Tag Archives: Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone: deadly fuel explosion

Brussels 06.11.2021 A massive explosion at a petrol station in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, killed at least 80 people, burning people in cars and streets nearby, a rescue worker and nurse said Saturday, November 6.

“We recovered 80 bodies from the site of the accident last night with our ambulances,” the rescue worker from the Red Cross told AFP, adding rescue operations were ongoing on Saturday morning.

A nurse at a hospital where the victims were taken confirmed the number of dead to AFP, adding he had also tended to many women, men and children with “serious injuries”.

According to witnesses, the accident happened when a vehicle caught fire in a petrol station after a road accident.

The flames then spread in the area, burning people in cars and on roads nearby.

Sierra Leone’s Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh had arrived on site on Saturday.

Florence African candidate Mayor

Antonella Bundu (49) Рborn in Florence to an Italian mother and a native of Sierra Leone father, she is the mayor candidate of the Florentine left-wing coalition that includes the lists Florence Open City, Italian Left and Power to People.

A civil rights activist, she has never been part of a political competition in Florence before. “My commitment was born in the popular neighborhoods of Liverpool in the late 1980, where I lived with my family and where riots broke out following the economic crisis and discrimination against blacks. There I began to actively participate in the political struggle, “she explains.

At the center of his commitment is the “struggle for an inclusive multicultural Italy, for the rights of women and migrants.

Bundu promises to undertake urgent policies to address the housing emergency for the most vulnerable communities in town. Among extraordinary measures to undertake, she intends to ask the prefect to suspend evictions for a year, apply an emergency program to purchase empty apartments at construction prices and block the sale of public real estate assets in favor of recovery and re-use policies for social housing and purposes. She is also convinced that homeless need a great deal of attention, offering them an opportunity to shelter in municipal residences, including address registration to open an access to the rights and services, starting from accommodation, to the basic income of citizenship and to an effective paths of integration.
If elected Bundu will also restructure mobility in Florence, improving public transport system.

Focusing on public housing and integrating the most vulnerable inhabitants of town, she is against the developed of a network of extra-luxury hotels or accommodations, attracting rich tourists, instead Bundu is eager to focus on defeating poverty, establishing multiculturalism and inclusion.

EU appoints observation mission to Sierra Leone

In response¬†to an invitation by the¬†Sierra Leonean¬†authorities, the European Union has¬†decided to¬†deploy an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to¬†Sierra Leone¬†to observe the¬†general¬†elections¬†scheduled for¬†7 March. This is the¬†fourth¬†time that the European Union¬†is observing¬†general¬†elections in¬†Sierra Leone, which reflects the EU’s long-term commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country.

Federica Mogherini, the EU top diplomat, has appointed Ms. Jean Lambert, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer:

‚ÄúThe elections of 7 March 2008 are¬†a milestone¬†for the democratic process of Sierra Leone.¬†It’s a great opportunity for the government,¬†the¬†National Election Commission and political parties to foster transparent, credible and peaceful elections” , Mogherini said. “This year’s¬†general¬†elections are¬†very¬†competitive and the rule¬†of law should prevail. Under the leadership of Chief Observer¬†Lambert¬†the EU EOM will make an important contribution to this electoral process”.

“I am¬†honoured to lead the EU EOM to¬†Sierra Leone. The forthcoming general elections will be another defining moment in¬†the country’s¬†democratic¬†process¬†as a¬†peaceful¬†transition of power¬†will¬†take place for the second time after the end of the civil war” – the Chief Observer,¬†Ms.¬†Lambert, said ahead of his mission.¬† “Sierra Leone¬†has¬†achieved progress in terms of democratisation and governance¬†since the end of the civil war, and this election should further consolidate stable democratic institutions.¬†I trust¬†that all institutions and political parties will work together to ensure that voters¬†will¬†be able to¬†express their choice in a¬†free,¬†peaceful and calm environment, with all sides refraining from any actions or statements that may incite violence.”

The EOM Core Team of nine EU election analysts arrived in Freetown on 25 January, and will stay in the country until the completion of the electoral process to prepare a comprehensive assessment.

On 7 February, an additional group of 28¬†long-term observers¬†will be deployed to Sierra Leone’s counties,¬†‘In this respect, the work of our long-term observers will be essential for our assessment. They all have substantial experience in observing elections around the world’¬†–¬†declared Ms. Lambert.

In early March additional 40 short-term observers will be deployed across the country. A delegation of the European Parliament and diplomats from EU Member States will also reinforce the mission on election day. The EU EOM looks forward to cooperate with other international elections observation missions that have endorsed the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation.

The deployment of an EU EOM aims to contribute to enhancing the transparency of the process, the respect for fundamental freedoms and will submit to the consideration of the authorities a set of recommendations to further improve the election framework for future elections.

Millions stolen in Ebola epidemic

The Red Cross has confirmed that more than USD 6 million of aid money was lost to fraud and corruption during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Auditors found overpriced supplies, salaries for non-existent aid workers and fake customs bills.

The disease, which raged between 2014 and 2016, claimed at least 10,000 lives. It required a massive humanitarian operation costing hundreds of millions of dollars to bring it under control. As Ebola spread across Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the Red Cross Federation in Geneva was dispersing cash donations to the national Red Cross societies in each of those countries – altogether a sum of about USD100 million.

An investigation by Red Cross auditors has revealed that in Liberia USD 2.7 million disappeared in fraudulently overpriced supplies, or in salaries for non-existent aid workers. In Sierra Leone, Red Cross staff apparently colluded with local bank workers to skim off over USD 2 million while in Guinea, where investigations are ongoing, around USD 1million disappeared in fake customs bills.

The Red Cross told that it is deeply sorry for the losses. The organisation adds that has introduced stricter financial rules, and promised to hold any Red Cross staff involved to account. The Red Cross is the world’s best-known humanitarian organisation, and this revelation will be damaging, she adds.