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.

Light House Chapel International Church in Ghana donates over 200 bales of used clothing to Mudslide & Flood Victims

The Light House Chapel International Church of the Republic of Ghana through the Sierra Leone High Commission in Ghana, has presented a truck load of 226 bales of used clothing and 20 mattresses to the office of National Security (ONS) at their Tower Hill headquarters in Freetown.

Delivering the items for and on behalf of the benefactors and the Sierra Leone High Commission in Ghana, the Deputy Director General for operations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Paul A. S. Minah said, the outcome of the August 14 mudslide and floods came as a shock to the people of Ghana, particularly the number of lives lost and value of property destroyed. It is against this backdrop, Mr. Minah said, that the Light House Chapel International Church pioneered and facilitated the transportation of the 226 bales of used clothing and 20 mattresses, donated by churches, mosques, pharmaceuticals, companies and other institutions and individuals of Ghanaian and foreign nationalities. He further added that the donation demonstrates their sympathy and empathy for families that lost dear ones, and also survivors. The Deputy Director General for operations on behalf of the donors, the pioneers and people of the Republic of Ghana extended condolence and sympathy to all affected families.

Receiving the items on behalf of the National Coordinator of ONS, the Director of Disaster Management, ONS, Mr. John V. Rogers, expressed thanks and appreciation to the Light House Chapel International Church and the people of Ghana for their benevolent donation. Mr. Rogers maintained that ONS would take custody of the items, which he promised would be utilized by the targeted beneficiaries. He also expressed thanks and appreciation to the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for facilitating the delivery process of the donated items.

The Deputy Director General for Operations, Mr. Paul Minah was accompanied by the Director for Economic and Technical Cooperation (ECOTEC), Mr. Obai Taylor-Kamara.

The Secretary of State for Scotland pays a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

The Secretary of State for Scotland, the Rt. Honourable David Mundell, has paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara at his Tower Hill office in Freetown.

According to the Rt. Hon. David Mundell, his visit to Sierra Leone is to enhance and deepen the existing partnership and bilateral relations between Scotland and the Republic of Sierra Leone. The Scottish Secretary of State extended fraternal salutations from the Government and people of Scotland to the Government and people of Sierra Leone. He also extended sympathy and condolences to bereaved families, victims and survivors of the Ebola scourge and the August 14 mudslide and flood disaster in the country.

The Rt. Hon. David Mundell underscored his Government’s continuous assistance and support to Sierra Leone.

Dr. Samura Kamara welcomed the Secretary of State for Scotland to Sierra Leone and assured him of the full support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs both at bilateral and multilateral levels.

Some of the issues discussed during the meeting focused on strengthening and deepening bilateral relations, the electoral cycle, as well as the people to people relations between Scotland and Sierra Leone.

Present at the ceremony were: the Minister of State I, Dr. Mohamed Gibril Sesay; the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Guy Warrington; the Head of Political, Press and Public Affairs, Justin Addison; the Deputy Director General for Operations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; and the Director of Protocol of the Ministry.

Youths are with me at the tables of leadership in Sierra Leone’… Says Dr. Samura Kamara

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara has told over 300 granduands that young people are the most-valued assets for human and intellectual capital formation and are critical in developing the knowledge, information and skills base required for the socio-economic and political development of the country.
Delivering his keynote address during the fourth graduation ceremony of the Obasanjo Skills Acquisition and Transformation College in Newton, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation underscored the significant role of his Ministry in the establishment of the college through South-South Cooperation. The college, Dr. Samura Kamara disclosed, was constructed by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the NILISA (Nigeria, Libya, and South Africa) South-South Cooperation programme in response to an appeal by the Government of Sierra Leone for international support to the youth employment scheme. ‘The assistance was geared towards training young people in various technical skills as a means of enhancing youth employability’, Dr. Samura Kamara added.
The Foreign Minister affirmed his commitment to build upon the promise of youth employability, noting that the youth shall be the pillars of their continuation in governance. ‘Your employability shall be my major concern, and youths shall continue to be in leadership position in all sectors. This is my vow to youths; this is my vow to the nation. There is no turning back. Together with the youth, we will expand upon the great foundation President Koroma has laid’, Dr. Samura Kamara asserted.
The Foreign Minister congratulated the graduands for their lifelong achievement and thanked the Minister of Youth Affairs, the National Youth Commission and the Management and Staff of the College for inviting him as guest speaker.
Statements were also made by the Principal of the Obasanjo Skill College, Alhaji S. Fofanah, the High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada, the UNDP Representative, The Chairman, National Youth Commission, Umar Faruk Sesay; Honorable Claude Kamanda of Constituency 095 and the Minister of Youth Affairs, Mr. Bai Mmoud Bangura.
The award of certificates, official launching of the Bai Mamoud amphitheater and the crowning of several distinguished personalities including Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, as Youth Ambassadors climaxed the graduation ceremony.

