KAMBIA RESIDENTS COMPLAIN S/LEONE AMB. TO GUINEA

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HARASSMENT & INTIMIDATION… ARMED THUGS

Kambia Residents Complain S/Leone Amb. To Guinea

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The Sierra Leone Ambassador to Guinea Alimamy H. Bangura is being accused by residents in the border district of Kambia of using the Police and mercenary thugs from neighbouring Guinea to perpetrate his land grabbing agenda in the district.  The Ambassador, who currently resides in Kambia is allegedly implicated in a land dispute with one Ibrahim Jalloh and Mohamed T. Sorie.

Speaking to Mr. Tejan Fofanah a resident in Kanbia through a telephone interview, he said that in 2015 one Mohamed T. Sorie met Mr Jalloh for a small portion of land which he denied to offer him but later an agreement was reached to sell the land at Kambia 2 Katimpe road.

He explained that Mr Sorie, the prospective buyer was always in the habit of intervening in people`s land at Kambia District and he has always attended court sittings as a strategy to achieving his land grabbing objectives.

Mr. Tejan Fofanah explained that after the agreement has been cemented Mr. Sorie requested for the document where he tried to falsify the document in an attempt to change the date to acquire the said land for himself but he did not succeed.

Mr. Tejan Fofanah also continued that when the matter was brought to the magistrate court No.1 in Kambia, Ambassador Alimamy Bangura requested for the matter to be transfered to the magistrate court No.3 and because of that, he and Mr. Jalloh failed to honor the court invitation.

He explained that they did not honor the invitation because the Ambassador has already intervened in the said matter and was of the conviction that the court will not rule in favor of them.

He pointed out that he was quite aware of the reason why Ambassador Alimamy Bangura is interested in the land because after the court gives out judgment against them, part of the land will be given to him to utilised as business stores for his wife.

He expressed that the said matter started in 2015 but during that time, the accused Mr Sorie was in prison and in 2019 Ambassador Alimamy Bangura secured his release.

“After he was released, Mr Sorie decided to raise the same matter as he had already received a backup and endorsement from the Ambassador”

Mr Fofanah said .

He expressed worries that the ambassador is always pressurizing him ant threatening him that since he is the ambassador for now, Mr. Tejan Fofanah will never get government or private contracts until another government comes to power.

 The Ambassador was further accused of soliciting the help of the Sierra Leone Police and simultaneously hiring Guinean thugs to illegally retrieve lands from indigenes in Kambia.

Mr Fofanah ended that he is currently afraid because an authority of the country in the person of an ambassador is making life very difficult for him, and he is currently in fear of his life in Kambia 

When contacted, the Ambassador Alimamy Bangura in a telephone interview told Public Review that he did not have any issue with anyone for a piece of land  in kambia District.

He noted that, if someone has any issue with him, he is advising that individual to seek legal redress in court.

When quizzed on allegations bordering on abuse of office using his power to bully people, he replied that he has never had any confrontation with anyone in Kambia District.

He continued that if this medium wants to prove him wrong or right, it should send a fact finding reporter to ascertain the veracity of the allegations.

The Ambassador went further to deny the allegations of soliciting the help of the Police and simultaneously hiring Guinean thugs to illegally retrieve lands from indigenes in Kambia.

The Ambassador also denied allegations of abandoning his ambassadorial duties in Conakry in order to spend most of his time in Kambia to engage in illegal land grabbing activities.

In his conclusion, Mr Bangura further repudiate allegations that he is spending his precious time in Kambia, as according to him, he only visits Kambia during the weekends.

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China-S/Leone Celebrates Jubilee of Friendship

Hon. Speaker of the Parliament, Dr. Abass Bundu,

Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo,Chairman of the Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,

Hon. Kandeh Yumkella of NGC,

Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina of C4C,

Mr. Sulay-Manah Kpukumu, DDG of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,

Amb. Soulay Daramy,

Hon. Members of Parliament,

Mr. Ahamed Nasralla, National President of Sierra Leone Association of Journalists and friends from SLAJ,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Good morning! I’m glad to attend today’s symposium and share my views on the thematic topic of “Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and the 50 Years of China-SierraLeone Cooperation”.

