AWARENESS TIMES
Sierra Leone News & Information

State House | Press Union | Lumley Beach | AllAfrica | SL-Web

www.awarenesstimes.com

  Giving Knowledge to the People
welcome to sierra leone's premier news source
Last Updated: Oct 3rd, 2014 - 19:44:25 
Front Page 
 
 NEWS
 Breaking News
 Local News
 Politics
 Photo News
 Video News
 
 EDITORIALS
 
 FROM OUR TEAM
 
 COMMENTS & OPINIONS
 Moiie's Column
 
 SPECIAL REPORTS
 Afsatu Kabba
 
 FEATURES
 
 ENTERTAINMENT
 
 PROFILES
 Role Models
 Awareness Lady
 Common Man
 
 THE ECONOMY
 
 NOTICES & DOCUMENTS
 Special Messages
 Legal Matters
 Obituaries
 
 PAID SUPPLEMENTS
 
 ADVERTISEMENTS
 
 SATIRE
Search


Published online by
Sylvia Blyden Dot Com

17 Garrison Street,
Freetown,
Sierra Leone.
Tel: +232-77-772001
Tel: +232-88-321000
Tel: +232-76-350077
Tel: +232-30-321001
Email:
editor@awarenesstimes.com
Website:
www.awarenesstimes.com

FEATURES  

What about Civilians in Sierra Leone's NPRC Military Junta? - A Look at Opposition Browbeating to Silence Bio’s Critics
By Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, OOR
Aug 24, 2012, 17:28
Email this article
 Printer friendly page

SLPP’s Browbeating to Silence Bio’s Critics includes a retort of; “What about the Civilians in NPRC?” - Dr. Sylvia Blyden takes a look at some of these NPRC Civilians including those who are mostly cited for being a part of the current regime or internationally recognised.


On Friday, 15 June 2012, a Gambian lady, Fatou Bensouda was sworn into office as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague for a nine-year term making her a most powerful lady in international justice circles and highly acclaimed. Who is Fatou Bensouda and what relevance does she have to this article concerning Sierra Leone extra-judicial killings and role of civilians who serve a military junta?

I met Fatou Bensouda whilst I worked directly with President Yahya Jammeh as his Website & Internet Consultant cum Media Advisor for his 2001 re-election bid which he won by a landslide. Fatou was working as a Bank General Manager having been relieved of her duties as Gambia’s Attorney-General & Minister of Justice. Earlier, she had served Yahya Jammeh’s AFPRC military junta in several positions including as Director of Public Prosecutions and Lead Counsel for Jammeh’s Presidential Commission of Inquiry, then later she was Jammeh’s Solicitor-General and Legal Secretary before her stint as Jammeh’s Attorney-General & Justice Minister (1998 – 2000).

As he swore Fatou in, ICC President San-Hyun Song stated, “I am confident that her strong independent voice, legal expertise and genuine concern for human rights issues will contribute greatly to the continued fight against impunity”.

Fatou Bom-Bensouda taking Oath at The Hague

Now, I need not go into reputation of President Jammeh’s military junta and his subsequent civilian regime. That is well documented. What is of importance here is that being a civilian who served in a military junta is not a stumbling block to be recognised & hailed in international world.

CIVILIANS IN NPRC
Sierra Leone’s opposition SLPP has perfected the art of browbeating critics (i.e: Open-Call) of their choice of former NPRC junta ‘collective killer’ Maada Bio with a retort of: “What about the Civilians in NPRC?”. Today’s piece seeks to take a look at some of these civilians.

JOHN BENJAMIN
Let’s start with John Benjamin. In his testimony to TRC, he stated: “We must first and foremost note that the regime I served was a military regime, and matters such as coup and executions were not the domain of administrators or civilians like myself. I therefore had no input whatsoever into such matters”. Whilst Benjamin is today joining to ‘Open-Call’ SLPP critics by saying an Inquest is not necessary, the fact is that just less than ten years ago, he had publicly called for the TRC to, in his words, “throw light on the whole issue so that the true story is brought to the knowledge of us all, including my humble self”. Sadly, the TRC Report did not "throw light on the whole issue" but skirted around "the true story" so John Benjamin and us all, including the relatives, still remain without much needed knowledge of what happened and why it happened.

CHRISTIANA THORPE
In March 1993, Dr. Christiana Thorpe, a former Nun and former School Principal of the St. Joseph’s Secondary School in Makeni started work at Ministry of Education as a Consultant. In November 1993, she was appointed by Captain Valentine Strasser to be Deputy Minister of Education. In August 1994, she was promoted to Minister of Education replacing Bassie Bangura. This means Dr. Christiana Thorpe had absolutely no connections with the NPRC on 29th December 1992 when Julius Maada Bio and his colleagues brutally slaughtered over 29 persons including a pregnant woman. Therefore, when we seek answers from NPRC actors concerning those killings, we have no right to include the name of Dr. Christiana Thorpe unless we are trying to be mischievous and/or malicious. I therefore want to urge the affected family not to name Christiana Thorpe as having been a part of those extra-judicial killings of December 1992. She was not.

SAM SESAY & SAMURA KAMARA
In the same way, both Dr. Sam Sesay (current Agriculture Minister) and Dr. Samura Kamara (current Finance Minister) were only appointed to be NPRC Ministers in late January 1996 after Maada Bio overthrew Valentine Strasser. They served as NPRC ministers for a period of only ten odd weeks. Naturally, they both also had absolutely nothing to do with the extra-judicial killings of December 29th 1992. There are however fraternal ties between Maada Bio & Samura Kamara and to a lesser extent, between Maada Bio & Sam Sesay.

HINDOLO TRYE
The late Hindolo Trye was the NPRC Minister of Information at the time of the illegal killings. In the repressive atmosphere of press censorship and military brutality back then, Trye had succeeded to suppress truthful media coverage of the illegal killings. Trye suffered from a sudden Heart Attack on the day (Wednesday July 25th 2012) relatives of those killed persons, stormed the Freetown cotton tree dressed in black whilst crying and chanting mourning songs for justice. By the next morning, Trye was no more. The shock killed him. May he RIP.

KANDEH YUMKELLA
Current UNIDO Director Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, like Fatou Bensouda, is one of Africa's stars on the international scene. He is bringing laurels to his country of birth every single day. In 1994, he was appointed from his University job in America by Captain Valentine Strasser to become NPRC's Trade Minister. He was to honourably resign his position the next year (1995) before Maada Bio even overthrew Strasser. He has absolutely nothing to do with those extra-judicial killings of 1992.

FRANK KARGBO
The current Attorney-General and Justice Minister Frank Kargbo was indeed NPRC’s civilian Minister of Transport at the time of the killings. He was NOT the Attorney-General then. That position was held by someone else. Kargbo became Attorney-General the next year (July 1993). Kargbo was to later flee NPRC after he refused to prepare legal papers to execute several persons whom so-called Chairman of NPRC’s Mercy Committee (position held then by Maada Bio) had deemed warranting of instant death for supposedly ‘Collaborating with RUF’. They included a 77 years old man and sickly persons. Frank Kargbo knows a lot about the NPRC’s penchant for bloodletting & brutality.

FRANK KARGBO AT TRC
To his very high credit in service to this Nation, it was Hon. Frank Kargbo, as the U.N. appointed Executive Secretary of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2003 who played a very pivotal role in ensuring certain military actors were legally pressured into testifying to the TRC despite their initial reluctance to do so. One such person, Julius Maada Bio was to agree to testify but only on condition of it being behind closed doors. So whilst former President Tejan Kabbah, Captain Valentine Strasser and John Benjamin were cross-examined under oath publicly at TRC Hearings, everything Julius Maada Bio told the TRC was in secret behind closed doors.

JULIUS MAADA BIO
It was in such closed-door testimony of September 30th 2003 that Maada Bio made his now infamous confessions about the gruesome manner in which his NPRC regime caused their innocent victims to suffer before they were killed, acidified and buried in a mass grave. The innocent victims of NPRC’s State-sanctioned, Extra-judicial killings included a pregnant woman, Miss Salamatu Kamara of Huggins Street in Freetown. Her relatives, many of them poor people, have been traveling to foreign embassies to join the protesters calling for an Inquest into the killings.

INQUEST SUBPOENA
Julius Maada Bio was NPRC’s Deputy II to the Head of State, Third in Command and also the Supervising P.L.O to whom Hindolo Trye directly reported. At the time of the murders, all cover-ups (after the fact) as well as all information and management of intelligence information was under the purview of Julius Maada Bio as P.L.O. in charge of Finance, Foreign Affairs & Information and simultaneously, NPRC 3rd in command. In light of his words to the TRC which are incompletely recited in the TRC Report, it is clear that so far it is ONLY Julius Maada Bio who is on record to have seen the innocent souls alive being tortured before they were killed and acid poured on them. Therefore for now, it is ONLY Maada Bio whom we are 100% certain can be of help to the Nation in any Inquest to know how the tortures and killings went on.

