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In Sierra Leone, Rastas Form Council
By Theophilus S. Gbenda & Aminata Fofanah
May 22, 2009, 17:22
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The various spiritual sects of the Rastafarian Movement in Sierra Leone have appointed a Council to run its affairs.

Rastas pose for Awareness Times camera

The sects, Bobo Ashanti at Victoria Part in central Freetown, Wise Men from the East at Wellington, the Willing Souls at Waterloo and the Twelve Tribes of Israel at New England Ville, agreed on the setting up of a Rastafarian Council following an unprecedented Rasta One Accord Gathering aimed at bringing all rastas in Sierra Leone under one umbrella.

At the end of the well attended Rasta One Accord Gathering which started on 1st April 2009 and ended on 3rd April 2009, the participants agreed on a number of issues, among which was the formal recognition of the Twelve Tribes of Israel as the parent body for all the sects, and the establishment of a central temple to cater for the spiritual upliftment of all rastas in the country.

The main objective of the Rastafarian Council is to oversee the day to day operations of the various sects and to initiate new ideas as to how the Movement could be made more effective to spread the divine conception of Jah Rastafaria to all sons and daughters of the Lion Mountain.

The high point of the Rasta One Accord Gathering was the signing of an accord to work in one inity, bearing the same identity, same membership and one administration.

The Council consists of twelve members, three from all the four sects including the parent body. Also appointed was an Elders Committee consisting of three Bigger Dreads in the persons of Ras Chuku Thomas, Ras Chuku Long John and Ras Simeon Oray who is popularly known as Abashanti, all from the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The work of the Elders Committee is to provide spiritual, moral and otherwise advice to the Council, and to serve as mediators in times of dispute.

The Rastafarian Council consists of various departments including the Priesthood, Secretariat and Finance Coordination.

In an interview with one member of the Council, Ras Micklyn Fisher Sesay, who also doubles as Financial Secretary of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, he disclosed that the Rastafarian Movement in Sierra Leone has gained considerable momentum, and hence the need to bring all concerned under one umbrella.

He urged Rastas across the country to hold fast to the Movement, and sent out a clear warning to those using the name of the organization for selfish purposes to refrain from such acts immediately.

He said the Movement is working on several development projects such as the establishment of a Rastafaria Village and a farm.

Members of the Council include the High Priest of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, Tamba Senesie Fabundeh, Ras Alimamy Keita, Ras Osman Kamara, Ras Mohamed Conteh, Ras Mohamed I. Kamara, Ras Yusif Benjamin, Ras Aboudou Deen Kamara, Ras Micklyn Fisher Sesay, Ras Melvin Pratt, Ras Sorie Koroma and Ras Francis Amos.

The parent body, Twelve Tribes of Israel, is duly registered with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Freetown City Council.

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

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