The Sierra Leone Web


Fellow Citizens and Friends,

Greetings from Sierra Leone. I wish to enjoin the recent speech by H.E. the President that the military junta has deliberately upset the timetable for the implementation of the Conakry Peace Plan as a pretence to hold on to power illegally. It is, therefore, my duty to accept the responsibility as Deputy Minister of Defence to bring this matter to a just and final conclusion by every available means at my disposal. In consultation with ECOWAS and at the behest of the President, the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) have outlined the following courses of action in order to install the constitutionally elected government of Sierra Leone and bring to and end the suffering of our people.

  • The CDF has declared Saturday, 20 December, 1997 as Black Saturday (pardon the expression);
  • As of that day, all roads and highways in Sierra Leone are to be blocked and any movement by junta forces anywhere in the country will be considered hostile and repelled by force of arms;
  • Mechanized units of the CDF have taken positions in the East of the country and in locations within striking distance of Freetown, including the international airport at Lungi;
  • To prevent the ensuing conflict from spilling into Liberia, ECOMOG troops have taken command of the strategic Mano Bridge;
  • The CDF henceforth considers any and all persons or groups who have voluntarily assisted or collaborated in any way with the junta to be in active rebellion against the State.
  • Ground, air and naval forces of ECOMOG will continue to monitor and repel any attempt by the junta to circumvent the international embargo in violation of ECOWAS sanctions and UN Resolution 1132.

I wish to thank all our friends and citizens who have placed their confidence in us to resolve this matter, for your prayers and goodwill. Such is the gravity of this matter that I have relocated myself, my staff and my family back inside Sierra Leone for the duration of this endeavour. We ask you to keep me and my men in your prayers and I look forward to reporting to you on regular basis.

Merry Christmas and God Bless you all.

Samuel Hinga Norman
Civil Defence High Command
23 December, 1997