Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Johnson Sirleaf, Koroma to Improve On Security


Presidents of Liberia and Sierra Leone have agreed to improve on security and existing cooperation between the two neighboring countries in the Mano River Union (MRU) basin. An Executive Mansion release quoting a joint communiqué issued at the end of an official working visit by the newly elected President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma and Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says the two have also pledged to fully support each other on matters concerning their sovereignty, territorial integrity, stability, peace and development. 
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Accordingly, the two leaders who inherited war-torn countries with fledgling democracies are expected to respect the Non-aggression and Security Cooperation Treaty, signed in Freetown on November 20, 1986; the Fifteenth Protocol on the Declaration of the Mano River Union on Defense, Security, Internal and Foreign Affairs, signed in May 2000 in Conakry, and related Treaties. Regarding the MRU, the two leaders pledged to intensify efforts to consolidate peace and establish security and stability in their respective countries so as to accelerate the reactivation of projects and programs of the Union in order to meet its objectives and goals. The document also encouraged both governments to foster trade and commerce as well as to work cooperatively towards enhancing the peace-building process in their respective countries through the promotion of good governance and democracy. In this connection, President Johnson Sirleaf apprised President Koroma of Her Government's Poverty Reduction Strategy anchored on four pillars: security, economic revitalization, and governance reform and infrastructure development.
President Koroma who departed Liberia Friday afternoon for Burkina Faso, has meanwhile, extended an invitation to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to pay an official visit to Freetown; a request the latter has promised to honour. However, while some say the visit was timely and necessary; many ordinary citizens on the streets of Freetown sobbed that it was too early for President Koroma to embark on such visits, especially when post elections violence and attacks continue. Police are still investigating cases of comprehensive attacks on the offices of the SLPP and similar complaints by business people in the central district of Freetown following the pronouncement and swearing in of the new president on September 17.
Some police officers who visited the business district have confirmed attacks on Nigerian businesses by people they refer to  as 'criminals'; a situation that saw the Nigerian National Union (NNU) holding meetings with its members and subsequently ordering all Nigerian nationals to temporarily close down their businesses while they await assurances from the appropriate authority, preferably the President.