From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Young Leaders-Sierra Leone reiterates why Sierra Leone loves Tony Blair
Sep 9, 2010, 17:02

Young Leaders-Sierra Leone reiterates why Sierra Leone loves Tony Blair


The global President and CEO of Young Leaders-Sierra Leone has reiterated his country’s appreciation to the British former Prime Minister for his intervention for stopping the war in Sierra Leone. 


Speaking to BBC Radio 2’s “News, views and live guests” programme Tuesday 7 September, presented by Jeremy Vine, who also presents BBC’s Panorama programme, Dizo said Tony Blair did what was right in his intervention to prevent the RUF rebels killing more innocent people.


“A lot of Sierra Leoneans, including myself, are very grateful for Tony Blair’s intervention,” Dizo said.  Adding: “we believe it was timely and it was the right thing for him to do.”   


He recalled some of the havocs caused by the war which included the brutal killing of his brother and other relatives.  He said these deaths still evoke anger that runs “very deeply” in his heart. 


The BBC programme aired views of why Tony Blair is revered as a great leader abroad amid

controversies in Britain about his country’s role in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. 


Asked what Sierra Leoneans think about Tony Blair’s intervention at the war in Sierra Leone, Dizo said “it was the right thing for him to do.”  He said that the people of Sierra Leone are very proud of him and Britain should be proud of him too because it was morally right for them to step in to stop further killing of innocent civilians. 


In a bookstore in Dublin, protesters who are angry about Britain’s war in Iraq and Afghanistan threw shoes and eggs at the former Prime Minister and forced him to cancel his subsequent book signing in London. 


Dizo, in an interview with Sierra Express Media, said “it’s just a minority of protesters who were causing such disturbances and has forced an exemplary leader to cancel his book signing and deprived the silent majority who would love to meet him.”


The British Sunday Times newspaper described Tony Blair as “feeling a little unloved in his country,” but in Sierra Leone “ people very much love him and he is a hero,” according to Dizo.


“In Sierra Leone, he is more than welcome to visit and sign as many books as he can and we would be very delighted to roll the red carpet for him there.” 


Dizo revealed that “Young Leaders-Sierra Leone will send a special invite to Mr Blair to visit Sierra Leone where he would enjoy much more meeting his devoted supporters.”


Tony Blair’s book “A Journey” is the “fastest-selling autobiography ever,” according Dominic Myers who is Managing Director of Waterstones, a British leading book specialist. 


“If Mr Blair hadn’t intervened in Sierra Leone, a lot more people would have been killed and the country’s suffering would have been much worst compared to what it is today,” Dizo told Sierra Express Media. 

“And also, had they (Britain) not intervened and pretended it was not their problem, the consequences of the atrocities in Sierra Leone were set to come to Britain,” Dizo argued.    


In October 2008, Young Leaders-Sierra Leone UK branch honoured Tony Blair in London with an award for his remarkable contribution and support to restoring peace and stability in Sierra Leone.   




Notes to Editors:


About Young Leaders-Sierra Leone (YLSL) 

YLSL fosters a platform for young Sierra Leoneans and other stakeholders at home and in the Diaspora to participate actively in nation-building through dialogue, education, advocacy and networking.  The organisation has been in operation since 2003, but it was in 2005 that the then President of Sierra Leone Dr Ahmed Tejan Kabbah launched it.  YLSL currently have branches in the UK and the US and its headquarter is in Sierra Leone.  


For more information about YLSL’s award to Mr Tony Blair


For more information please contact:

Young Leaders-Sierra Leone

Global President – Mr Unisa Dizo-Conteh

Tel: (+44) 794 649 0569




Sierra Leone Co-ordinator– Mr Mohamed Sillah Sesay

Tel: (+232) 337 411 26



United Kingdom Co-ordinator – Mr Emmanuel Stafford



United State of America Co-ordinator – Miss Theodosia M. Edwards


© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.