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The Government’s proposed inquest is no witch hunt

The Government’s proposed inquest is no witch hunt

First of all, let me start by stating that an inquest is not a trial. It is a “formal inquiry which is held in a court to determine how and why something happened, and if additional action is needed”.

There may not be a trial. It is also very likely that those who would be called upon by the Inquest team to answer questions relating to the deaths of Mr. James Bambay Kamara and others may not be found guilty of any crime or culpable of any wrongdoings. If we try to understand the government’s position within these parameters, we would be able to dispel the notion of witch hunting, prejudice, and finger-pointing.

What I seem to hear from some Sierra Leoneans is that we must not go back and unearth the buried because it would ignite chaos and jeopardize the peace for which we have already paid a heavy price. Let us remember that those who had been buried also have families and loved ones who would still be interested in knowing what happened and why it happened. They too need the same peace that we all are yearning to sustain because they are Sierra Leoneans like everyone else and they deserve to enjoy whatever peace the rest of us enjoy. If the establishment of an inquest to find out the cause is what it takes to bring a smile to their faces, I don’t think it would be too heavy a price to pay.

The families do not want to see anyone executed for what they did but it would sooth their hearts to know who did what and what those perpetrators have to say to the bereaved families in return. What happened in Rwanda is ten times what we went through in Sierra Leone. I did not make this comparison to underestimate the loss to Sierra Leoneans but simply to establish a point. If Rwanda could forgive one another after their tribunals, I am hopeful that our nation, which is known for being very accommodating, would do the same and move on.

There are those who would wonder why it took the government and the UN this long to start probing into this matter. Well, let us look at it this way – it took the Rwandan government several years after the genocide to start going after those who perpetrated those acts of violence. The same was true with Noriega, Milosevic, Pinochet, Charles Taylor and many others.

The SLPP did not pursue this line of action while they were in power. I do not have all the evidence to judge them as to why they didn’t; but one thing I do know is that most of the people who were summarily executed were Northerners, and the North happens to be a strong hold of the APC. Could this be a reason why they did not bother? Only God knows.

It should therefore not surprise anyone if the APC decided to pursue this matter. Most of the people who were killed were strong APC supporters, and that is a fact! We, as a political party, are merely asking questions as to why our brothers and sisters were subjected to such gruesome and dishonorable manner of death. We want to lay this matter to rest once and for all but in order to do so, we must search our souls and conscience and bring out the best in us, which is to accept responsibility and offer our sincere apologies to our fellow Sierra Leoneans. 

To say that APC is going after Rtd. Brigadier Julius Marda Bio because he is the presumed presidential candidate for the SLPP in 2012 is equal to saying that the supporters of the APC are not capable of recalling their history. I say this because the APC does not have to go after Marda Bio because we, as a party, can care less about who stands on the other side against the APC. 2012 is rapidly being defined and predicted by Sierra Leoneans based on the current achievements of the APC. Every day, we see scores of people crossing over to the APC. Marda Bio’s history, as it relates to the NPRC, is known by even two year old boys and girl in Sierra Leone. It is just a matter of time before people start recounting that very history. Therefore, Marda Bio is free to pursue his political aspirations if he so desires; but that must not preclude him from being interrogated if he is found wanting for any of the deaths in Sierra Leone.

This New APC believes in the due process and also respects the rights of individuals. We will not establish an inquest to arrest every member of the NPRC, whether they are in the SLPP, APC or in the current National Army. We will simply ask them questions about what they know or did during the dark days in our history.

We will then utilize the results of the findings to determine what we need to do as a nation to not let this kind of thing happen again in our society. It will also help us send a message to the whole world that no matter how long it takes; every crime will be investigated partly as a way of establishing records of how such crimes were committed and how they were eventually resolved. There is no need for panic! The New APC of Dr. Earnest Koroma will insure that everyone is treated fairly and is given an opportunity to be adequately represented, if they have to be.

If we are calling for the expunging of records of heinous incidents which were never investigated or brought before any court of law, we must also remember that it took only a few disgruntled people for Foday Sankoh to recruit and unleash his venom on a peaceful nation. But I strongly believe that if justice is served through very legal and transparent means, there would be no retribution or disgruntlement about the outcome.

