are totally groundless. Fishery is one of the traditional areas of China-Sierra Leone cooperation starting from the 1980s. In 2017, the governments of China and Sierra Leone signed a memorandum of understanding on fishery cooperation, laying a solid foundation for the healthy and sustainable development of this cooperation. As far as I know, there are more than 100 industrial fishing vessels and over 12,000 small fishing boats operating in the exclusive economic zone of Sierra Leone. At present, with the approval of the Chinese authorities, 5 Chinese fishing enterprises are operating in Sierra Leone with about 40 fishing vessels. These Chinese fishing enterprises and vessels have created thousands of direct jobs and tens of thousands of indirect jobs for Sierra Leonean people. In recent years, the Chinese fishing enterprises paid nearly 10 million US dollars of various fees including license fees to the Sierra Leonean government annually and also helped Sierra Leone earn a lot of foreign exchange through the export of fish catches. During the Ebola epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese fishing enterprises managed to continue their production, playing an essential role in maintaining the local jobs, ensuring the supply of fish in the local market, stabilizing prices, and enhancing people’s livelihood. The Chinese fishing enterprises have worked actively to fulfill their social responsibilities, established good relations with the local communities, and donated money or materials to victims who suffered from natural disasters, all of which were highly appreciated by the government and people of Sierra Leone. To sum up, the Chinese fishing enterprises have made significant contributions to the promotion of economic development of Sierra Leone and the improvement of living standards of its people.

Second, the accusations in the report that China has seized the interests of Sierra Leone’s fishery resources and led to their reduction are entirely untrue. According to the regulations of industrial fishing licenses in Sierra Leone, fishing enterprises operating in Sierra Leone should keep at least 30% of their catch for the local market. Actually, in normal years, more than 65% of the catch by the Chinese fishing enterprises remained in the local market, which has greatly met the living needs and enhanced food security of the local people. In recent years, to promote the sustainable development of the fishery industry of Sierra Leone, China has been gradually reducing the number of fishing enterprises and fishing vessels in Sierra Leone, and actively reduced the production capacity. Besides, China, at the request of the government of Sierra Leone, has dispatched a scientific research vessel to carry out a survey on fishery resources in Sierra Leone to help promote sustainable development of the fishery sector in the country. The Chinese fishing enterprises and their Sierra Leonean counterparts and employees share common interests. They fully understand that the sustainable development of Sierra Leone’s fishery industry benefits both sides.

Third, the blame in the report on the Chinese vessels’ under-declaration of catch and destruction of local fishermen’s boats and nets is merely speculation or one-sided allegation. The Chinese government always requires the Chinese fishing enterprises to operate in compliance with laws and regulations of Sierra Leone, monitors the Chinese vessels through surveillance systems, and asks the vessels to report their locations every hour. The Chinese fishing enterprises abide by the laws and operate strictly in the waters stipulated by the Sierra Leonean government bearing all certificates and documents required. Besides, each fishing vessel is equipped with a Vessel Management System (VMS) and an observer is dispatched by the Sierra Leone government to supervise the operation of the fishing vessels including loading and unloading of the catch. Generally speaking, Chinese fishing vessels and local fishing boats get along with each other well. Even in case of rare frictions between the two sides, the Chinese fishing enterprises always deal with it in a proper way according to the laws and regulations of Sierra Leone and in cooperation with observers and local agents. Chinese fishing vessels also take such measures as strengthening observation and voluntarily moving away from busy fishing grounds to avoid frictions. The Chinese fishing enterprises have been following the fishery policies and regulations of Sierra Leone, and have been working under the supervision of the fishery authorities of Sierra Leone.

Fourth, the accusation that the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone did not respond is not a fact. After receiving the e-mail from the author, a Mr. Yeung, of the above-mentioned report, the Chinese Embassy wrote a letter of reply via email and expressed willingness to communicate with him on relevant subjects, but thereafter, the embassy has not received any further response.

The Chinese side has always been following and will continue to follow the principle of sincerity, actual results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests to carry out friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation with Sierra Leone. China is committed to helping Sierra Leone in her social and economic development. I hope that relevant parties can treat the fishery cooperation between China and Sierra Leone objectively rather than with prejudice against the Chinese fishing enterprises or with tinted glasses. I believe the Sierra Leonean government and people will, out of fairness and justice, continue to promote and uphold our cooperation in various areas, including the fishery sector. If the relevant report is aimed at undermining China-Sierra Leone cooperation or tarnishing China’s image, it will be very disappointing, unnecessary and to no avail.

Sierra Leone Hosts Event to Observe World Interfaith Harmony Week at the UN

The Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations in New York was the main host of the 2022 World Interfaith Harmony Week Observance at the United Nations on the theme: “Faith and Spiritual Leadership to Combat Stigma and Conflict During Pandemic Recovery”.

Since the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/65/5 in 2010, which declared the first week of February each year as World Interfaith Harmony Week, the interfaith dialogue is convened annually as a continuing commitment to advance the cause of developing a culture of peace and harmony by bringing together faith and spiritual leaders to motivate people of the world. 

For the significant 10th anniversary of the interfaith dialogue this year, leaders brought their moral and spiritual authority to bear on the need for solidarity and cooperation among peoples and nations of the world, to control the scourge of COVID19 with resources available and shared equitably.

The Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, His Excellency Ambassador FandayTuray in opening the event as the main sponsor said that Sierra Leone maintains a great deal of religious tolerance in which Muslims, Christians and believers of traditional religion co-exist peacefully without any hindrance.

He said the United Nations has continued to ensure that peace and security prevail across the world, but conflict continued to strive and in some cases with religious or faith undertones. He maintained that the meeting was relevant towards the promotion of peace and harmonious relationship among people regardless of their religious beliefs.

Ambassador Turay noted that the achievement of peace and interfaith harmony using the influence of faith and religious leaders is more urgent now than ever before adding that irrespective of the effects of the civil conflict over two decades ago, throughout its history Sierra Leone has been free of religious conflict because of religious tolerant with freedom of religion protected by its constitution.

He concluded by urging world leaders to act on COVID19 vaccine equity, especially as developed countries are rolling out 3 to 4 doses of vaccines, only a small percentage of people in Africa and other developing countries are fully vaccinated.

“US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs invites Minister David Sengeh to testify at a hearing on the theme “Improving Access to Quality Public Education in Africa”

In a letter dated 2 February 2022,  the Chairman, Gregory Meeks has requested with delightful pleasure the presence of the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education in Sierra Leone to address the House of Representatives Committee

on best practices.  “This hearing should inform legislation that aims to promote a comprehensive strategy to help bolster public education sectors across the continent, particularly as it relates to balancing access and quality in rural locations, including historically marginalized groups such as women and those with disabilities, and expanding access to technology for students.”

 He further went on to state that “Moreover, we are seeking to learn best practices that U.S. agencies, firms, and institutions can employ to partner and coordinate on strategy development and implementation with governments in African countries, international organizations, the African Union, African regional economic communities, civil society groups, and the private sector.”

This hearing session would be held before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa,

Global Health, and Global Human Rights at 10:00 a.m. EST, on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

Minister Sengeh according to this letter is expected to submit written testimony, as well as oral testimonies, and thereafter, face a Question & Answer session with the House of Representatives members who will be keen to tap into the vast range of expertise he has used in transforming the educational sector in his home country. This is geared towards promoting an extensive technique that will help strengthen public education sectors across the continent

York village of Constituency 110 in the Western Area Rural District is currently under siege and panic has gripped residents in the village and its surroundings for days now.

The uncalm situation followed a massive wave of arrest of dozens of residents in the village by armed officers of both the military and the police last weekend.

Many of the youths in the village have gone in to hiding in nearby communities and the bushes for fear of being trapped by the police who have mounted several a raids not spearing the village elders and headman Julrick Pratt who are presently in police custody in Freetown.

Reports say that the villagers of York had clashed with the police  afterthe Ministry of Lands Housing and Country Planning officials had clashed with residents in the village over large acres of land which the Ministry had claimed belong to the state.

The ministry , the resports continued had insisted that it wanted to utilize that huge portion of the acres of land but the villagers on the other hand had argued that the land belong to the village; hence the ministry should negotiate with them for the land which they said had been with them for hundreds of years.

As at press time, dozens of those arrested including elderly village leaders are being locked up at the OSD headquarters on Barth Street, off Kingharman Road. Police at OSD headquarters have refused to speak to Public Review on the issue.

Femi Cladius, the Chairperson for the Unity Part who is an indigene of York has in a  statement condemned what she described as, intimidation , unlawful arrest and detention of her home town people.

She said the police and officials of the Lands ministry acted wrongful to evade the villagers to capture acres of land which she said were reserved for them by their forefathers for hundreds of years.

Sheexplained that York is a peaceful community which had never had any land saga since and thatthe Ministry’s claimon half of the Village land is undone and illegal.

Madam Cole expressed disappointment at the minister of Lands whom she said she had advised to get an advisory council before moving to York Village on such land matters.

She said she was touched by the manner in which the youth and several others were manhandled by the armed officers who stormed the village. The Western Rural District chairman , Kasho Holland Cole has also condemned the move by the police and the ministry’s officials citing due process and negotiation approach that could have been a better option .

Mrs Elfruda John the Deputy Headperson has confirmed to Public Review that the move by the police occurred on Saturday 5th February 2022  when police arrested a total of 16 Youths including the Headman, Pratt who is reported to be seriously sick.

Mrs John has expressed her frustration over what she described as police deliberate refusal to release the villagers whom she said are languishing in arduous cells.

Police spokesman, CommissionerBrahimKamarasaid he was not aware of any arrest of the villagers in York and that the issue has not reached his desk officially yet. But promised to revert to Public Review once he gets information on the issue.

.

 The Inspector General of Police, Ambrose Sovula, accompanied by operational police personnel and senior staff of the Ministry of lands are said to have planned the move to York.

Sources within the police said the arrested people may be charged to court on alleged crimes of trespass, deforestation, destruction of growing plants, obtaining money by false pretense, riotous conduct, building without permits, illegal sale of land, among others.

The police, the source saidis also investigating the Headman of No.2 River for alleged connivance with one Martin Macauley to sell State Lands.

Economic & commercial Counselor of Chinese Speaks on illegal Fishing 

Vessels in Sierra Leone

ssthe Report of So-Called Description: https://www.forumnewssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Mr.-Du-Zijun-Economic-and-Commercial-Counselor-of-the-Chinese-Embassy%E2%80%82in-Sierra-Leone.jpgessels in Sierra Leone

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Sierra Leone has noted with concern that some local and foreign media recently published a report titled “Illegal overfishing by Chinese trawlers leaves Sierra Leone locals ‘starving’”. I wish to make the following points:

First, the remarks in the report on low license fees and the inability of the Chinese fishing enterprises to promote the economic development of Sierra Leone are totally groundless. Fishery is one of the traditional areas of China-Sierra Leone cooperation starting from the 1980s. In 2017, the governments of China and Sierra Leone signed a memorandum of understanding on fishery cooperation, laying a solid foundation for the healthy and sustainable development of this cooperation. As far as I know, there are more than 100 industrial fishing vessels and over 12,000 small fishing boats operating in the exclusive economic zone of Sierra Leone. At present, with the approval of the Chinese authorities, 5 Chinese fishing enterprises are operating in Sierra Leone with about 40 fishing vessels. These Chinese fishing enterprises and vessels have created thousands of direct jobs and tens of thousands of indirect jobs for Sierra Leonean people. In recent years, the Chinese fishing enterprises paid nearly 10 million US dollars of various fees including license fees to the Sierra Leonean government annually and also helped Sierra Leone earn a lot of foreign exchange through the export of fish catches. During the Ebola epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese fishing enterprises managed to continue their production, playing an essential role in maintaining the local jobs, ensuring the supply of fish in the local market, stabilizing prices, and enhancing people’s livelihood. The Chinese fishing enterprises have worked actively to fulfill their social responsibilities, established good relations with the local communities, and donated money or materials to victims who suffered from natural disasters, all of which were highly appreciated by the government and people of Sierra Leone. To sum up, the Chinese fishing enterprises have made significant contributions to the promotion of economic development of Sierra Leone and the improvement of living standards of its people.

Second, the accusations in the report that China has seized the interests of Sierra Leone’s fishery resources and led to their reduction are entirely untrue. According to the regulations of industrial fishing licenses in Sierra Leone, fishing enterprises operating in Sierra Leone should keep at least 30% of their catch for the local market. Actually, in normal years, more than 65% of the catch by the Chinese fishing enterprises remained in the local market, which has greatly met the living needs and enhanced food security of the local people. In recent years, to promote the sustainable development of the fishery industry of Sierra Leone, China has been gradually reducing the number of fishing enterprises and fishing vessels in Sierra Leone, and actively reduced the production capacity. Besides, China, at the request of the government of Sierra Leone, has dispatched a scientific research vessel to carry out a survey on fishery resources in Sierra Leone to help promote sustainable development of the fishery sector in the country. The Chinese fishing enterprises and their Sierra Leonean counterparts and employees share common interests. They fully understand that the sustainable development of Sierra Leone’s fishery industry benefits both sides.

Third, the blame in the report on the Chinese vessels’ under-declaration of catch and destruction of local fishermen’s boats and nets is merely speculation or one-sided allegation. The Chinese government always requires the Chinese fishing enterprises to operate in compliance with laws and regulations of Sierra Leone, monitors the Chinese vessels through surveillance systems, and asks the vessels to report their locations every hour. The Chinese fishing enterprises abide by the laws and operate strictly in the waters stipulated by the Sierra Leonean government bearing all certificates and documents required. Besides, each fishing vessel is equipped with a Vessel Management System (VMS) and an observer is dispatched by the Sierra Leone government to supervise the operation of the fishing vessels including loading and unloading of the catch. Generally speaking, Chinese fishing vessels and local fishing boats get along with each other well. Even in case of rare frictions between the two sides, the Chinese fishing enterprises always deal with it in a proper way according to the laws and regulations of Sierra Leone and in cooperation with observers and local agents. Chinese fishing vessels also take such measures as strengthening observation and voluntarily moving away from busy fishing grounds to avoid frictions. The Chinese fishing enterprises have been following the fishery policies and regulations of Sierra Leone, and have been working under the supervision of the fishery authorities of Sierra Leone.

Fourth, the accusation that the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone did not respond is not a fact. After receiving the e-mail from the author, a Mr. Yeung, of the above-mentioned report, the Chinese Embassy wrote a letter of reply via email and expressed willingness to communicate with him on relevant subjects, but thereafter, the embassy has not received any further response.

The Chinese side has always been following and will continue to follow the principle of sincerity, actual results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests to carry out friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation with Sierra Leone. China is committed to helping Sierra Leone in her social and economic development. I hope that relevant parties can treat the fishery cooperation between China and Sierra Leone objectively rather than with prejudice against the Chinese fishing enterprises or with tinted glasses. I believe the Sierra Leonean government and people will, out of fairness and justice, continue to promote and uphold our cooperation in various areas, including the fishery sector. If the relevant report is aimed at undermining China-Sierra Leone cooperation or tarnishing China’s image, it will be very disappointing, unnecessary and to no avail.

Sierra Leone Hosts Event to Observe World Interfaith Harmony Week at the UN

The Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations in New York was the main host of the 2022 World Interfaith Harmony Week Observance at the United Nations on the theme: “Faith and Spiritual Leadership to Combat Stigma and Conflict During Pandemic Recovery”.

Since the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/65/5 in 2010, which declared the first week of February each year as World Interfaith Harmony Week, the interfaith dialogue is convened annually as a continuing commitment to advance the cause of developing a culture of peace and harmony by bringing together faith and spiritual leaders to motivate people of the world. 

For the significant 10th anniversary of the interfaith dialogue this year, leaders brought their moral and spiritual authority to bear on the need for solidarity and cooperation among peoples and nations of the world, to control the scourge of COVID19 with resources available and shared equitably.

The Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, His Excellency Ambassador FandayTuray in opening the event as the main sponsor said that Sierra Leone maintains a great deal of religious tolerance in which Muslims, Christians and believers of traditional religion co-exist peacefully without any hindrance.

He said the United Nations has continued to ensure that peace and security prevail across the world, but conflict continued to strive and in some cases with religious or faith undertones. He maintained that the meeting was relevant towards the promotion of peace and harmonious relationship among people regardless of their religious beliefs.

Ambassador Turay noted that the achievement of peace and interfaith harmony using the influence of faith and religious leaders is more urgent now than ever before adding that irrespective of the effects of the civil conflict over two decades ago, throughout its history Sierra Leone has been free of religious conflict because of religious tolerant with freedom of religion protected by its constitution.

He concluded by urging world leaders to act on COVID19 vaccine equity, especially as developed countries are rolling out 3 to 4 doses of vaccines, only a small percentage of people in Africa and other developing countries are fully vaccinated.

“US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs invites Minister David Sengeh to testify at a hearing on the theme “Improving Access to Quality Public Education in Africa”

In a letter dated 2 February 2022,  the Chairman, Gregory Meeks has requested with delightful pleasure the presence of the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education in Sierra Leone to address the House of Representatives Committee

on best practices.  “This hearing should inform legislation that aims to promote a comprehensive strategy to help bolster public education sectors across the continent, particularly as it relates to balancing access and quality in rural locations, including historically marginalized groups such as women and those with disabilities, and expanding access to technology for students.”

 He further went on to state that “Moreover, we are seeking to learn best practices that U.S. agencies, firms, and institutions can employ to partner and coordinate on strategy development and implementation with governments in African countries, international organizations, the African Union, African regional economic communities, civil society groups, and the private sector.”

This hearing session would be held before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa,

Global Health, and Global Human Rights at 10:00 a.m. EST, on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

Minister Sengeh according to this letter is expected to submit written testimony, as well as oral testimonies, and thereafter, face a Question & Answer session with the House of Representatives members who will be keen to tap into the vast range of expertise he has used in transforming the educational sector in his home country. This is geared towards promoting an extensive technique that will help strengthen public education sectors across the continent

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