First of all, please allow me to thank you all for taking time to attend this event. I should also thank the Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists for co-hosting this symposium with the Chinese Embassy.

I believe that today’s symposium will help us further deepen our mutual understanding and strengthen our mutually beneficial cooperation.

Three days ago, the Republic of Sierra Leone celebrated its 60th Anniversary of independence. Here, I would like to extend warm congratulations and best wishes to all my Sierra Leonean friends once again. I wish you greater successes in the future based on what you have already achieved.

Now, let me go to the main contents, historic significance and practical outcomes of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, and the Chinese nation has achieved a tremendous transformation from standing up and growing rich to becoming strong. With the foresight of a great strategic thinker and a keen appreciation of the laws of human society, H.E. President Xi Jinping put forward a series of new ideas, new propositions and new initiatives with distinctive Chinese features, which reflect the call of our times and lead the trend of human progress. President Xi has also given clear answers to a series of key questions in theory and practice, namely, what kind of world and what type of international relations China should promote, what kind of foreign policy best serves China and how China is to conduct diplomacy in the new era. Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy has thus been formed and established.

The main contents of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy are reflected by the stressing of “persistent efforts in ten aspects”.

First, persistent efforts in strengthening the centralized, unified leadership of the CPC over its diplomatic work by maintaining the authority of the CPC Central Committee.

Second, persistent efforts in promoting China’s major-country diplomacy, which is tasked with realizing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Third, persistent efforts in building a community with a shared future for mankind, with the aim of safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.

Fourth, persistent efforts in upholding socialism with Chinese characteristics as the fundamental means by which China will strengthen her strategic confidence.

Fifth, persistent efforts in pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative in line with the principle of achieving shared growth through consultation and collaboration.

Sixth, persistent efforts in following a path of peaceful development based on mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Seventh, persistent efforts in developing global partnerships by improving China’s diplomatic layout.

Eighth, persistent efforts in reforming the global governance system according to the principles of fairness and justice.

Ninth, persistent efforts in safeguarding China’s national sovereignty, security, and development interests, with China’s core national interests as the inviolable bottom line.

Tenth, persistent efforts in creating a unique brand of diplomacy for China by combining the fine traditions and contemporary features of China’s diplomatic work.

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy carries forward and develops the fine tradition of the Chinese culture and the diplomatic theories of New China. It improves on and transcends traditional theories of international relations. It defines the historical mission, general goals, key tasks, and a series of guidelines and policies for China’s diplomacy in the new era. It is an important system of thought that is scientific, up-dated, advanced and action-oriented.

Great ideas, once produced, will in turn drive the progress of the times. In recent years, China’s diplomatic work has followed the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. Aimed at building a community with a shared future for mankind and based on the principle of peaceful development and win-win cooperation, China has actively carried out the “Belt and Road” initiative and advocated the necessary reform of the global governance system while righteously defending China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests.

China has always been a staunch supporter of multilateralism and a committed defender of the UN-centered international system as well as the international order underpinned by international law. China has actively upheld international fairness and justice, worked with the international community for an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. China has also been striving for an early victory over the COVID-19 pandemic.

When multilateralism and globalization were facing difficulties, the world was full of uncertainties and people longing for a bright future but bewildered about what was in store, H.E. President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech at the United Nations Office at Geneva in January 2017, putting forward China’s proposition to build a community of shared future for mankind. Four years later, in January 2021, President Xi addressed the World Economic Forum of the Davos Agenda and explicitly stated “let the torch of multilateralism light up humanity’s way forward”. In recent years, China has successively hosted a series of major multilateral events such as the APEC leaders’ meeting in 2014, G20 summit in 2016, BRICS summit in 2017, and Bo’ao Forum for Asia annually etc., holding high the banner of peace, development and win-win cooperation.