This is the difference between what people are insinuating as a repercussion if we carry on with the inquest; and the peace that we would have brought to the families of the deceased and the rest of the nation of Sierra Leone if we pursue this matter closely in sympathy with the laws of our land.  

So, fellow Sierra Leoneans, there is no cause for alarm. There is no cause for panic. We will continue to respect everyone even when proven guilty or found to be a person of interest in this matter. We will advocate, where necessary and appropriate, and will make sure that justice is dispensed freely and fairly.

Brima M. Turay, PRO, APC-NA, USA

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  • Sierra leoneans needs to know the truth about the bloody killings of late Bambay
    Kamara and others, Writers or contributors knows very well that Taki, G.M.T. Kaikai and others are tried and found quilty in the court of law not a hitler type of mass execution. (Old wounds or new wounds), every death must be a just or natural one as I am contributing towards this article the world at large are still searching for the Nazi killers in what ever capacity they were acting on. The United nation is a big supporter of that exercise and 95% of the perpetrators are old men and women and once they are caught they are brought to justice. The Sierra leone government has every right to pursue this matter not as a witchhunt but a course in the right direction. A few guilty individuals may think their families and friends are going to face treason. Be rest assured my people It is not the plan. All of us are praying for peace and unity within our beloveth Sierra leone.

    06/22/2010
  • dear all,

    Regarding the aim of opening an investigation as to the untimely deaths of our belevod hereos of the war-firstly I am so sorry for all the ones that have seen, felt, heard the sufferings from the past war-sorry I was not there to help you.
    The ones that we have lost at the time that they were not supposed to have gone—Hush–let it be a sober lesson to us all that are now witness tothe present and maybe the future.
    We all individually need to examine our own selves, our decisions, our speesh, our actions, and realise that the times that we are now living in is much bigger than which politics can dictate, to which political party you belong to, to what religion you belong to.

    As we examine our selves then the truth will be revelaed in each of us. this will bring thins to maifestation on a grander scale,and the solution will become automatic. People are just about mending their scars. The alternative is to re-open the whole issue and this -I KNOW – not I believe- I KNOW that this choice will collapse our umbilical connection to each other- do you know what I mean.please- try and keep up with me. People will go underground, groups will be reformed, free-speech will be the reasons to hang a person. At the moment some of us who live int he West including the ones that flee the war zone-have not even begin to recover from the war years as yet-some of us have taken on a new personality to hide the shock which adds further to our inbalance.
    The point about the TRUTH -even in any given time is that – it becomes a collection of pieces of events as seen or unseen but spoken by all who might be with or withour a motive for their speech. STOP AND LISTEN TO SILENCE. The present leader, Mr Koroma and his ideas appears sound and sensible to me pertaining to our land-Africa-the whole of Sierra-Leone. My beloved brehthen stands poise and ready to advance in a forward position. Why do we want to distrub this strength of wave length passing through.
    Your choice or mine as to whether or not this investigation is opened. But wait whilst your are making this choice THINK-about the CHILDREN-OUR FUTURE. would you mend their nightmares after you have re-opened a sore or would you empower them to dream of a better future.
    Who and what will benefit, who will be posing the questions and to whom, how will result help, too many “ifs” of this investigation.Best the money is used elsewhere- no more wages of blood money.WE ARE PLAYING WITH THE SECURITY OF MAN ON EARTH. STOP AND THINK.FOR THIS GIVE THE EARTH A BREAK TO FLOURISH.

    06/20/2010
  • Thank you so much Mr. Joseph Sesay for bringing some truth to fellow Sierra Leoneans.

    I’ve been following trends regarding the question of “INQUEST” or “NO INQUEST” and I may say that Sierra Leoneans never learn a lesson of the past. I am a US Citizen born of Sierra Leonean descent, but I am concerned about where Sierra Leone is heading again – the path that our beloved country just came out of. Why do I say so, because if we (Sierra Leoneans) start “Inquest” about the demise of Bambay Kamara and others, then it is justifiable to propose Inquest to satisfy the families of Brigadier Bangura, Ibrahim Taqi, Dr, Fornah and others; then an inquest for Lawyer Francis Minah, Kaikai and others.

