Sierra Leonean Journalist appointed as AU Human Rights Officer

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By Alhaji MB Jalloh

A renowned Sierra Leonean Journalist/Lawyer arrived safely in the Chadian capital, D’jamena, this week to take up his new assignment.

Saikujohn Barrie is in the North – Central African country as the new African Union’s (AU) Human Rights Officer deployed with the Multinational Joint Task Force, (MNJTF) at the Lake Chad Basin.

In his new assignment as the AU Human Rights Officer at Africa’s largest endorheic basin; his role and responsibilities include; advising the MNJTF troops operating in the region on International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law.

In addition, he will ensure that the troops comply with International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law on a daily basis, especially during military operations.

Saikujohn Barrie was born in Sellah/ Dogolonya town in Musaia Dembelia Chiefdom in Koinadugu District, now known as Falaba District in Northern Sierra Leone.

He went to Primary School in his beloved Chiefdom and did both his junior and Senior Secondary schools at the Sierra Leone Muslim Congress, Kissy, in the eastern part of Freetown.

Saikujohn is a prolific writer with over ten years of experience in the print media. He worked for both the Standard Times and Premier News independent newspapers and has written a good number of publications for local, international, and social media outlets. He holds a Bachelors (Hons) degree from the Mass Communications Department at FBC.

He went to University of Makeni (UNIMAK) to read law in 2014, but his studies were interrupted by the Ebola outbreak. 

His passion for knowledge and education subsequently encouraged him to travel to the UK for further studies in 2015. In the UK, he was admitted to Birmingham City University, where he bagged a Bachelor of Law degree in 2018.

Owing to his penchant for academic excellence, he pursued his Master’s degree in Energy and Environmental Law at the Aberdeen Law University the following year. His passion to defend humanity and advocacy for equal rights and justice also prompted him to apply for the Human Rights Officer job at the African Union.

When I asked him how he felt about his new job, Mr. Saikujohn Barrie said he was elated and looking forward to contributing towards meeting the goals of the MNJTF. He promised to do his utmost best in ensuring that he delivers.

Mr. Saikujohn should be seen as a source of pride for every Sierra Leonean. He has proven that, through diligence and dedication. This appointment could be just the beginning for his ascension to higher positions at the AU.

Congratulations, Saiku!

We are very proud of the spectacular successes and academic excellence you attained over the years.

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