Sierra Leone varsity students in nationwide demo

By Umaru Fofana

Students of Njala University have been running amok with police in the capital Freetown and in the south-eastern cities of Bo and Kenema as they protest against the continued closure of their college.  

Police in Kenema forcefully dispersed dozens of the students who were processing on the streets carrying placards calling for the resumption of classes. At least three have reportedly been arrested. 

New Sierra Leone party rules out coalition with APC/SLPP

By Mohamed T. Massaquoi

Sierra Leone’s newest political party has ruled out any coalition or alliance with the country’s two oldest and largest.

A founding member of the National Progressive Democrats (NPD) party, Jesmed Foday-Mami Suma says there is no possibility of coalescing with either the ruling All People’s Congress or the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party.

Addressing journalists on Tuesday he said they did not believe in the ideologies of either party which have dominated politics in the country since independence.

Start of Sierra Leone voter registration slow and chaotic

By Mohamed Massaquoi

Sierra Leone’s much anticipated nationwide voter registration started on Monday amidst complaints of delay at registration centres and chaotic scenes blamed on insufficient and faulty equipment.
In some cases registration officials also attributed the slowness of the exercise to the “poor sensitisation” of the public.

Some impatient registrants abandoned registration centres after standing in long queues for long hours.

Voter registration kicks off in Sierra Leone

An estimated 3.5 million Sierra Leoneans born on the 7 March 2000 or before will be registered in the next four weeks to be eligible to vote in next year’s presidential, legislative and local council elections.

The National Electoral Commission spokesman, Albert Massaquoi says they have deployed equipment in all 3,300 registration centres across the country for the four-week-long exercise which will be a “joint voter and civil registration process”.

Njala University students say they “feel neglected”

For thousands of students at Njala University their holiday which started in October last year is still on, much to their chagrin and frustration.

The academic year that was to have started in November 2016 is in limbo owing to a long-running sit-down strike by lecturers over pay and conditions.

The President of the Academic Staff Association, Dr Samba Moriba says they feel scorned by the central government which has allegedly refused to even meet with them to discuss their grievances.

Sierra Leone discovers biggest diamond in nearly 50 years

By Kemo Cham

The Sierra Leone government has announced the discovery of one of the biggest diamonds ever.
The 709-carat gemstone was found in the eastern Kono District by a Christian pastor, Emmanuel Momoh and is the biggest in Sierra Leone since the Star of Sierra Leone in 1972.
Pastor Momoh and the Paramount Chief of Tankoro Chiefdom, where the diamond was found on Wednesday, presented the gem to President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House on Wednesday. It was subsequently locked in a vault at the central bank.

Pujehun traders demand compensation over forceful eviction

By Mohamed Massaquoi

Traders in Pujehun town have demanded for compensation of up to Le 6 million from the District Council over allegations of destruction of their wares.
The aggrieved traders are among people whose stalls were demolished as part of an operation sanctioned by the District Council Chairman, Sadiq Silla after a failed attempt to remove them from a location the authorities say was illegally occupied.