News / Africa

Sierra Leone Committed to West Africa Stability, says President

Sierra Leone's president Ernest Bai Koroma waves to supporters after voting in the capital Freetown, November 17, 2012.Sierra Leone's president Ernest Bai Koroma waves to supporters after voting in the capital Freetown, November 17, 2012.
x
Sierra Leone's president Ernest Bai Koroma waves to supporters after voting in the capital Freetown, November 17, 2012.
Sierra Leone's president Ernest Bai Koroma waves to supporters after voting in the capital Freetown, November 17, 2012.
Peter Clottey
Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma says West African regional leaders have been working together to ensure regional stability and economic growth.

"We have to continue the tradition of providing a sub-regional group that is very cohesive, that is focused on deepening democracy, that will open up the region to the people to benefit from the potentials of the region, and that will also secure the region," said President Koroma.

In an interview with VOA, Koroma says the leaders have unanimously taken a zero tolerance stance against the violent overthrow of democratically elected governments in the region.

"We have taken tough stance against military coups. We have taken tough stance against incursions and we believe that nobody should get to leadership or power other than [through] the ballot box," said Koroma.

"For countries that have shown manifestation of a change of government other than the democratic process, we have taken the stance to ensure that we reverse the situation," he said. "Countries that had difficulties after elections, we have remained engaged like we had in Ivory Coast [and] like we are doing in Guinea Bissau. We are working with the sub-region in addressing the issue of Guinea Bissau."

Some analysts have raised concern about the security and political situation in some West African countries, including Guinea Bissau, Guinea and recently Mali.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) recently asked for international support to battle Islamic rebels in northern Mali, where the insurgents controlled parts of the north and implemented Sharia law. 

Koroma says Sierra Leone is actively involved in efforts by ECOWAS and the international community to restore constitutional order in Mali after peace and security is restored.

"We have committed ourselves to deploy troops, and the troops are now fighting alongside with the Malians and the French to ensure that we restore normalcy in Mali," said Koroma.

Guinea Bissau has suffered from increasing political instability and regional experts say it has become a trans-shipment point for South American cocaine headed to markets in Europe. Some experts have said the drug trade is threatening security throughout the West Africa region.          

President Koroma says Sierra Leone is working with other countries in the region to combat those threats.

“We have taken individual national actions,” he said. “We need international support because it is an internationally coordinated transaction. We have asked for our developmental partners -- the British, the Americans -- to work with us. It’s not an easy fight but substantial efforts are being made to coordinate that fight and we will continue with that engagement.”

Sierra Leone recently deployed about 850 troops to be part of an African Union mission to help stabilize Somalia. But, critics say the soldiers are needed back home to prevent possible violence, since they contend Sierra Leone is still recovering from the civil war that ended in 2002.

“It is a commitment we made and I think for us it is like payback time,” Koroma said. “Now if we have gotten to a point wherein we have transformed our country from a warring country to a country that is moving on in development and growth, there is a need for us to support other countries who are now in the position that we were in some years back.”

Clottey interview with Ernest Bai Koroma, Sierra Leone President
Clottey interview with Ernest Bai Koroma, Sierra Leone Presidenti
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs