27.8 C


Secretary-General commenced consultations from the Sierra Leone side of the border with key stakeholders of Koindu, including Hon. Sahr Joana and Chief Falla Jusu who expressed their concerns over the installation of a beacon by Guinean security as well as the presence of military personnel on orders to supervise the installed beacon.

The Secretary-General proceeded with her delegation across the Makona river to the Guinean side of the border to hold high level meetings with the Prefect and officials of the Guekedou Region. The delegation was well received by traditional performers and women groups which presented a gift to the Secretary-General. They were then led by the President of the Makona River Organization to meeting location were fruitful discussions were held. Generally, the officials from both Secretary-General commenced consultations from the Sierra Leone side of the border.

The delegation also consulted security forces from the Sierra Leone side who provided various border security updates and concerns. The warm reception received from Guinea was reflected to the Sierra Leonean officials later in the evening of the day 1 consultations. Local stakeholders in Koindu expressed willingness to invite the Guinean officials to a meeting to discuss cooperation, peace and communal solutions to the Yenga border dispute. The invitation was communicated through the MRU Guinea office for the following morning. Delegation led by the Mano River Union Secretary General Amb. Maria G. Harrison, with representatives from MARWOPNET, Makona River Organization and the National Early Warning Mechanism facilitated a joint meeting between officials and stakeholders from Nongoa and Koindu, on the third day of the mission.

The purpose of the meeting was to facilitate dialogue among the border communities with a goal to building and consolidating peace and cultural integration. Hon. Joana, during the meeting cited several social and cultural ties that people from both ends of the border share emphasising the need for both to maintain their fraternal ties. Statements by local chiefs from Nongoa and Kailahun were made followed by additional comments from security officials (military and police), women leaders, youth leaders and several others. Every member of both communities was represented with each stakeholder expressing their concerns.

The meeting ended with Guinean military assuring community people that their presence in the Yenga region was never intended to scare the people but rather to protect them. Both communities agreed that the issue of the border boundaries is a matter for the political leaders to resolve. But while that is ongoing, communities will continue to consolidate peace by working closely. The MRU Secretary-General assured all of the importance for peace to prevail as this will Forster development in the region.

Both sides agreed that the Joint Border Security and Confidence Building Unit (JBSCBU) must be set up. “As next steps on this issue, the MRU will work to revitalize the JBSCBU and inform the Heads of State of the need to meet speedily to resolve the border issue so that there is no reoccurrence of this situation,” Ambassador Harrison concludes. 


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