From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
First Inter-Political Party Dialogue Forum Ends in Sierra Leone
By Bampia J. Bundu
Apr 8, 2009, 17:28

The Youth Wings of the three main political parties in Sierra Leone, in collaboration with a non governmental organization, Youth Alliance for Peace and Development (YAPAD), yesterday Tuesday 7th April 2009 held the "First Inter-Political Party Youth Meeting" at the Wallace Johnson Street Headquarters of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in Freetown.

APC & SLPP are all Sierra Leoneans

In his submission, the National Young Generation Leader of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Mr. Mohamed Malaam Janneh, lauded the initiative of organizing a meeting of such. He said the meeting will go a long way in the direction of preventing politically motivated violence among party supporting youths. He made known that all the youths of this country are brothers and sisters, be they APC, SLPP or PMDC. "We should all come together as one and fight for the development of the country. Let us desist from acts of violence amongst ourselves", Mr. Janneh lectured. He at this point suggested that a replica of such meetings should not only be done in the capital Freetown, but should be held in the provinces also. He also used the forum as an opportunity to appeal to donor partners in the country to provide employment facilities for the country’s youth, as according to him, most of the violence perpetrated by youths is as a result of them being idle.

Secretary General of the National Youth Wing of the All People’s Congress (APC), Bai Mamoud Bangura divulged that violence among youths will bear not positive fruits, pointing out that it will on the contrary portray the youths of this country in a bad light. He therefore commended YAPAD and the National Youth Coalition (NYC) for their intervention in ensuring that violence, especially the politically motivated, to be brought to a halt.

A representative of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), Michael Fortune, advised the two leading political parties, APC and SLPP, to desist from violence, as it is not good for national development. He expressed his party’s commitment towards the alliance and friendship between political parties.

In his keynote submission, Chairman of YAPAD, Mr. Charles Lahai commended the three leading political parties in the country for their commitment to the dialogue process. "This is a clear demonstration by the youths of the political parties that they are committed to the recent agreement signed by their leaders, and are ready to act accordingly", he submitted.

He encouraged them to engage on events that are in the interest of national cohesion and development.

Representatives from the UNDP and UNIPSIL, who graced the occasion, advised the youths to work not in the interests of their various political parties, but in the interest of Sierra Leone. They reminded the youths of the joint communiqué recently signed by their leaders, whilst informing that it is imperative on the youths to ensure the implementation of the communiqué.

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