Sierra Leone on the edge of failure. Gregory Copley, Defense & Foreign Affairs.

Jan 11, 05:02 AM

Photo:English: Cotton Tree Railway Station 3.30 p.m. Bungalow Train, Freetown. Lisk-Carew Brothers, Photo., Freetown, Sierra Leone. Registered.

Date 1910s 1900s

Source Delcampe

Author Lisk-Carew Brothers, Photo., Freetown, Sierra Leone. Registered.


Public domain 

This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less.

Sierra Leone on the edge of failure. Gregory Copley, Defense & Foreign Affairs.

Sierra Leone Starts to Slip Back to “Business as Usual” Analysis. From GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs, Freetown. The Sierra Leonean Gov-ernment of Pres. Julius Maada Bio — elected to office in the March 31, 2018, run-off of the Presidential elections — lasted less than nine months before it seemed to begin to succumb to the same kind of corruption, inefficiency, and disorder it had campaigned to overturn in the outgoing Government of Pres. Ernest Bai Koroma. The strategic advantage from the apparent return to “business as usual” — that is, the business of governance as it has been practiced in recent years in Sierra Leone — seems likely to be to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which, despite backing the losing team in the March 31, 2018, elections, has now begun rebuilding a working rela-tionship with the new Government. Pres. Bio was sworn into office on April 4, 2018, noting: “Be rest assured that I will be President of all Sierra Leoneans. I will promote national unity, cohesion, and disciplined leadership.” Widespread dissatisfaction with the Government had begun to be evident by early Jan-uary 2019. There had been numerous clashes between the Army and the Police, and one senior political observer in Freetown noted: “This lot seem to be more tribalistic than the last.” [Pres. Bio himself is a noble of the Sherbro people, who identify culturally with the Mende people, and his Chief Minister, Prof. David Francis, is a Mende.] Pres. Bio, a former Army brigadier, assumed the portfolio of Defence Minister, and his Deputy Defence Minister, Brig. (rtd.) Simeon N. Sheriff, was given the day-to-day con-trol of the Defence Ministry. As a team, they began with high hopes of restoring the Si-erra Leone Armed Forces to efficiency, and to ensuring that the strong political influence of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) would be minimized. The PRC had, in any event, overtly (as well as quietly) given strong support in the elections to the former rul-ing party, socialist All People’s Congress (APC), and its candidate, Samura Kamara. Certainly, the United Kingdom — itself in the throes of priority planning to move the country out of the European Union — was attempting to rebuild its security relationship with Sierra Leone, its former colony, and to balance the growing influence which the PRC had achieved. Pres. Bio on November 15, 2018, visited the UK-funded Interna-tional Security Advisory Team (ISAT) facility built in 2002 (and then known as the Inter-national Military Advice and Training Team: IMATT) at Leicester Square, Hill Station, Sierra Leone. As joint statements by the UK and Sierra Leone governments noted, since 2016, 2,860 Sierra Leonean soldiers had (by late 2018) received direct ISAT training, while a further 2,190 soldiers had been trained annually by ISAT-enabled army instructors. ISAT had directly trained 2,000 Sierra Leone Police officers, and they have then trained 1,000 of their own staff and 900 soldiers....