Africans Deserting Africans in Distress: Whither African Solidarity?

first_imgIn the face of the devastating Ebola crisis that has hit the Mano River basin, particularly Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, many nations around the world, especially in Europe, Asia and the United States, have rallied to the rescue.  These nations have contributed lots of  money, shiploads of health and medical supplies and food, as well as health and medical personnel to help these affected countries defeat the deadly virus.But the response of the sisterly African nations to the distress of the three Ebola affected countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—has been alarmingly negative and patently un-sisterly.The first negative response came from the fourth MRU nation, Cote d’Ivoire, which suspended flights of Air Ivoire to the affected countries and even closed its seaport to ships hailing there from.  It is the height of irony that when the Cote d’Ivoire itself was hit by a deadly civil war in 2008, hundreds of thousands of Ivorian refugees fled across the border into Liberia, where they were wholeheartedly welcomed by their  Liberian brothers and sisters and their government.  Liberia helped broker the peace between the refugees and their government in Abidjan, paving the way for thousands to return to their homeland.  There are yet many thousands of Ivorian refugees in Liberia, who have not yet felt it safe enough to return home, and their Liberian hosts and the international community, especially the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), are caring for them.Yet Ivorian President Alhassan Ouattara did not hesitate to close Cote d’Ivoire’s air, land and sea ports to his three sisterly states in distress.There is also Senegal, which has also closed its border with Guinea and gone on to restrict landing of any airplane traveling from the three affected countries.Yet both Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire are members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and of the African Union (AU).We come now to another prominent AU member, South Africa, one of whose citizens happens to be President of the leading, oldest and most prominent organization uniting African nations.But this fact had no bearing on the South African government, when it decided to close its borders to all traffic emanating from the three affected nations. The South Africans have conveniently forgotten the colossal solidarity the whole of Africa, especially Liberia, the oldest independent African state, gave to her Black and Colored brothers and sisters suffering all those decades under the inhumane and often deadly yoke of apartheid.   It is well known the role Liberia played in that struggle and how she reached out to its Liberation Movements, including the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and their leaders.  Some of this is recorded in President Nelson Mandela’s  autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.The South African government has also forgotten the HIV/AIDs epidemic that hit that country some years ago.  We know of NO African nation, most certainly not Liberia,  that restricted South Africans from entry  into their borders for fear of the highly contagious, even deadly disease.The same swiftness with which Pretoria, one of the better endowed African nations, slammed its sanctions against the three affected nations, could have been tempered with a corresponding gesture of compassion, by making a modest  contribution to their brothers and sisters in distress in the three  affected countries, to help them in their fight against  Ebola.  Alas, none was forthcoming.All of this leads us to ask, whither, African solidarity? A senior European diplomat in Monrovia earlier this week called the Daily Observer to explain how the Europeans and Americans had decided to join forces with the three affected MRU nations constructively in the fight against Ebola and to avoid travel and other  restrictions against them.  He ended his call by exclaiming, “Sorry, my dear friend, for African solidarity.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Auto Parts Dealers Undertake US$575,000 Building Project

first_imgThe Auto Parts Dealers Union of Liberia Incorporated (APDULI) has embarked on a US$575,000 building project.The union’s president, Alhaji S. M. Sesay, made the disclosure during an interaction with scores of journalists yesterday. They later toured the project’s site in Clara Town.Sesay said a little over US$125,000 generated from members has been used on the project.The project, he said comprises 70 shops, an office space, a conference room, bathrooms, among other compartments.In order to have the project completed, he said, about US$400,000 more is needed, which the union remains hopeful to get from the government. “We believe that having such business facilities will help to attract government in doing business with the union. We want to benefit from national government and this is one of the best ways for us as a union to have,” Sesay said. He called on the government and partners to support the union as its members are seriously working to raise the much needed funds for the project. He said the project was scheduled to have been completed in two years, which has elapsed.“We want to applaud all our members for their support to this worthy project, which is the first of its kind in the country. Over 1,000 members are committed in paying their dues to ensure that our dream is realized,” president Sesay said.Mr. Sesay called on the government, politicians, local and international partners to help the union to complete the project.Since the union was established in 2012, he said, it has extended its membership to all parts of the country.Also speaking, William T. Bombo chairman on the building committee, said the union is seeking support because of the economic situation in now in the country, which has slowed down the project.Mr. Bombo said the initiative will empower Liberians in the auto parts business as well as improve business relations the government and others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more