U.S. must help Sierra Leone strengthen democracy and eradicate impunity
The United States of America is the biggest and the most flourishing democracy in the world, apart from also being the richest and the most powerful nation on the face of the globe. The U.S. democratic practice and her economic and military might make her the envy of other nations all over the world. It is also a fact that the U.S. is the stellar nation, the model and the country to emulate. This is why all nations of the world seek to imitate and emulate not only the U.S’ political , economic and social systems but even her artists and entertainers. The United States has also played a commendable role in the socio-economic and political transformation of many countries, which gives the U.S. the psychological and moral authority and clout she enjoys over all nations.
While thanking the U.S. profusely for all she has done for our nation, it would be highly appreciated by all Sierra Leoneans if America would continue to help our nation strengthen democracy and eradicate the spirit of impunity . We look up to the United States for moral and other support in our huge strive to further implant all the gains of our post-war democratic transformation. In another column of this newspaper, we have published the avowed U.S. Strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa . In propounding her policy to Africa , the U.S faithfully promised as recently as June 14 this year that “ We will work to advance democracy by strengthening institutions at every level, supporting and building upon the aspirations of Africans for more open and accountable governance, promoting human rights and the rule of law, and challenging leaders whose actions threaten the credibility of democratic processes.” We think the time has now come for the U.S. to fulfill her promise to the Sierra Leonean people.
As a nation, we have made a fantastic progress since the war . We have held two Presidential and legislative elections that did not only conform to international and textbook standards for free, fair and credible elections, but surpassed all expectations for a post-conflict nation . Simultaneously, we have build strong democratic institutions to ensure transparent and accountable governance. We have the Sierra Leone Human Rights Commission, the Anti-Corruption Commission, Independent Media Commission, the Political Parties Registration Council, just to name a few. Civil society , children’s and women’s groups are thriving in the country and there are many vocal non-governmental institutions monotoring human rights and transparent governance . Also, Sierra Leone can now boast of over 50 newspapers and a dozen radio stations with most of them pro-opposition parties. The level of press freedom being enjoyed by Sierra Leoneans is unprecedented in Africa. This is one reason we think that the next time President Obama or any American President comes to Africa, justice should be done to the U.S. promise to help strengthen democracy by that U.S. Head of State visiting Sierra Leone as well.The countries that Presidents George Bush and Obama visited in Africa are not doing better than Sierra Leone. Our nation has been classified as a UN Success story for peace consolidation and democracy .
It is imperative that the U.S. help Sierra Leone entrench the lofty principles of democracy and also end impunity to help build and consolidate peace in the country. Sierra Leone will slip back to war if concerted cooperative efforts are not made by our development partners to strengthen her democratic gains, promote the rule of law and put an end to impunity.The government of Sierra Leone and nationals of the country are working very hard to promote democracy, the rule of law and the consolidation of peace. We hope their efforts will be complemented by the U.S. and our development partners.
We hope the U.S. will bear in mind that Sierra Leoneans cherish the valuable and precious traditional ties that bind the two countries and the bilateral relations between the two nations. As we go into very crucial elections in three months, we expect to see from the U.S. decisions that will help us build a stronger and durable democracy , promote the rule of law and establish zero-tolerance to impunity.