Forthcoming Articles

Small minds opportunistically hiding behind the Constitution

 

A counterblast to the current flurry of pretentious legalistic arguments put forward by advocates of constitutionality, against mounting and unstoppable calls for the creation of a GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY.

Government of National Unity

 

What is it that this way of conducting our affairs, which we have advocated for several years, can achieve successfully, which the present government and those before it have been unable to accomplish? What would be so different and unique about it? The answer lies partly in the nature of the problem facing the country. These are not normal times in Sierra Leone and we therefore must use our ingenuity and innovativeness to come up with practical solutions that can serve the immediate and basic needs of our communities. A more representative and acceptable government is most likely to gain the respect and cooperation of the vast majority of the citizens for its policies and actions, especially during or following prolonged civil strife.

Whatever happened to the Ninjas?

 

Whoever they were, whatever they stood for, this group of journalists changed both the manner of reporting and the very conduct of the war by Ecomog against the AFRC / ex-SLAs, and the RUF. The Ninja's reporting of the war, at its most critical stage, brought some of the worst and uncomfortable aspects of the fighting into the public domain since there was little that escaped their intrusive and all-pervading phantom (some even say physical) presence at the war front. For once Sierra Leoneans and the international community were forced out of their complacency into coming to terms with the reality that there was a fundamental issue at stake, viz. that violence in war is not the monopoly of any one side; that when two or more parties go to war they can resort to degrading behaviour and unspeakable cruelties, thereby causing serious casualties and loss of lives. The Ninjas disappeared from the worldwide web soon after the invasion of Freetown in January 1999, leaving many wondering whether they would ever come back. So far they have not, and are not likely to again. We take a closer look.

Tribalism

 

How much of a threat does it pose to Sierra Leone's seemingly increasing fragile unity? It has started rearing its ugly head. We must fight it now not later. It is becoming the refuge of the scoundrels and tribal bigots in our society. We must blow the whistle on them before they plunge the country into another civil war, the like of which we have been spared so far.

Has the RUF an Ideology?

 

These days partly because of the frustration that they feel, most Sierra Leoneans have found shorthand for rejecting all suggestions for a peaceful settlement of this civil war. They routinely reply,  “So what is the ideology of the RUF? What do they stand for?”  At face value, this is fair comment!  But sometimes the manner in which these rhetorical questions are delivered seems to suggest that unless those answers were forthcoming, the questioner had the ability to obliterate the rebel threat from the face of Sierra Leone. The irony is that the rebels without an ideology are a reflection, or rather the product, of the public life of the country, which has itself never been governed with an ideology, be it nationally or at the party political level. All that has mattered to date is simply the pursuit of power for its own sake and the promotion of the self and members of one’s family and circle of friends above the interest of the rest of society. The rebels are behaving no differently. They come from the same stock pf Sierra Leoneans. What is the ideology of the Kabbah government, of the SLPP? Of the APC, those unrivalled Lords of misrule? The fact is that the absence of an ideology in the conduct of our public affairs as a Nation is, and always has been, a national trait and cannot therefore be deployed as a defence against the rebel threat, however much we abhor their insane and inhumane their actions.

Party Politics

 

Political Parties in Sierra Leone. Are they driven by ideology or by the self?

The Civil War

 

A round up of the state of play in the Sierra Leone civil war. Where does the country stand now? Who are the people running the show on the battlefields? Or, is the war really over as the people in Freetown are claiming?

The nouveau riche of Sierra Leone

 

The presence of international interventionist forces in the country  - UNAMSIL, the British Army, Ecomog and the host of concomitant NGOs – all of them with high spending power, has created a new class of affluent middle and upper class Sierra Leoneans. Already a disgraceful and disdainful show of opulence is in evidence in the capital, reinforcing the privileged position of the already privileged while cementing the divisions between them and the very poor majority of Sierra Leonean society. Aren’t the foundations for the next civil strife between communities being laid now?

British Government Policy towards Sierra Leone

 

Where is it going and where will it end. We review the British contribution so far and its likely impact on the course of future events –militarily and politically.

Disarmament

 

The 'whys' and 'why nots' that have retarded the much hoped for large-scale disarmament and demobilisation of the combatants. Why have fewer former combatants than expected given up their weapons?