Salone News

Gaddafi Arrives in Sierra Leone

25 June 2007 at 22:06 | 755 views

By Jonathan Leigh, Freetown.

It has been a very busy schedule for Libyan leader
Colonel Muammar al-Ghaddafi since he arrived here late on Monday evening.

He left Guinea-Conakry by road with a very large
delegation at about 2pm Monday,according to official
State Lodge sources.

With his portraits and welcoming banners displayed on
all major streets of Freetown, he was met on arrival
at Rogbere in Northern Sierra Leone by President
Kabbah,Vice President Solomon Berewa and other
government officials.

They made a brief stopover at Masiaka,the gateway into
Freetown and at the massive central mosque at Rokupa
in the east of Freetown where he inspected a mosque
under construction with funds provided by Libya.

On Tuesday morning, he is scheduled to address Sierra
Leoneans at the National stadium where he would also
formally handovewr 19 new buses donated by him to
President Kabbah which now brings to 39 the number of
buses donated by Libya to Sierra Leone in under one year.

He had initially donated garbage collection trucks, skip
trucks and water bowsers numbering 45 vehicles.

Later on Wednesday,he will also be meeting various
groups at the private residence of President Kabbah at
Juba Hill,his temporary residence.

Ghaddafi(photo), whose visit here has been recieved with mixed
feelings,leaves Freetown on Wednesday by road again
for Liberia enroute to Ghana for the meeting of the
African Union Heads of State.

It was in Ghaddaffi’s home town of Sirte in Libya that
President Kabbah extended an invitatiobn to him to
visit Sierra Leone in September last year during an
extraordinary meeting to mark the seventh anniversary
of the founding of the African Union.

Kabbah had paid several visits to Libya,both private
and official aqnd Vice-President Berewa himself was in
Libya earlier this year.

Opposition parties here have vehemently opposed
Ghaddafi’s visit to Sierra Leone,question Kabbah’s
close relationship with him and at one point alleged
that he was providing funds for the re-election of the
ruling SLPP in the coming August 11 Presidential and
Parliamentary elections.

Photo: Gaddafi arrives at State Lodge, Freetown.