In November 2020, China formally signed the RCEP agreement with 14 other RCEP member states. This will create a free trade zone for the East Asian region with the largest population, the most diverse membership structure, and the greatest potential for development in the world.

In December 2020, the China-EU investment agreement negotiations were completed on schedule. This is a balanced, high-level, mutually beneficial and win-win agreement that has boosted confidence in the recovery of the global economy and an open international trade and investment environment.

In terms of promoting common development, China-Africa cooperation is a successful model. President Xi Jinping has set great store by China’s relations with Africa. He personally laid down principles guiding China’s policy toward Africa and called for building a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future that features joint responsibility, win-win cooperation, happiness for all, common cultural prosperity, common security, and harmonious co-existence.

President Xi’s devotion to leadership diplomacy with Africa has given a strong boost to the relations between China and African countries. In 2013, President Xi chose Africa as the destination of his first overseas visit as the Head of State of China. So far, he has visited Africa four times, covering all sub-regions of the continent. In 2015 and 2018, China and Africa convened two historic FOCAC summits. In June 2020, the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19 was held at a critical moment in tackling the corona virus. All these indicate closer political interactions between the two sides.

Till the end of 2020, China has built for Africa over 6,000 kilometers of railways and the same mileage of roads, nearly 20 ports and over 80 large-scale power plants, and more than 130 medical facilities, 45 stadiums and 170-odd schools. These infrastructures have made a big difference in Africa’s economic and social development. China has provided some 120,000 government scholarships to Africa. As many as 21,000 Chinese medical personnel have been dispatched to work in 48 African countries, providing treatment to around 220 million African people cumulatively.

China takes concrete actions to maintain world peace. China is the second largest contributor to both peacekeeping and UN membership fees, and the largest troop-contributing country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. From 1990 to 2020, China has sent over 40,000 peacekeepers to 25 UN peacekeeping missions. In 2015, President Xi pledged solemnly at the UN Peacekeeping Summit that “China will join the new UN peacekeeping Capability Readiness System and has decided to take the lead in setting up a permanent peacekeeping police squad and build a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops.” President Xi also promised that “ in the coming five years, China will provide free military aid of US$100 million to the African Union to support the building of the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis. All these have been earnestly implemented.

China actively promotes the Belt and Road cooperation for common development. In 2013, H.E. President Xi Jinping put forward the “Belt and Road” initiative for the first time and it was well embraced by the international community. In 2017, China hosted the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and in 2019 the second one was held. As of April 27, 2021, China has signed more than 200 BRI cooperation documents with 140 countries and 31 international organizations. In 2020, despite the pandemic, most BRI projects were uninterrupted and without layoffs, and a number of new projects were launched as scheduled. This brought much-needed impetus to the world economy and contributed to the efforts of partner countries in fighting the pandemic, stabilizing the economy, and protecting livelihoods.

A World Bank report suggests that by 2030, Belt and Road projects could help lift 7.6 million people from extreme poverty and 32 million people from moderate poverty across the world. China will act in the spirit of openness and inclusiveness as she makes efforts with all willing participants to build the BRI into a pathway to poverty alleviation, growth and the common prosperity of humankind.

China actively upholds and promotes the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries. China is one of the developing countries, the largest developing country. H.E. President Xi Jinping clearly stated that no matter what development stage China is at, no matter how the international situation changes, China will continue to stand with the vast number of developing countries, and will always be a reliable friend and sincere partner of the developing world.

China attaches great importance to the deepening of South-South cooperation, the enhancement of developing countries’ representation and voices in global governance, and the safeguarding of the overall interests of developing countries. In the discussion of hotspot issues in the United Nations Security Council and other arenas as well as on issues of international financing, world trade, climate change etc., China stresses the importance of upholding justice, taking good care of the legitimate concerns and interests of relevant developing countries, advocating political settlement and opposing externally-imposed interference.

