The Sierra Leone Web



My brothers and sisters, this is Cpl. Foday Sankoh speaking to you. I feel delighted that I have been given this opportunity to talk to you at this time when we all gather to search for peace in our country.

I want to reaffirm our continuous commitment to work towards genuine and lasting peace in Sierra Leone and the possibility of making any necessary adjustment to reflect prevailing circumstances.

You will recall, my sisters and brothers since my detention in Nigeria in 1997-1998 and also being convicted of treason with a pending appeal, much has taken place in my absence, not least of which is the 6th of January invasion (attack) of Freetown by the Rebels. Like all decent Sierra Leoneans I deplore their actions in the strongest possible terms.

In the last few months I have seem noticeable emphasis on the diplomatic option which I very much welcome in reaching a negotiated settlement to the war in Sierra Leone. I hope the conference will listen to the civil society organizations to what they have to say to you because they are my concern as the masses of Sierra Leone to be paramount and should benefit from this peace as the RUF/SL is ready to give peace a chance once and for all.

President Kabbah and I have had several meetings. From discussions with him I have come to know him as a gentleman and that he is genuine, sincere and committed to peace and development in Sierra Leone. His strive for peace cannot be achieved if we do not cooperate with him.

I now join His Excellency the President and all of you as we put our thoughts together to find lasting peace for this nation. In the same vein I want to relay to some of you who may have interests in our revolution and to my sisters and brothers that we must see reason to turn our energy to bringing peace in our land.

I know that some of you will think that this is coming too late but I want you to know that I am genuinely sorry for all the pain and grief that my revolution has caused you and let us now put all our hurt behind us and forge ahead as we catch up with other developing countries.

I thank you all and may God help us

Foday Sankoh
Leader RUF/SL