A very popular youth organization in Sierra Leone, Youth Arise, will be commemorating May 8 in honour of the eighteen Sierra Leoneans who lost their lives while trying to achieve true democracy and sustainable peace.
It could be recalled that on Monday May 8 2000, there was a street procession against the then Revolutionary United Front (RUF) Leader, Corporal Foday Saybana Sankoh for his lack of commitment towards expediting the peace process.
The historic procession to the rebel leader’s residence at Spur Road in which prominent citizens included politicians, civil society activists, traders, teachers and journalists participated, ended in a tragedy that claimed the lives of eighteen Sierra Leoneans and several others left badly wounded.
The brutal killings were committed by rebels acting under the command of their leader, Foday Saybana Sankoh.
Youth Arise, cognizant of the sacrifices made by those fallen heroes and heroines in a bid to achieve the democracy and peace we are enjoying today, has deemed it most necessary that Sierra Leoneans use this day to recognize and pray for the departed souls.
Youth Arise believes that despite the sacrifices made by Sierra Leoneans to achieve democracy and peace, yet there is still the prevalence of marginalization, lawlessness, rampant corruption, intolerance and many other negative vices which caused the 10 year-civil war in the country.
Youth Arise will be having memorial prayers on Friday 8th May 2009 at the Central Mosque and many other mosques across the country. The organization will also visit relatives of the deceased and console them on Saturday 9th May 2009. The events will be crowned by memorial prayers at the Winner’s Chapel International and other churches on Sunday 10th May 2009.
Last Sunday, Youth Arise paid a visit at the Kissy Road Cemetery where the deceased were buried and discovered that the burial site has become deplorable over the years.
The organization has plans to clean up the area and erect memorial blocks to identify the victims.
The organization also intends to establish a trust fund for relatives and other victims of the disaster.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.