The Sierra Leone Web


Dr. John Karefa-Smart
National Leader, United National People's Party, Sierra Leone

I share with my fellow Sierra Leoneans a profound feeling of relief that the national crisis which has caused needless death, loss of property, and the disruption of people's lives in all parts of the country since May 25th last year has ended with the return today of President Tejan Kabba.

On behalf of myself, my family and my party, the United National People's Party, I wish to express our deepest sympathy with everyone who has suffered in any way during the crisis.

I am disheartened, however, that repeated advice by individuals and by the United Nations and other international bodies--that it is preferable to arrive at a resolution of the crisis through peaceful dialogue and negotiation rather than through the use of military force--was not heeded.

Now that full constitutional order is in the process of being restored, it is my sincere hope that President Tejan Kabbah will be given the support that he will need to carry out the measures--about which he has spoken publicly--designed to deal with constitutional problems that are critical in the democratic process.

We in the United National People's Party look forward, as soon as constitutional matters involving the party--which are at present sub judice--have been resolved, to playing our role of constructive opposition which will help to ensure that true democracy prevails and that Sierra Leone does not slowly slide back to a one-party state.

Finally, I believe that all Sierra Leoneans hope that the international community will speedily respond to the appeal of the United Nations to help us with the resources which will be desperately needed in the process of reconciliation, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

March 10, 1998