Hi Everyone – Sorry to be so long in posting. I have been busy with a lot of other stuff but moving the Sierra Leone project along with Gavin’s capable assistance in the meantime.
This letter from Angie was delivered to the President yesterday in Sierra Leone, along with a message that we would like to meet with him while he is in NY this coming week for the UN Summit.
The understanding we are getting from key advisors to the President is that he is in agreement that the White Paper was insufficient, which is a good sign, and that a new one is being developed. Meanwhile, our allies on the ground are taking a role in drafting a proposed revision themselves with input from someone inside the Attorney General’s office. We must get something strong before Parliament votes on the budget towards the end of this year.
His Excellency Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
State Lodge, FREETOWN,
9 September 2005
Dear President Kabbah,
Thank you again for very graciously making time to meet with me at State Lodge on Wednesday 11 May 2005.
As you may remember, representatives of WITNESS and several civil society partners joined us to discuss the challenge of following through on the valuable work of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
I was very moved and encouraged by your commitments in that meeting to publish a White Paper in the near term, and I was thrilled to hear the news that the “TRC White Paper” was issued on 27 June 2005. But I was disappointed on reading it. There were almost no new commitments made in the paper, and I feel strongly that further steps need to be taken before I can begin encouraging donor governments and agencies to make the needed contributions.
I am joining my friends and allies in civil society in urging you to revisit the “TRC White Paper” and propose further measures that demonstrate your genuine commitment to moving the country forward. As soon as a revised and strengthened “TRC White Paper” is before Parliament, I am prepared to do all I can to help ensure that your government has the support it needs to make bold reforms for Sierra Leone’s future.
I want to be able to applaud your efforts publicly between now and 5 December 2005, when I will be co-hosting a benefit concert in New York City with WITNESS that will focus on the future of Sierra Leone. It is sad to imagine having to express my regrets at such an event that things are not moving forward under your leadership in the way that I had hoped they would be.
Please stand with me, and with the people of Sierra Leone, in a commitment to ensuring a lasting peace by implementing the many recommendations made by the TRC. I am watching closely and I am awaiting your word.