    My question, why an inquest just for Bambay Kamara & others at this time in our healing & development process? Why do Sierra Leoneans like “opening an old wound” when healing is underway? Don’t Sierra Leone has a “Truth & Reconciliatory Commission”, then what’s the use of waisting International Donor’s money to set up one?

    I am neither an SLPP, PDMC or APC because all these political parties are alike in their agenda, policies and outcomes. We, Sierra Leoneans have started a “North – South” divide which will ultimate bring us back into the era we just came out of. Every day I hear, read and see Sierra Leone edging toward regionalism, subsequently “tribalism” and eventually a demise of our beloved nation once again.

    This is my take, to get rid of all the “Recycled Politicians” that have ripped off our nation and replace them with people that have nationalist values and ideals, such the likes of Sir Milton Margai, Kandeh Bureh, MS Mustapha, Amadu Wurie, Kwame Nkrumah and Nnamdi Azikwe, to name but a few.

    God has provided Sierra Leone with a Nationalistic leader in the like of President Ernest Koroma. I was a college mate of Mr. President at Fourah Bay College in 1976. He is a God-given President to Sierra Leone, at this time when our beloved nation needs one. As a constructive criticism, President Koroma has surrounded himself with all those “recycled politicians” as advisors, who only think about themselves and their immediate families. Sierra Leone do not need such politicians anymore.

    I must conclude that our President & advisors are treading on a dangerous path. I think the TRC should handle this matter of “Inquest”. Also, I realize that Sierra Leoneans cannot delineate between a “political party” and the “government”. In the United States the political party is not the government. We, Americans do not say the democratic government. We refer to our government as the “United States Government”. I just wanted to share this light.

    God bless Sierra Leone and our President Ernest B. Koroma. Lonta!

    06/18/2010
  • I read with interest the article written by Brima Turay (Pro – APC) and for me the issue is simple, we should look at past killings in Sierra Leone, not just one set of killings. Starting from Dr. Fornah, Taqi, Brigadier Banugurs, Sam Banugura, GMT Kai Kai, Victor King etc etc. I do not believe in impunity, but if we are to try the killers of Mr. Bambay Kamara and Co, then we must look at all killings. Let one thing be clr, Mr Bambay Kamara is no saint and he was the main man behind the death of GMT Kaikai on trumped up charges in a kangaroo court. So if justice is going to be done for Bambay, let it be done for everyone and I mean everyone. Long live Sierra Leone!

    06/17/2010
  • Dear BM Turay,
    I always admire your contributions but as a northerner myself the premises you established as reason for the inquest is very slippery and dangerous.True that most of those executed were northerners and APC supporter, yet let us also remember that the amount of people executed by RUF headed by Foday Saybana Sankoh a blood northerner far surpasses what we are crying overThe actual cadres of the RUF inluding Tarawallie and Kabba are northerners.I can vividly remember when Chernor Abass Bundu then Foreign Affairs minister under NPRC stated that the war have reached where it is not supposed to reach simply because Massingbe was attacked, implying that the north should not be attacked by a revolution ochestrated and headed by a northerner Foday Sankoh of Tonkoli.It will be in the interest of us all as sierra lleonean to ask Pa Koroma to allow peace to reign or else the results will be too bad ,
    Joseph P.R.China

    06/17/2010
  • Dear BM Turay,
    I always admire your contributions but as a northerner myself the premises you established as reason for the inquest is very slippery and dangerous.True that most of those executed were northerners and APC supporter, yet let us also remember that the amount of people executed by RUF headed by Foday Saybana Sankoh a blood northerner far surpasses what we are crying overThe actual cadres of the RUF inluding Tarawallie and Kabba are northerners.I can vividly remember when Chernor Abass Bundu then Foreign Affairs minister under NPRC stated that the war have reached where it is not supposed to reach simply because Massingbe was attacked, implying that the north should not be attacked by a revolution ochestrated and headed by a northerner Foday Sankoh of Tonkoli.It will be in the interest of us all as sierra lleonean to ask Pa Koroma to all peace to reign or else the results will be too bad ,
    Joseph

    06/17/2010

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