Under the current pandemic, China has taken an active part in formulating the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative and implemented all debt service suspension requests that are DSSI eligible, ranking the first among G20 members in terms of deferral amount. China has earnestly promoted the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and provided substantial support to other developing countries.

Honourable Speaker, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and strives to forge partnerships rather than alliances, engage in cooperation rather than confrontation. China is working with Russia to build the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, working with EU to build the partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization, and working with the BRICS countries to develop a partnership of solidarity and cooperation.China remains prepared to work with the US to build a relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability.

China is deepening cooperation with neighboring countries under the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, and promoting common development with African countries under the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, and pursuing the greater good and shared interests. Of course, it takes two to Tango. While the Chinese side shows its sincerity, all partners should also pull their efforts together.

China does not stir up troubles, but is not afraid of  troubles. In the face of the bullying and provocation of certain anti-China forces, China has waged justified, strong and proportionate countermeasures, resolutely safeguarding her national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and resolutely safeguarding the norms of international relations and international fairness and justice.

China has taken on the misguided moves to politicize and label the coronavirus by certain countries. China has objected to slanders and smears against her political system and development path, and thwarted attempts of all descriptions to meddle in China’s internal affairs through issues relating to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Xizang (Tibet). China has reacted proportionately to certain Countries’ unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdiction” on the spurious grounds of “national security”, thereby protecting China’s dignity and the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and citizens.

China matches her words with deeds in building a global community of health for all. China has donated or provided emergency medical supplies to over 160 countries and international organizations in support of the fight against COVID-19, among which more than 220 billion masks, 2.3 billion PPEs and over 1 billion testing kits. China has sent 36 medical expert groups to countries in need and provided funding to WHO and other relevant UN agencies.

In the face of a huge shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, China has been providing, by various means, vaccines to over 100 countries and international organizations including 10 million doses of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines to the WHO at the latter’s request to meet the urgent needs of developing countries. China walks the talk in rejecting vaccine nationalism and promoting fair and reasonable deployment of vaccines.

China is actively engaged in building a green and livable planet. China has all along made efforts to push for ecological progress and taken concrete actions on global climate governance. The philosophy proposed by President Xi Jinping that “blue waters and green mountains are indeed gold and silver mountains” is now a vision shared by all Chinese people.

China made an important contribution to the adoption of the Paris Agreement, and scaled up its nationally determined contributions. A few days ago, on April 22, 2021 at the Leaders Summit on Climate, President Xi reiterated that China will do its best to peak its carbon emission by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, a very ambitious commitment and a much faster speed even compared with that of the developed countries. 

This year, China will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, Yunnan Province. As the host country, China is ready to work with all parties to ensure positive outcomes of the Conference, draw a new blueprint for global biodiversity conservation in the next decade and pledge new actions for building a shared future for all life on earth.

Honourable Speaker, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is a rich and profound theory. It is beyond my capability to expound this theory to its full extent. The above are just some key aspects of the contents and power of this important theory. And I believe you will have your own insightful observations of it.

Now, I’d like to say a few words on the 50 Years of China-Sierra Leone Cooperation.

China-Sierra Leone relationship is the epitome of the development of China-Africa relations. On July 29, 1971, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Sierra Leone established diplomatic relations. The past 50 years have proven that China and Sierra Leone are genuine friends.

Over the past 50 years, tangible results of the cooperation between our two countries are everywhere to be seen. From the early-day projects like the Youyi Building, National Stadium, China-Sierra Leone Friendship Road, Sierra Leone-China Friendship Hospital, to the more recent projects such as the Second Juba Bridge, Limkokwing-Regent Ring Road, the Myangung Single Officers’ quarters and Officers’ Mess etc., all have a story to tell about China-Sierra Leone friendship.

