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Sierra Leone’s new ambassador arrives in Moscow in an awe-inspiring way to assume office

Sierra Leone’s new ambassador arrives in Moscow in an awe-inspiring way to assume office

MOSCOW, RUSSIA. – Sierra Leone’s new Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Mr. John Yambasu, landed at the Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow on the 20th October 2010 at the start of his posting to Moscow.

H.E Mr. Yambasu, together with a high-powered entourage from members of the United Kingdom Branch of the All People’s Congress (APC) Party were greeted with bouquets of flowers at the airport by the Head of Chancery, Mr. Ibrahim V. Kondoh, and staff of the Sierra Leone Embassy in Moscow, members of the Union of African Ambassadors and Executive members of the National Union of Sierra Leone students in Russia.

In a short but exuberant reception in one of the VIP lounges at the airport, the Kenyan Ambassador to Russia, H.E Paul K. Kurgat ,who coincidentally happened to have graduated from the same University where Ambassador Yambasu did his preparatory Russian language course some 30 years ago was given the honour to chair the auspicious ceremony and he requested that there be a self introduction for fear  of mispronouncing someone’s name. He officially welcomed H.E Yambasu to Russia and to their Ambassadors’ Group.  “We hope to have a wonderful time with you and pray you enjoy your stay, but there are just two things I need to tell you about Russia: the extremely harsh weather and the Moscow ‘Probka’ (Traffic Jam).”

H.E Yambasu, who seemed to be in a very good spirit started by thanking his colleague Ambassador and said he is not quite a stranger to the Russian weather as he studied in the then Soviet Union. “I want to say I am very grateful to the Head of Chancery, Mr. Kondoh, for his hard work and for putting everything in place” he said. He conveyed President Ernest Koroma’s warmest felicitations to his people in this part of the world and expressed how development-oriented President Koroma is. “My President (Ernest Koroma) is a strong believer in African unity; he has brought a lot of laurels to Sierra Leone.  At the moment we are the 53rd Country in the world for peace, just a few years after coming from a 10-years civil war” He commended Kenya for the role of the Kenyan UN peacekeeping contingent during the war and channeled President Koroma’s gratitude to the Kenyan President through the  Ambassador on behalf of the Sierra Leonean people.

As for Ghana, the big brother next door, Mr. Yambasu said at the present moment there are about 150 Ghanaian specialists training Sierra Leoneans in various fields.

He then introduced members of his entourage which comprised of H.E Mr. Tamba M. Ngegba, Deputy High Commissioner of Sierra Leone to the UK and spouse; Mrs. Kumba Alice Momoh, APC Chairlady in the UK and N. Ireland; Ms. Khadijatu Buya Kamara, APC Women’s Leader in the UK and N. Ireland. Asked to give a few words, both of the APC strong ladies were very impressed to have been greeted by such a collective of various Africans. “… to me it’s a very overwhelming reception, this shows how united we are as Africans… let’s keep up the good work and I hope we continue to work together as one for the welfare of our countries, to promote and achieve success for Africa”, said  Ms. Buya Kamara. “I’m really, really touched and humbled, we talk of united Africa, this says it all… we have to continue to work together because we don’t expect the West to come and unite Africa. We as a continent have human and other resources, if we work together, there’s nothing we can’t do”, added Mrs. Momoh.

To the students, Mr. Yambasu promised to do all he can to improve their status and help solve their problems, he also encouraged them to return home immediately after their studies as the country is in dire need of manpower.  “It is because of you, Sierra Leoneans that we are here; we are going to do our best to see to your needs. You don’t necessarily need to get down to Freetown before you can get a job, there is the office of the Diaspora where you can send in your qualifications and there’ll be a job waiting for you on your arrival. I know students always have problems either with studies or with allowances. I’ve been and I’m still a student as I’m always learning”

There were some snacks and drinks, including ‘Ginger Beer’ (a non-alcoholic Sierra Leone national drink) During this process, most of the students and some other Sierra Leone nationals had the opportunity to have a close contact and chat with the Ambassador and some of the leaders of the ruling APC and subsequently, Sierra Leone with flashlights from cameras frantically blinking here and there. “I think he’s an easy-going man, we dae cam betteh” said one of the students.

The Ambassador was later escorted in an H2-Hummer Limousine to his residence

Ibrahim M. Kapuwa, Moscow, Russia.

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