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

His Excellency Nidal Yahya, Ambassador of the Republic of Lebanon to Sierra Leone resident in Freetown, 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 Nidal Yahya, on behalf of the Government of Lebanon and the Lebanese community in Sierra Leone conveyed sincere gratitude to the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for taking good care of the Lebanese nationals and in granting Sierra Leone citizenship to more than 650 Lebanese families during his Presidency. Ambassador Yahya also thanked the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the warm reception given to all Lebanese personalities and nationals and respect for the vast legacy of the Lebanese community.

The Lebanese Ambassador said Sierra Leone and Lebanon have experienced over 100 years of Lebanese migration to the country. The Lebanese community in Sierra Leone, he said, has been integrated into the Sierra Leone society through inter-marriages, social interactions, sports, cultural fusion as well as economic activities. The Embassy of Lebanon, Ambassador Nidal Yahya disclosed, was among the first five Foreign Embassies established in Sierra Leone since independence. ‘I have gained wealth of experience during my tour of duty in Sierra Leone and I am proud that I have contributed immensely to strengthening the existing bilateral relations between Lebanon and Sierra Leone. I have confidence that the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone would in the near future take the decision to open an Embassy in Beirut, Ambassador Yahya concluded.

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 Lebanon and Sierra Leone as very cordial underscoring that this partnership has promoted the unique peaceful co-existence between the people of Sierra Leone and the Lebanese community.  Ambassador Nidal Yahya, Dr. Samura Kamara said, would be remembered for the pivotal role he played during the Ebola crisis in the country and for further strengthening the bilateral relations between the two nations. ‘Please extend my regards to the Foreign Affairs Minister of Lebanon’, 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.

EU Election Exploratory Mission meets Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

The European Union Election Exploratory Mission to Sierra Leone led by Head of European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, H.E. Tom Vens has paid a working visit to the Minister, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara and Senior Management Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the Ministry’s office in Tower Hill, Freetown.
Ambassador Tom Vens stated that the EU Election Exploratory Mission is in Sierra Leone following an invitation by the Government of Sierra Leone for EU Electoral assistance, and to further discuss the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in facilitating EU Observer Mission for the March 2018 elections in the country. The EU Election Exploratory Mission as part of its mandate is in the country to draft and finalise the MOU with the Government of Sierra Leone through the Foreign Ministry.
The Team Leader, who also double as the Election Desk Officer for Democracy and Electoral Observation, Concha Farnandez De La Puente, maintained that the EU has been observing the electoral processes in Sierra Leone since 2002. The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) she said, comprise various technical experts, whose mandate is to assess the electoral climate and processes, to ascertain the degree to which the national laws support or inhibit compliance with international standards for elections. ‘The outcome of our findings will lead to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Sierra Leone before the deployment of EU Observer Mission in the country.
Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, on behalf of Government and the people of the Republic of Sierra Leone, welcomed the EU Election Exploratory Mission while underscoring the long bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and the EU.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation emphasised the need to have an EU observer mission in the country, noting that the assessment could be a valuable tool for other observers, through the networks of international observers. The Minister called on the EU to step up partnership with Sierra Leone through resource mobilization both local, and internationally with a view to strengthening the bilateral cooperation and partnerships between the two partners. He appealed for more support for the country in the spirit of graduating from the present situation following some external shocks resulting to an economic down turn making the country more donor dependent. The Minister assured that stability will be maintained by the government throughout the electoral cycle.
Present were: the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, Deputy Director General for Operations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Assistant Deputy Director General for Policy and Technical Cooperation, Directors of various Divisions and Heads of Sections of the Ministry.