From the Editor’s Keyboard

ECOWAS, UN, should do more

2 September 2007 at 19:46 | 617 views

Editorial

The recent visit by an ECOWAS delegation to Freetown and statements made by it’s leader, Ghana’s Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas have been a terrible disappointment, to say the least.

We say that because many Sierra Leoneans consider ECOWAS the first regional organization to turn to when they are in trouble, after the woeful emasculation of the Mano River Union(MRU).

Many of our readers have written us to ask why Chambas did not publicly condemn, in the strongest terms possible terms, the violence that has been tormenting the east and west of the country. In fact there were street battles in Freetown at the time of his visit.

ECOWAS has done a lot for Sierra Leone, and Sierra Leoneans are grateful for that but it needs to be more proactive and more direct in the present circumstances or there will never be a peaceful and credible run-off election in the country next Saturday,especially in the remote areas.

Perhaps the UN could send in some troops from the contingent in Liberia to make sure things don’t get out of hand in the rural areas before, during and after September 8. The Sierra Leone police force is clearly not up to the task. The Sierra Leone army cannot be used either, because many Sierra Leoneans don’t trust them.

So far the UN representative in Sierra Leone, Victor Angelo, has been doing a great job, running up and down trying to bring political leaders together and cool tempers. We urge him to continue the good work and to talk to his boss in New York to help provide more security for Sierra Leoneans at this crucial time in the country’s history.

We also appreciate the efforts of PPRC head Justice
Sydney Warne to help bring about a peaceful and credible run-off election. He is a Sierra Leonean we all should be proud of. There is still hope for our country.

Photo: Victor Angelo.

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