Stories written by Lahai J. Samboma

Sierra Leone’s Journalists Demand Justice for “Murdered” Colleague and Call for Law Reform

Ibrahim Samura, erstwhile editor and publisher of New Age, an independent Freetown newspaper, was beaten up with “heavy-duty metal chains and sticks” during Sierra Leone's presidential run-off election in March 2018—in front of the police and army. He died from his injuries three months later. But more than a year since the assault the perpetrators are yet to be brought to book.

Bleak Outlook for Press Freedom in West Africa

When former footballer George Weah became president of Liberia in 2018, media practitioners felt they had in him a democrat who would champion media freedoms. “But we were mistaken,” journalist Henry Costa told IPS.

Sierra Leone: Bio Government’s First Year

If the government of Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio were to be graded on their first year’s performance in office, it is likely that their report card would read, “promising start, which they must surpass in the years ahead”.

ZAIRE: Action Now To Avert Regional Disintegration

The international community must move swiftly to create a regional political framework to tackle continuing civil strife in Zaire before it spreads a wider conflagration across the entire Great Lakes region, experts here say.

SIERRA LEONE: Indemnities For Rights Abuses ‘Wrong’, Says Amnesty

An Amnesty International spokeswoman has condemned plans by the Sierra Leone government to grant a South Africa-style blanket amnesty for human rights violations committed during the years of bloody civil strife.

GAMBIA: Cautious Eyes On Gambia As Election Process Gets In Gear

Tall and slim and smartly-dressed, with a bushy head of hair and equally bushy beard, all that remained for Ibrahima Njie to look the part of a griot -- or traditional West African praise-singer -- was a long, flowing African dress.

AFRICA: Bid To Unlock Secret Swiss Vaults Holding Stolen Wealth

New pressure on traditionally secretive Swiss banks to open their books has raised hope that the millions plundered and stashed in their vaults by corrupt African dictators and their bureaucrats could be returned to their home countries.

LIBERIA-HUMAN RIGHTS: Peace – and Rights – Should be Focus

Lasting peace will only be achieved in war- ravaged Liberia when the issue of human rights abuses against unarmed civilians by various armed factions is addressed in a comprehensive way, campaigners here say.

BURUNDI: Sackings Of Army Chiefs May Not End Massacres – Amnesty

Amnesty International said Friday that the order from Burundi's new president Pierre Buyoya to sack army chiefs implicated in inter-ethnic massacres was no guarantee that human rights abuses by the army will stop.

BURUNDI: Sanctions Begin To Bite, UN Intervention Force Distant

Economic sanctions imposed on Burundi by its neighbours are having a crippling effect on the country, and relief agencies fear they could precipitate violence against their staff as looters try to get at their stockpiled supplies.

UGANDA: War On Northern Insurgents In Danger Of Alienating Locals

Kampala's battle to stop insurgents crossing over from Sudan and wreaking havoc in northern Uganda could alienate locals caught in the crossfire unless it is promptly followed by with political concessions to the region's minorities.

AFRICA: New Bourses Threaten To Lure Away Hard Cash Investment

Africa's stock as a destination for foreign investment has risen modestly in recent years, but some analysts think enterprises in need of fixed cash capital are being bypassed in the race for a fast buck on Africa's emerging equity markets.

ANGOLA: More Pressure On Savimbi Needed, Say Activists

Angolan rebels are grossly violating the Lusaka peace accords, say campaigners who are calling on Western governments to apply concerted pressure on Jonas Savimbi and his rebel army to abide by the protocols of the 18-month-old truce.

SIERRA LEONE: Long Reach Of A Distant War’s Anguish

Her hair dishevelled, eye-shadow blackened tears slowly streaming down her face, Baindu Bangura cut a sad figure as she sat quietly with hands folded across a matronly chest. Mourners steadily occupied the chairs around her.

AFRICA-DEVELOPMENT: World Bank Risk Insurers ‘Too Bureaucratic’

Foreign direct investment in Africa could be considerably boosted if the World Bank affiliate responsible for political risk insurance in developing countries increased its portfolio involvement in the region, investors and analysts say.

SOUTH AFRICA-TRADE: Shilly-Shallying By EU “Stymies Recovery”

The European Union has been accused of hobbling South Africa's post-apartheid reconstruction by vacillating on whether or not to remove barriers to products from that country.

SOUTH AFRICA-BRITAIN: Mandela, Former ‘Terrorist’, Guest Of Queen

Guess who's coming to dinner -- and at the Queen's too? Only a man once dubbed a 'terrorist' by the British establishment, who just a few years ago would have been persona non grata in Britain -- had he not been imprisoned for all of 27 years.

TANZANIA-ZANZIBAR: Western “Aid” Sanctions Not the Way

The methods being used by Western govern- ments to pressure Tanzania into intervening to end a protracted political crisis on Zanzibar, were criticised here this week as being ippropriate and likely to fail.

MADAGASCAR: Pioneering Debt-For-Nature Swops Bearing Fruit

The southern African island of Madagascar's pioneering 'debt-for-nature' swops are easing its commercial debt burden and raising resources to help preserve its environment.

/DEVELOPMENT BULLETIN 3/ AFRICA: Commonwealth Economics Chief Urges Debt Relief For Africa

The international financial institutions (IFIs) and the Paris Club of bilateral creditors must do more to help Africa out of its debilitating debt crisis, says a senior Commonwealth official.

AFRICA: World Bank Debt Initiative ‘Just More Of The Same’

A former African economics minister is calling for an international inquiry to be instituted to decide whether the billions of dollars of African debt owed to international creditors should be repaid at all.

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