Sierra Leone: World Peace Rally
Rev. Adama Doumbia, Director, UPF-West Africa
Freetown, Sierra Leone
August 30, 2006
The World Peace Rally in Sierra Leone took place on August 28, 2006 at the Miatta Hall in Freetown. By 9:30 am there were many people packed at the registration desk, even though the rally was scheduled on a work day. When the MC Mr. Abdul Bangoura called the audience to order all 500 seats plus two smaller overflow rooms were full and some guests were packed at the entry and desperately trying to get in.
August 29 meeting with the president of Sierra
Leone. From left to right, Jonas Haba, national leader
of Guinea; Dr. Sama Banyan; Vice President Salomon
Berewa; John Samura; Hon. Haja Afsatu Kabba; President
Ahmad Teejan Kabba.
The Rally went on smoothly, from the Holy Juice ceremony conducted by the National leaders, Mr. and Mrs. John Samura to the Blessing ceremony conducted by Rev. Doumbia. The message of the speeches was well received. As the rally drew to a close Dr. Sama Banyan, who represented the President of Sierra Leone Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, delivered a very supportive speech. He presented the apologies of the President for not being present in person at this historical event, and said that he would meet us the next day.
This promise was kept. Next morning on August 29 a delegation with UPF chairperson Hon. Afsatu Kabba, the National leader Mr. Samura and Rev. Doumbia were welcomed at the Presidential office and introduced to the Minister of Energy Hon. Lloyd During and Hon. Momodu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Then the delegation entered the executive office and greeted the President of Sierra Leone Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah who was waiting for us together with his Vice President Solomon Berewa.
After introductions and a brief presentation about UPF as an international peace organization, we gave a copy of 120 nation tour brochure to the President, including the three main speeches. The President mentioned that he had worked at the UN for 22 good years of his life before he became President. During his two terms at the head of Sierra Leone, he has been directly involved in conflict resolution in his country that experienced 11 years of civil war and also in other nations. President Kabba believes that we should not expect too much from the UN as an organization, but it is good to research peaceloving individuals. He admires many of them, and personally recommended some of them. He expressed his concern about the many ongoing conflicts in African nations such as Sudan and Cote d’Ivoire and expressed the wish that UPF will play an active role to put an end to these conflicts.
We had an opportunity to show the video that introduced the Founders of UPF.
As our meeting came to a close I recommended him as a Peace Ambassador and I invited him to join UPF so that this organization can benefit from his 22 years at UN and 10 years experience as President of Sierra Leone.
This Sierra Leone rally was a great victory with 700 guests in attendance and many possibilities that it opens for the future. Sincere thanks go to Mr. Yoshiyuki Arai who made this event a reality by his precious support.
One result of the successful rally is that all the Ambassadors for Peace in Sierra Leone wish to have an educational seminar from now so that they can understand the vision, the mission of UPF and their own responsibility in the near future.