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Showing posts from March, 2012

Sierra Leone: In the News & Off The Record

Michael von der Schulenburg's report to the Security Council at the United Nations on March 22, 2012 sent shock waves around the blogosphere last week. Schulenberg's long-awaited speech at the end of his assignment to Sierra Leone as executive representative of the Secretary-General didn't disappoint.

First, he shared fond memories of the people—their warmth, openness and directness. Then he praised  the successes Sierra Leone has made over the last decade and contributions of the two previous governments led by former president Ahmad Tejan-Kabbah and President Ernest Bai Koroma. Next up for recognition were the contributions of Sierra Leone's traditional leaders, faith community leaders, civil society organizations, journalists and musicians.

Schulenberg also put human faces to what he called the "tremendous traumas that 17 years of one-party rule, 13 military coups and finally eleven years of civil war have left behind." He recalled young people who still …