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As CSM-SL commemorates Jan. 6 apocalypse…

‘S/Leone fighting another deadly war’

JANUARY 7, 2015 By Victoria Saffa

Yesterday (January 6) – a day in 1999 when murderous rebel fighters invaded Freetown, killing hundreds, burning, amputating and raping scores of Sierra Leoneans – the Civil Society Movement-Sierra Leone (CSM-SL) commemorated the macabre day. The activists said the country is again engulfed in another deadly war – the Ebola virus disease – and commemorated the day on the theme: “Ebola must go”.

Reading a press statement to journalists at the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ)’s Harry Yasaneh Hall in Freetown, acting Chairman of CSM-SL, Davidson Kuyateh, recalled that the Ebola outbreak was formally announced by the government of Sierra Leone on 25 May, 2014, and that it has killed over 2,500 people across the country.

Kuyateh said that they were sadly mourning the death of those who have lost their lives to the virus, especially health workers – doctors, nurses, lab technicians, porters, burial teams, and drivers, and called on the government and development partners to ensure they accord them heroes and heroines honour and a special pride of place for giving their service to the nation.

“For us in the CSM-SL, the commemoration is a moment of deep reflection with the present Ebola menace in the country. If we succeed in repelling the January 6 invasion of Freetown through collective efforts and unwavering commitment, why must we not apply the same approach in fighting to eradicate the Ebola virus from the country,” he asked.

He maintained that the Civil Society Movement would continue to step up mobilization and coordination of member organizations across the country to support every effort that is aimed at ending the outbreak.

It could be recalled that some 16 years ago yesterday, murderous forces of the renegade Armed Forces Revolutionary Council and the ragtag Revolutionary United Front invaded Sierra Leone’s capital in the early hours of January 6, 1999.

The weeks of fighting that ensued left Freetown in ruins, while residents were traumatized after witnessing what many described as an “apocalypse”.