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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid