IOM TO REPATRIATE 180 SIERRA LEONEANS FROM LIBYA

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is facilitating the repatriation of 180 stranded Sierra Leoneans from various detention centres in the State of Libya to Sierra Leone following consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the IOM Head of Mission in Sierra Leone.

According to the Head of Chancery of the Republic of Sierra Leone in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, Mohamed A. Hashim, the first batch of 180 deportees from various detention centers in the State of Libya, have been traced and screened by the Sierra Leone Embassy staff and IOM and have been to be certified Sierra Leoneans. On the issue of security, he said, Interpol will further screen the returnees.

According to IOM officials in Sierra Leone, the special chartered flight will arrive on the Tuesday 21st November, 2017 at 18:30pm at the Freetown International Airport in Lungi.

The Director General and Ambassador-at-Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Khadijatu Bassir, Senior officials of the Ministry, together with officials from IOM, social service providers, the security sector led by ONS will be at the airport to receive and screen the 180 returnees from Libya.

It could be recalled that hundreds of Sierra Leoneans left the shores of this country heading to Europe and other parts of the Globe in search of greener pastures through several illegal and risky travelling channels – land and sea. In the process some lost their lives while others got stranded in other countries.

Following several distress calls and media publications on the predicament of our compatriots who find themselves in this ugly situation, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation engaged some members of the Diplomatic Community to assist Sierra Leonean citizens that are stranded in other countries including Libya. It is against this backdrop that the Ministry engaged IOM to assist destitute Sierra Leoneans in Libya. 

OSASA PLEDGES SUPPORT TO DR. SAMURA KAMARA

A cross section of the executive and members of the Old St. Andrew’s Student Association (OSASA) in Bo, has paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, who also double as the flag bearer aspirant for the APC party, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, at the Minister’s office, Tower Hill, Freetown to congratulate him on his accomplishment and update him on the present status of the association.

Speaking on behalf of the Board of Governors, OSASA and the school administration, the National President of OSASA, Joseph Mbawa, congratulated Dr. Samura Kamara on his appointment as flag bearer of the APC noting that this has been a normal routine of the Association in celebrating the achievements of its membership. ‘You deserve what you are today’, Mr. Mbawa added. The OSASA national President further disclosed that this is the first time an alumnus of St. Andrews has attained this political appointment. He assured that they will usher support from their membership to produce the first Head of State of this nation from their alma mater.

Mr. Mbawa also updated the Minister on the present situation of the school with regards current cooperation between the Board of Governors and the School Management team, enrolment, staff, and infrastructural development among other issues. He appealed to the Minister for more support to the school especially the campus fencing to ensure security. The OSASA President concluded by extending invitation to Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara to serve as Keynote Speaker during the Speech Day expected to be hosted in February 2018, in Bo City.

Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara commended members of the Association for keeping the spirit of the association alive. He recalled several colleagues they schooled together lamenting that among their batch only few are alive. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has also consented to serve as guest speaker at the speech day ceremony in Bo. ‘I know I have a big role to play more so now…we all have a responsibility to promote and develop our alma mater’, Dr. Samura Kamara concluded.

The decoration of the Minister with the school and OSASA badges by Haja Mbalu climaxed the visit.

The ceremony was witnessed by the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; and the Head of Section of Media and Public Affairs of the Ministry.

China offers over $45M to the Government of Sierra Leone

In a bid to broaden or bolster economic and technical cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Government of the People’s Republic of China made a grant offer to the tune of 300,000,000 RMB Yuan (Approx. 45,180,000.00 US dollar) to the Government of Sierra Leone at a signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown.

The agreement which was signed by the Ambassador H.E. Wu Peng, for and on behalf of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone, stipulates that the Government of the People’s Republic of China agrees to provide to the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone a grant assistance in the amount of 300,000,000 RMB Yuan (Approx. 45,180,000.00 US dollar) to implement the rehabilitation of the National Stadium project and support to the Agricultural sector.

In his brief remarks before the signing of the agreement, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone thanked the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation for the pivotal role he has played in enhancing and deepening the bilateral ties between the two countries. Ambassador Peng emphasised the need to promote and mobilise more resources in the agricultural sector in the country.

Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara lauded the effort of the Chinese Government for scaling up bilateral relations with the Republic of Sierra Leone which he said, was as a result of the Government’s relentless effort to attain the highest level of cooperation with the People’s Republic of China. ‘Our children yet unborn will inherit this friendly relationship with China’, he added. The Foreign Minister underscored some of the significant assistance China has offered to the Republic of Sierra Leone including infrastructure, energy, health and much more.

The ceremony was witnessed by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Food Security, Dr. Marilyn Marie Jalloh; the Hon. Minister of Sports, Mr. Ahmed Khanou; the Director of the Political Section of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, GUO Xin; the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, Deputy Director General for Operations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Directors of various Divisions and Heads of Sections of the Ministry.

Ambassador of Japan takes formal leave of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

His Excellency Kaoru YOSHIMURA, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Sierra Leone resident in Ghana, has taken formal leave of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, at the Ministry’s office, Tower Hill, Freetown.

In his farewell statement to the Minister and Senior Management staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Excellency Kaoru YOSHIMURA, on behalf of the Government of Japan conveyed sincere gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the warm reception given to the Japanese community and organisations/or institutions operating in the country.

The outgoing Ambassador expressed sentiments on the bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the Government of Japan and the Republic of Sierra Leone through the implementation of various programmes. HE Kaoru YOSHIMURA also highlighted several programmes that are currently implemented in Sierra Leone including: Japanese Government scholarships; humanitarian assistance; and peacebuilding and development.

Other issues raised and discussed by the Ambassador bordered around: enhancement of economic cooperation, Human security projects and other global issues. 

Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, on behalf of Government and the people of the Republic of Sierra Leone, thanked the outgoing Ambassador for enduring his mission in Sierra Leone. He described the bilateral relations between Japan and Sierra Leone as very cordial underscoring the significance of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.  ‘Please extend my regards to the Foreign Affairs Minister of Japan’, Dr. Samura Kamara, concluded.

Present were: the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, Deputy Director General for Operations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Assistant Director General for Policy and Technical Cooperation; Directors of various Divisions and Heads of Sections of the Ministry.

AU SUB-COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE DEBRIEFS THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, has (3rd November, 2017), received a two-man delegation comprising Her Excellency Monica Nashandi, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Namibia to the African Union representing the Permanent Representatives Committee’s (PRC) Sub-Committee on Special Emergency Assistance Fund (SEAF) and Madam Rahol Mosfin, from the Department of Political Affairs, in the Directors conference room, Tower Hill, Freetown.

Her Excellency Monica Nashandi said, their mission was to reaffirm the solidarity of the African Union with the Republic of Sierra Leone with specific focus on the Post Ebola situation in the country as well as the national recovery and resilience building efforts following the recent mudslide disaster. The AU mission she stated, has made courtesy calls and held several meetings with MDAs, UN Agencies, INGOs and other humanitarian partners to assess the achievements thus far; the challenges and to map the way forward in providing the necessary support to avoid human sufferings and mitigate other fallouts from any disasters befalling African Union member states.

The AU envoy lauded the effort of Government for the structures put in place in managing the Ebola scourge and the mudslide disaster in the country noting that their field trip in Port Loko district and interaction with stakeholders, manifest government’s preparedness for disaster management in the country. ‘The findings of this sub-committee on Special Emergency Assistance Fund will be submitted to the AU Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC)’, she concluded.

Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara in his welcome statement expressed thanks and appreciation to the AU SEAF Mission to Sierra Leone noting that the need for the assessment is significant to both the AU and the country in particular. The Foreign

Minister maintained that the report on findings of this assessment would enhance the country’s preparedness in term of disaster management.

Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara lauded the AU Commission for their financial support and the deployment of medical experts in the country during the Ebola Outbreak through OSEOWA to assist in curbing the spread of the virus.  

Present were: the Minister of State I, Dr. Mohamed Gibril Sesay, Director General and Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Assistant Director General for Policy and Technical Cooperation, Directors of various Divisions and Heads of Sections of the Ministry.