News / Africa

Sierra Leone Mourns Former President Tejan Kabbah's Death

FILE - Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, former Sierra Leone president.
FILE - Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, former Sierra Leone president.
James Butty
Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma has announced a week-long mourning period in honor of former president Ahmeh Tejan Kabbah who died Thursday at his home in the capital Freetown.  He was 82 years old. 

The government has also ordered all flags to be flown at half-mast as the country prepares for a state funeral.

Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, special advisor to President Koroma says most Sierra Leoneans still remember that it was under President Tejan-Kabbah’s leadership that peace finally came to their country after a deadly 11-year civil war in which about 120 thousand people were killed and hundreds of thousands more maimed.

“Well of course, we must concede to the fact that during this period peace returned to Sierra Leone, and he (Tejan-Kabbah) played a very major role in that regard. And most Sierra Leoneans still remember that the war was declared as over. So, we see him as a man who brought peace in this country, and our president, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is also appreciative of the fact that President Tejan-Kabbah played a very major role in the governance of Sierra Leone,” he said.
 
Ben Kargbo also notes that it was during the late president’s administration that U.N. peacekeepers and a military intervention from Sierra Leone’s former colonial power Britain took place.
 
“It was during his tenure that UNAMSIL (UN peacekeeping troops) came to Sierra Leone. It was also during his tenure that the British sent troops to Freetown to help create peace in this country,” Kargbo said.
 
He said President Bai Koroma, who is currently visiting Congo-Brazzaville will return to Sierra Leone Friday.
 
“The government reacted almost immediately. They (the Tejan-Kabbah family) received a phone call from our president (Ernest Bai Koroma) who is at the moment in the Congo declaring a 7-day mourning period and the national should be flown at half-mast, and to declare that the former president should be given a state funeral, recognizing the role he played as head of state and as a very patriotic citizen of this country,” Kargbo said.
 
Kargbo said Sierra Leone took good care of former president Tejan-Kabbah unlike some African countries where former presidents have had a difficult time after leaving office.

“When he retired, automatically he qualified for a pension equals to his last salary when he was president.  He also qualified to have a government official working for him as a secretary working for him. He also qualified to have access to housing. So we do not treat our past presidents shabbily,” he said.
 
Kargbo says President Bai Koroma showed high respect for Tejan-Kabbah by the frequent visits he paid even before the former president became sick.
 
He said another legacy of the late Sierra Leone leader is when he gracefully stepped down after serving two terms.
 
“The constitution of Sierra Leone makes it very clear that the tenure for a president cannot exceed more two terms. And his second term he stepped down gracefully and in the process his party lost the election. But even at that he provided leadership during the transition period handing power to Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma,” Kargbo said.
Butty interview with Kargbo
Butty interview with Kargboi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Alfred Meama Kajue from: Freetown
March 23, 2014 6:40 PM
Though you are gone you will never be forgotten. R.I.P Dr. A.T.K.

by: BRIMA KASSO from: BO CITY
March 23, 2014 11:53 AM
Oh our lovely former President the late Pa kabba though you have gone ahmed but your name and good work will ever be remembered and never forgotten. RIP till we meet again ok

by: Ulric monya Braima. from: Ewing- New Jersey .
March 21, 2014 1:31 AM
Blessed art peacemakers. R I P Former president Ahmed Tejan. Kabba .

by: Alice conia Turay from: Freetown
March 19, 2014 6:22 PM
R.I.P Tejan Kabba

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs