From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms (SLANSA) Engages Youths on Violence & Security
By Bampia Bundu
Dec 2, 2010, 17:24

The Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms (SLANSA) will today Thursday 2nd December 2010 end two day national conference on youths in governance.

The conference is being held at the conference hall of the National Stadium Hostel in Freetown on the theme ‘Partnership in Promoting Human Security in Sierra Leone.’

Giving an overview of the conference, the National Coordinator of SLANSA noted that youths in governance programmes is one of her organization’s instruments in promoting human security in West Africa.   He said the Sub-Region is as one of the most volatile and conflict prone region in Sub-Saharan Africa of which Sierra Leone had had a fair share.   “Sierra Leone and Liberia account for some of the worst atrocities in the sub region,” she noted, stating further that the factors for those conflicts can be attributed to youth activities coupled with the proliferation of small and light weapons. “Youths have always been at the center on armed conflicts both as victims and perpetrators.” 

Director of Youths in the Ministry of Youths and Sports, Anthony A. Koroma commended SLANSA for coming up with what he referred to as a laudable programme designed with the view to strengthening youth participation in governance, democracy and security. He described the conference as a unique programme aimed at regenerating and remunerating the minds of the youths to re-brand the country as well as enhance   their capacity to actively involve in good governance at all levels.

Mr. Koroma furthered that some of the challenges young people face in this modern world are marginalization in national, economic, social and political structures, adding that the TRC extensively dilated on youth involvement in the civil conflict that raged throughout the country for 11 years.  He therefore, expressed the hope that the training would equip the participants with advocacy skills and would also help them desist from atrocious behaviours.

He ended by commending SLANSA for organizing such a training programme, as he used the occasion to appeal to youths to avail themselves in order to improve on their knowledge and skills in local and nation governance, promoting women’s rights, security and ensure that democratic values are maintained.

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