The new military government in Guinea
has been touring the West Africa sub-region to solicit support, particularly
among the countries of the Mano River Union which groups Liberia, Sierra Leone,
Guinea, and Ivory Coast.
Second Vice President General Mamadou Bah Camara
visited Liberia Tuesday and met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who chairs
the Mano River Union group of countries. An Executive Mansion press release from
Monrovia said General Bah Camera assured president Sirleaf that the new
military rulers are committed to restoring democratic civilian rule in Guinea
within two years.
General Bah Camara arrived in Sierra Leone Tuesday night. The Guinean delegation’s visit to Freetown
comes ahead of the visit of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi who is expected in the
Sierra Leone capital today Wednesday.
Sierra Leone information minister Ibraham Kargbo told VOA that although the
Libyan leader’s visit was strictly bilateral, the situation in Guinea might also
top the agenda.
Libyan leader is arriving in Sierra Leone on Wednesday, and he is coming here
at his own request. He wants to visit Sierra Leone in normal bilateral
relations between Sierra Leone and Libya. A number of people are speculating
that his visit to Sierra Leone may be connected with developments in
neighboring Guinea. But the Libyan leader himself has not said so to the
government of Sierra Leone, and therefore we as a government are going to
extend to him the normal courtesy that you will expect to extend to any head of
state,” he said.
said Sierra Leone’s views on the military and political crisis in neighboring
Guinea are in line with the position of the Economic Community of West African
president holds the view that because we are a founding member of ECOWAS and we
believe in the role of ECOWAS as an instrument for the maintenance of peace in
West Africa, and we are also aware of the fact that Sierra Leone is a model
democracy, and therefore whatever position that is taken by ECOWAS would be
consistent with our thinking, that is to say making sure that there is a smooth
transition in neighboring Guinea. The political transition has to be smooth; it
has to be non-violent, and it is accepted by the Guinean people,” Kargbo said.
the military rulers’ pronouncement to restore Guinea to democratic civilian
within two years, Kargbo said Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma like
other Mano River Union leaders believe in maintain peace and stability in the
are members of the Mano River Union, that is Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and
Ivory Coast, and we believe in the whole idea of maintaining stability. And
this is the position held by the President of Sierra Leone, President Bai
Koroma,” Kargbo said.
leader Moamer Kadhafi offered last year to help victims of Sierra Leone’s brutal
civil war that he was once accused of backing.
refused to speculate on whether President Koroma was likely to raise the issue
with the Libyan leader.
I can say here is that I have organized a press conference so that the Libyan
leader can address the media in Sierra Leone. And it is just possible that
questions relating to reparation would be asked. So can we wait until after that
press conference because I cannot speculate,” Kargbo said.