African News

Makeni: British High Commissioner honoured

25 November 2015 at 03:19 | 1215 views

By PV staff.

Sierra Leone is a former British colony and most Sierra Leoneans look up to Britain for assistance for many things especially when a crisis hits the country.

During the eleven-year brutal civil war, Sierra Leoneans cried to Britain and other countries for help. Britain was at first slow to respond but later sent in troops and actively helped quell the rebellion and bring the warring factions to the negotiating table that eventually led to peace, end of the war and democratic elections.

In the same way, when ebola struck, Sierra Leone again turned to Britain and other countries for help. Again, Britain was at first slow to respond but as things got worse and worse, sent in a military medical team and ship to offer emergency support. It later constructed holding centres to admit ebola patients around the country. It also provided medical supplies and equipment

The man in the middle of it all was Peter West, the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone who has now been affectionately named Deputy Chief Social Mobilizer by the local media as he was frequently seen beside president Koroma (the Chief Social Mobilizer) on his mobilizing tours of the country at the peak of the ebola crisis.

On Tuesday in Makeni, High Commissioner West was honoured by Paramount Chiefs, 19 local local councillors and the Ministry of Local Government. The Paramount Chiefs gave him a hammock, the councillors gave him a Gara shirt (locally produced shirt) and the Ministry of Local Government presented him with a Gara bed spread.

Local Government Minister Diana Konomanyi handed over the gifts to the High Commissioner (photo).

According to a British government website Peter West took up his appointment in Sierra Leone on 28 February 2013.

He is married to Julia West and they have one daughter and twin sons.

His first posting was to Argentina in 1980. He has since worked in a range of countries including New Zealand, Denmark, Thailand, Australia and most recently Nigeria.