Sierra Leone mourns Kabbah

Comment on this story


IOL pic mar14 sierra leone kabbah obit

Associated Press

Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, the former president of Sierra Leone, has died. File picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Freetown - Sierra Leone's former president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, widely credited for ending an 11-year civil war, died on Thursday at the age of 82 after a long illness.

President Ernest Bai Koroma's government said in a statement that Kabbah's death was an “irreparable loss” to the West African nation and it declared a week of national mourning.

Kabbah, a long-time UN official, won the presidency in 1996, ending a decade of military rule. He was briefly ousted in a military coup the following year before being restored to power by a West African regional force.

He eventually coaxed Sierra Leone through a peace process that ended the brutal civil war in 2002, with the help of UN peacekeepers and a military intervention by former colonial power Britain.

He was re-elected by a landslide the same year. The civil war had made Sierra Leone a watchword for brutality, with the drug-crazed child soldiers of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels chopping off the hands and feet of civilians.

About 50 000 people died in the conflict, which devastated the country's infrastructure.

At the end of his second term in 2007, Kabbah won praise for peacefully handing power to the opposition when his Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) lost elections.

Kabbah was lauded for establishing democratic institutions, though his critics said he did not do enough to tackle widespread corruption in one of the world's poorest countries. - Reuters


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks

Business Directory