From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

EDITORIALS
So ‘Kamajors’ are Now Illegal in Sierra Leone?
By Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
Jun 23, 2010, 17:18

Some two years ago during President Koroma’s first visit to the Southern Province as Father of the Nation, his loyal Resident Minister for the South, Hon. Musa Tarawally "unveiled" thousands of kamajors who openly pledged their loyalty to President Koroma.

I distinctly recall Mr. J.J. Saffa, the main opposition SLPP’s Scribe, protesting that the kamajor combatant movement had been born out of a need to fight against RUF rebels and defend the southeastern villages and that no such need existed anymore and so no more kamajors combatants existed as a body. But Musa Tarawally was adamant back then that kamajors were legal and supported President Koroma. The President even made a cash donation of $10,000 to his supposed kamajor supporters. All well and good!

This is why the recent wave of violence being sponsored by Government against agile youths in Southeastern villages is a little ironical. The violence, supposedly to curtail kamajors, has been unwarranted!

I felt sad the other day when the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission, Edward Sam, lamented to me that the latest village where the paramilitary brutality was executed, was his home village in Moyamba! There was pain all over Edward Sam’s face as he explained to me how his innocent nephews got the beatings of their lives from police and soldiers who descended on the village in trucks, well armed to unleash terror!

What is going on??? I am confused! All of a sudden the same kamajors who had been presented in their thousands to President Koroma as his new loyalists in the South, are now to be seen as all being part of an illegal entity deserving to be brutalised? I am confused unless maybe Musa Tarawally wishes to help me understand what’s going on here? Why are armed officers attacking our innocent villagers in the South???



© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.