In difficult times from the Ebola outbreak in 2014 to the mudslide disaster in 2017, China had always been among the first to provide essential help. When COVID-19 struck Sierra Leone in 2020, the Chinese government and people were again  the first to offer a helping hand. Up to now, about TEN rounds of most needed medical supplies such as testing kits, masks,  PPEs, ventilators and vaccines have been delivered to Sierra Leone. The three Chinese medical teams in Sierra Leone have been actively participating in pandemic prevention and control with their local counterparts.

In the past 50 years, Sierra Leone has also been providing valuable support to China. The Chinese people will never forget that Sierra Leone was one of the countries that supported the People’s Republic of China in restoring its lawful seat in the United Nations. Sierra Leone has always adhered to theOne China Principle and supported China on issues concerning China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Sierra Leone has always been an active member of FOCAC and contributed positively to the development of FOCAC mechanism.

Facts and stories like these are too many to be told. From my analysis of the development of China-Sierra Leone relations, I can tell there are some invaluable experiences worth to be cherished.

First, be sincere and reliable. China and Sierra Leone always treat each other as equals and true friends. Our two sides never interfere in each other’s pursuit of development paths that fit each other’s national conditions. Our two sides never interfere in each other’s internal affairs nor impose one’s will onto the other. China never attaches any political strings to assistance to Sierra Leone and never seeks selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation with Sierra Leone.

No matter how the international situation or China and Sierra Leone’s own development conditions change, the above principles and good practices never change. This is the foundation for mutual trust and mutual respect.

Second, conduct mutually beneficial cooperation. China does not pursue single-sided benefits in her cooperation with Sierra Leone. China is firmly against the colonialist way of cooperation with any other country. The Chinese government always urges Chinese investors abroad to strictly abide by the laws and regulations of the land and shoulder social responsibilities. Chinese investments in Sierra Leone’s fishery, mining, infrastructure sectors etc. have helped create jobs, enhance government tax revenues, transfer technology, share experiences and translate rich natural resources into social economic development. This is mutually beneficial. The mainstream public opinion of our two sides is clear on this. Of course, there is sometimes misunderstanding, prejudice, or even detraction on China-Sierra Leone cooperation. However, I am confident that China-Sierra Leone cooperation will continue to maintain sound, stable and sustainable development.

Third, be people-centered. China-Sierra Leone cooperation is for the people. China-aided schools, hospitals, and roads improved the livelihood of Sierra Leonean people. The National Stadium offers the platform for Sierra Leonean people to deliver top sports. The hydro power stations generate electricity for the public. The agriculture technical assistance team helps Sierra Leone increase cereal output and enhance food security. Over the years, the Chinese government has sent more than 300 doctors to Sierra Leone who have treated more than 46,000 hospitalized patients. The Chinese Government has also provided thousands of scholarships for over one thousand Sierra Leonean students to study in China. Under the human resource development program, China has invited over 5100 Sierra Leonean friends from all circles of life to attend short term training courses and other kinds of exchanges in China. In recent years, the Chinese Embassy here has awarded Ambassador’s scholarships or grants to about 200 Sierra Leonean students. All these vividly demonstrate that people are the real beneficiaries of our cooperation.

Fourth, Ascend high and look far. China-Sierra Leone has developed a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. Our cooperation is not confined to bilateral spheres and our bilateral cooperation can have wider implications.Based on common or similar historical experiences, our two sides share common or similar views on a wide range of regional and international issues such as the need to strengthen South-South cooperation, promote regional integration, advocate the democratization of international relations, oppose power politics and hegemony, accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and AU Agenda 2063. Therefore, it is easy for our two sides to reach consensus, speak the same language and take coordinated actions on many of the issues involving our common interests. Over the years, our two sides have been doing so consistently.

Honorable Speaker, Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen,

The cordial relations between China and Sierra Leone are a result of our joint efforts generation after generation. All circles of life of our two countries including all of us here have contributed to the development of this relationship in different ways. In August 2018, H.E. President Xi Jinping held official talks with H.E. President Julius Maada Bio in Beijing. The two heads of state reached extensive consensus on consolidating our friendship and mutual trust as well as expanding practical cooperation.

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