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NEWS : Politics  


At the Special Court Yesterday... Hinga Norman Talks of CDF; Breaks silence on formation and activities in Sierra Leone
By By Tom E. Tommy
Jan 27, 2006, 15:39

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Chief Sam Hinga Norman yesterday continued his defense at the UN backed Special Court for Sierra Leone with an expository on how the Civil Defense Force was formed as well as its activities.

The Civil Defense Force, he said, came about after the reinstatement of the President and the government of Sierra Leone. It was during this period he met with Maxwell Khobe and it was unanimously agreed that there should be a joint body of all the hunters (Kamajors).

According to him, the Civil Defense Force came into full operations in mid March 1998 after all arrangements were put in place for the maintenance of the Hunters by the government, since they were no longer reliant on ECOMOG for such support. Modalities, he said were then put in place for food, weapons, training and other logistic as support to keep the Hunters going. Later, he said, he found out that there was provision for the Civil Defense Force in the laws of war under the Geneva Conventions Operational Protocol, which according to him is under Protocol I, Article 61 of the Geneva Convention.

Chief Norman maintained that he was appointed as National Coordinator of the Civil Defense Force by the government of Sierra Leone through the President with the responsibility of coordinating all forces that were of civilian character for the national good.

The hunters, he said had good relationship with the forces they worked with since the formation of the CDF. He noted that the hunters in all the district they operated had either an ECOMOG or UNAMSIL contingent. The role of the hunters then, he went on, was to render every possible assistance to the forces that had accepted to render there own assistance to the government and people of Sierra Leone.

He said that since the formation of the Civil Defense Force to the date when the "War Don Don" pronouncement was made by the President of Sierra Leone, Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah on 18 January 2002, the hunters were very hopeful and played a pivotal role towards the attainment of peace and democracy in the country. The hunters by then, he said, were under the direct control of the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) until the "War Don Don" pronouncement was made.

In brief, he said, the hunters (Kamajors) were the product of the people, pointing out that the villagers themselves wholeheartedly accepted the formation of the force when they were consulted to give there own views. The hunters, he went on, never attacked or killed any innocent civilian. He went on to assert that after the "War Don Don" pronouncement was made, the hunters returned to their respective villages to form what he referred to as "Preemptive Defense Structures for the defense of their various towns and villages." The testimony continues.


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