Guinean envoy vows to defend nationals in S/Leone


January 19, 2015 By Victoria Saffa

Guinea’s ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Foda Camara, has vowed not to allow his countrymen to be “disadvantaged” in Sierra Leone, especially by police officers.

He was speaking last week to Guinean commercial bike riders in Freetown at his embassy following the death of a Guinean commercial rider at Lumley beach, west of the capital.

Ambassador Camara stated that he was sent to Sierra Leone to serve Guineans in both troubled times and during calm.

He promised to investigate the recent death of the rider, Musa Sillah, adding that “I will not seat and watch police officers manhandle and kill my people, especially those that are working with police officers.”

He called on Guinean riders to halt their peaceful protest and promised to discuss the issue with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Inspector General of Police Francis Munu for proper investigation into the death of the commercial bike rider.

Mohamed Allie Jalloh, a Guinean bike rider, said the deceased died after he was allegedly subjected to high-handed brutality by police officers around the Lumley beach area on Tuesday, 15 January.

He explained that the deceased was arrested by taskforce members – an informal group which ensures compliance to traffic rules among bike riders – for parking on the wrong lane, and was subsequently handed over to the police, before he was seriously manhandled and detained at the Lumley police station for three days.

He said the deceased complained serious pain after his release and died on his way to the Lumley health centre.

“We decided to report the matter to our ambassador because he is our father and he is the one representing us in this country. Sierra Leone police officers always treat us badly whenever they want to take money from us,” Jalloh alleged.

The Sierra Leone Police, however, are yet to issue an official statement on the incident.

The Guinean ambassador made headlines last year when he publicly condemned the treatment of Guinean nationals in the country, after he visited the maximum prison at Pademba Road and claimed his countrymen were subjected to ill treatment and targeted by the police.

But both the police and prison authorities denied the allegations.