CIVILIANS SERVING JUNTAS
There is no evidence for now to link any civilian member of the NPRC to those killings and as I stated in my opening, being a civilian who served in a military junta is not a crime. If it was a crime, Fatou Bensouda will not today be the internationally acclaimed and all-powerful Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Most civilians who served the NPRC have no case to answer and Hindolo Trye is now dead (R.I.P). However, Julius Maada Bio, the mis-named 'retired Brigadier', has a lot of questions to answer. There are many unanswered questions which successful browbeating (OPEN-CALL) by his stooges in the media and civil society have blocked from being asked of him.

QUESTIONABLE CANDIDACY
However, his questionable candidacy has taken the search for answers to sky high levels. So, whether he wins or loses the November elections, the families can no longer take his silence to be acceptable for them. They will continue to agitate for answers and the world will have no option but to ensure they receive the answers requested. In an event of a Bio victory, can Sierra Leone then survive the ignomy of having a Head of State & Fountain of Honour evidentially named in such appalling tortures and brutal murders including that of a pregnant woman? Food for thought.
--------------------------
PHOTO SHOWS GAMBIA'S FATOU BENSOUDA TAKING HER OATH OF OFFICE A FEW WEEKS AGO AT THE HAGUE. 


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
NEWS
Sierra Leone News : Major Government Hospitals Revived for Non-Ebola Services
Sierra Leone News : Cumulative Number of 8,478 Households under Isolation since May
Sierra Leone News : Kandeh Yumkella Movement Donates for Ebola Treatment
EDITORIALS
DON’T MISS IT!!! In Our Next 5 Editions
Can We Postpone the 3-Days?
Freetown Records 20 Ebola Cases in 2 days
FROM OUR TEAM
Sierra Leone Ebola Commentary: Alpha Kanu, Miatta Kargbo and Deaths Announced by the Three MRU Countries
APOLOGY
Sierra Leone Police Must Explain the Detention of killed Pupil’s Dad!
COMMENTS & OPINIONS
John Benjamin’s Call On Behalf of Ebola Survivors
Sierra Leone : Logus Koroma & a Contract
MY OPINION FROM A RELIGIOUS POINT OF VIEW: Sierra Leoneans Manifest Obedience, Resilience and Fear of God
SPECIAL REPORTS
Sylvia Blyden Pays $7,000 to air freight items to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone
FEATURES
Treating Sierra Leone with Levity: The Case of Fake Ebola Numbers under our International Partners' Eyes
Sierra Leone Investigative Newspaper rejects Bogus Allegations against Koroma, George Soros, Bill & Melinda Gates
Consolidating The Values of Change, Continuity, Diversity and Innovation
ENTERTAINMENT
ALONZO : TALK ABOUT SALONE
PROFILES
A Tribute to My Golden Lady - Cillaty Daboh on his Mum
A profile on Dr. Jill Biden … Wife of the US Vice President
Sierra Leone Government: Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, OOR.
THE ECONOMY
Sierra Leone Investment: Hon. Turay Cajoles UNESCO Investors
What does the deflating mining industry mean for Sierra Leone?
NOTICES & DOCUMENTS
Finance Minister Addresses High Level Meeting in New York
Doctor Sylvia Blyden Leaves State House
TRIBUTE TO A DEAR FRIEND AND SISTER, MRS VICTORIA PAT-SOWE (nee FRENCH)
PAID SUPPLEMENTS
No articles available.
ADVERTISEMENTS
EBOLA Breaking ‘NEWS’ - Do you seek good for Kenema & Kailahun?
RECRUITMENT OF A GENERAL MANAGER FOR TRANSCO CLSG
Central Medical Stores Compound New Englandville
SATIRE
SPECIAL POEM : A Tale of 2 Women
SLPP, be Grateful to Lt. Maada Bio
SLAJ is Fighting Everybody..!

Copyright © 2005 - 2010, Awareness Times Sierra Leone; All Rights Reserved.
Hosted & Designed by West Africa Dot Net