The Sierra Leone Web


State House
Freetown, Republic of Sierra Leone

President Bill Clinton
President of the United States of America
Washington DC
United States of America

5 September 1997

Your Excellency,

I send you the respect and felicitations of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and the people of Sierra Leone. As we, as a people, go through this most difficult period in the current political and social crisis, even as we are confronted with prospects of a bleak and apparently uncertain future, we turn to you with sincerity and in humility to solicit Your Excellency's help and guidance in preventing what is increasingly looking like a pending drawn out encounter with disaster for the people of my country. The threat of a military invasion by Nigerian-led ECOMOG forces has just barely been averted by the sagacity of the far-sighted and considerate. May God Bless them.

Six years of bitter and bloody rebel war have decimated a sizable percentage of our population foddering it its wake from babies unborn to the cream of our youth to our respected and aged. This nation still deeply mourns their loss. Foreign military intervention on our soil would most probably have landed us with a devastation and carnage that would have been too horrendous even to ponder, because of the delicate state of affairs the nation currently finds itself in. The possibility of genocide and ethnic cleansing hands like an ugly cloud in our immediate horizon.

Even in the face of this, sanctions and embargoes are being proposed as the alternative to military intervention. Your Excellency, please forgive the people of Sierra Leone for seeing this form of punitive action as slow and painful death, through starvation and disease, being used as an alternative to fast and violent termination of life. We consider this sad and unfortunate, considering the fact that the alternative of negotiation and dialogue do not appear to feature much on the agenda for the peaceful resolution of this conflict.

We, the members of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, have expressed our desire and willingness for the reconvening of negotiations and in consonance with the wishes of the people of Sierra Leone to negotiate a speedy return to constitutional rule. I here reiterate this commitment and simultaneously request you to use your good offices to save the people of Sierra Leone from the clutches of calamity by helping to make available to them facilities that have been made open to other nations in similar situation, namely:

  1. the provision of inspection teams to study the situation at first hand, and

  2. the creation of the forum for true dialogue and negotiation.

In this respect, I would crave your indulgence to suggest that a more neutral party be appointed to preside over all future discussions and negotiations in order to create an even field for all concerned.

Permit me to recall that we are talking about a people that have been described as one of the poorest if not the poorest in the world.

Your Excellency, the situation in my country is grave. I beg you to listen to our side of the story for the sake of the poor and suffering people of Sierra Leone and in the name of God, peace and mercy.

Please accept, Your Excellency, my consideration of highest esteem.

Chairman - Armed Forces Revolutionary Council
and Head of State, Republic of Sierra Leone


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