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Dizo: Tony Blair is a hero in Sierra Leone

Dizo: Tony Blair is a hero in Sierra Leone

Unisa Dizo Conteh, global President and CEO of Young Leaders-Sierra Leone (YLSL) has reiterated his country’s appreciation to the British former Prime Minister for his intervention for stopping the war in Sierra Leone. (Photo:  BBC presenter Jeremy Vine, and Unisa Dizo Conteh, CEO YLSL)

Speaking to BBC Radio 2’s “News, views and live guests” programme Tuesday 7 September, presented by Jeremy Vine, who also presents BBC’s Panorama programme, Dizo said “Tony Blair did what was right” in his intervention to prevent the RUF rebels killing more innocent people.”

He recalled some of the havoc caused by the war which included the brutal killing of his brother and other relatives.  He said these deaths still evoke anger that runs “very deeply” in his heart.

The BBC programme aired views of why Tony Blair is revered as a great leader abroad amid controversies in Britain of his role in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Asked what Sierra Leoneans think about Tony Blair’s intervention at the war in Sierra Leone, Dizo said “it was the right thing for him to do.”  He said that the people of Sierra Leone are very proud of him and Britain should be proud of him too because it was morally right for them to step in to stop further killing of innocent civilians.

Recently In a bookstore in Dublin, protesters who are angry about Britain’s war in Iraq and Afghanistan threw shoes and eggs at the former Prime Minister and forced him to cancel his subsequent book signing in London.

Dizo told Sierra Express Media that “it’s just a minority of protesters who are causing such disturbances and has forced an exemplary leader to cancel his book signing and deprived the silent majority who would love to meet him.”

“In Sierra Leone, he is more than welcome to visit and sign as many books as he can and we would be very delighted to roll the red carpet out for him there.”

Dizo revealed that “YLSL will send a special invite to Mr Blair to visit Sierra Leone where he would enjoy much more meetings with his devoted supporters.”

Tony Blair’s book “A Journey” is the “fastest-selling autobiography ever,” according Dominic Myers who is Managing Director of Waterstones, a British leading book specialist.

“If Mr Blair hadn’t intervened in Sierra Leone, a lot more people would have been killed and the country’s suffering would have been much worse compared to what it is today,” Dizo told Sierra Express Media.

“And also, had they (Britain) not intervened or pretended it was not their problem, the consequences of the atrocities in Sierra Leone were set to come to Britain,” Dizo argued.

In October 2008, YLSL UK branch honoured Tony Blair in London with an award for his remarkable contribution and support to restoring peace and stability in Sierra Leone.

Click here to listen to the BBC interview with Mr. Conteh (interview commences approximately 8 minutes into the audio)

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