Monday, February 05, 2007

The Gadaffi Libyan Connection

The suffering of Sierra Leoneans, a group of peaceful and law abiding citizens, continue to increase with no hope of salvation in the near future. The argument for this social and economic predicaments have centered on greed and lack of love for one’s country, when compared to what obtains in other countries across the globe.
If this argument is accepted, based on past experience, and coupled with the prevailing situation, then the fact of the argument may not be too remote. But several questions keep occupying the minds of those Sierra Leoneans who want this nation-state to forge ahead and be recognized not at the tail end of the development index but at the top, so that every individual born of a Sierra Leonean parent would be proud of his/her country of birth.
The fact remains indisputable that Sierra Leoneans are not haters of their motherland, What perhaps they dislike is the type of leadership that the country from time to time is producing. Gone are the days of the late Sir Milton Margai and those patriotic decision makers whose personal interests were shelved for the sake of nationalism and the general good of the people of this country. What we have or the country is unfortunately producing today that we call leaders is absolutely contrary to the requirement of good and productive leadership that history would always make reference to, in the same way history now references the days of Sir Milton Margai, Henry Georgestone, Cummings- John and others who fought for the independence of Sierra Leone.
The war that caused the systematic destruction of precious and valuable lives and properties was conducted not for patriotic reasons but for greed and the selfish nature mankind is gifted with. The lives lost and properties destroyed are hard to come by, especially at this time when both the economic and social atmosphere is very hostile to human development and its existence.
It was the expectation of many that after the war, those who were the key financiers of the war would have been taken to task by the international community and the world powers to replace what the people of this nation had lost. Though, not in terms of the precious lives lost, but the infrastructure and other projects that constitute human dignity, not necessarily the old and rotten buses donated by the Libyan leader Col. Gaddafi that could not stand the test of time and not the contaminated rice that can shorten the life span of the average Sierra Leonean, but something permanent that the people and children can point to with time.
Unfortunately, those who are at the helm of state affairs and are expected to channel the concerns of the people are the very individuals now dining and wining with those who fast-tracked the death of their compatriots. Sadly, and with tears running down my eyes, the incident that one could describe as the greatest massacre of Sierra Leoneans focused my attention to the role of both the Libyan President Col. Gaddafi and Burkina Faso’s Blaise Campaore.
The history of the destruction of Sierra Leone, spearheaded by Foday Sankoh, himself a Sierra Leonean, cannot be complete or properly written without mentioning those names.
Reflecting alone on the great massacre from the Kailahun district to the city of Freetown and its environs has caused serious pains and unhappiness to the people, loved ones, family heads, the list is endless, who were butchered in cold blood; pregnant women had their stomach split opened with their children gambled. It was like the biblical casting of lots that dominated the scene at the time with no sympathy from the butchers from the length and breadth of Sierra Leone.
While the people perished, Sankoh the leader of the massacre was in collaboration with Gaddafi and others including names of unknown individuals whose business was to benefit from diamonds and gold extracted from war areas. Thus, the question has always remained unanswered. Why? That is why when news keep filtering into this small nation, that few years back perished through the handiwork of Col. Gaddafi and others, that he is about to determine the political future, people started having dreadful dreams about what the reality would be when Gaddafi would have determined who to rule us and who should be the SLPP running mate?
It is unarguably true that Sierra Leone is not a province of Libya, and she would never be one in the history of contemporary political developments. The question, though may be strong to ask, is why must President Kabbah request the Libyan leader to interfere into the politics of this country? Considering the relationship that exists between them, is an absolute betrayal of the trust reposed on President Kabbah by the people of this nation to have associated himself with somebody who financed and sponsored the massacre of thousand of his compatriots. Is it because of religions affiliation that has caused the betrayal? Or is it because of the few thousands of bags of rice and rotten buses used as political tools to sell the rights of Sierra Leoneans? Gaddafi again? That is the unanswered question, which President Kabbah, if he were patriotic enough, should have been asking himself as he occupies his imperial throne at Hill Station.
Legally, Col. Gaddafi has a number of questions to answer from the people of Sierra Leone if any prudent or legal action were to be taken against him for the death of countless number of Sierra Leoneans in which he actively took part, whether directly or indirectly, through financing the war or by any other means. This is a fact that has a wide range of ramifications in any court of law as there are enough evidences to substantiate the claim that the Libyan president financed the former RUF leader.
Sadly, because of religious association and betrayal of trust, President Kabbah, whom much is expected from by the people of this country to lead the campaign for reparation, compensation or call it whatever name, is disappointedly the individual who is providing the platform for this same RUF financier and collaborator to determine the political future of Sierra Leone. When that happens, the conclusion is obvious that disaster hangs over us like the sword of Damocles.
Despite the fact that the Libyan leader is making efforts to launder himself clean internationally of all that he has done to nations and individuals, it doesn’t in any way qualify him to determine the political future of any nation-state in the world. Whatever relationship that do exist between Col. Gaddafi and President Kabbah should remain between the two, but not to be extended to the sovereign right of a nation-state.
If the excuse by President Kabbah that the trip of vice-President Solomon Berewa, SLPP Chairman Alhaji UNS Jah and the Foreign Affairs minister Momodu Koroma was specially to attend an international meeting, the question is why should a special jet from Tripoli bound for Sierra Leone be provided by Col. Gaddafi to airlift the vice president and others to the north of Africa, where the late Foday Sankoh financier is residing. If it was due to “special interest” in order to cushion the air transport problem for the vice President and his team is what this writer is questioning. Some of us have refused to forget the handiwork of the Libyan president internationally as well as locally, and how he caused nations to suffer by using his ill-gotten wealth, either because of political or religious differences.
The Siaka Stevens-Col. Gaddafi relationship that was given birth in the 1970s suffered political setback in the 1980s leading to the period of the war. Some political analysts have concluded that one of the reasons for the Libyan leader to finance the RUF was to politically control the sub-region, which he gradually succeeded with countries and heads of state like Yayah Jammeh of Banjul, Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso and Charles Taylor of Liberia. Sierra Leone was the target by then, and when Foday Sankoh emerged he got all the support he wanted from Gaddafi. Is this not the same man that should determine the runningmate for the SLPP and Sierra Leone as a country?
This writer knows what the vice President Solomon Berewa is capable of doing and the files he must have stored and maintained in his strong room about the Libyan leader waiting for time to act on them for the benefit of all and sundry. Therefore, for him to allow this same individual, who caused the suffering of his people and the nation, including his parents for eleven years, is indeed an incredible story to comprehend.

Link to Standard Times Press