‘Harassment, Abuses, Losses at Borders’

first_imgMembers of ECOWAS Parliament and citizens of Liberia and Sierra Leone crossing the border-Liberians, Sierra Leoneans, Guineans want ECOWAS Parliament’s InterventionScores of Liberians, Sierra Leoneans and Guineans have explained torment and worries they experience daily at borders during their crossover market trade and movement to each other’s country, describing the treatment meted out to them as “harassment, abuses that result into losses.”In a two-day visit to the Liberia-Sierra Leone border, located between Bo-Waterside and Jendima and the Guinea-Liberia border in Sibita and Ganta, respectively, the citizens also narrated challenges in the exchange rates of the conversion of one currency to another, procedures for clearing both import and export, taxes and tariffs applicable on import/export, relevant documentation (such as Laisez Passé).Other impediments are the lack of electricity in border towns, the disrespect of their countries’ traveling documents, the increment of unreasonable checkpoints and the refusal of country’s voter ID card as part of traveling document.The citizens of the three West African countries expressed their ordeals to the 35-member delegation of ECOWAS Parliament, led by Speaker Mustapha Cisse Lo, during their Delocalized Sensitization and Fact Finding Mission that took place on Friday and Saturday, September 28 and 29, 2018, respectively.At the Liberia-Sierra Leone border on Friday, the Youth Chairman of Sorogbei Me Chiefdom in Sierra Leone, Mr. Hajid Sheriff, said because of the high price of the  Laisez Passe, which is about 100,000 Leones and equivalent to about LD$2,000, some Sierra Leoneans who cannot afford this amount prefer illegal entries that have resulted into drowning of five of their kinsmen – four ladies and a man.Sheriff told members of the ECOWAS Parliament that losing the lives of their kinsmen are annoying and it can only stop if prices of Passe Passe and other traveling documents are accepted and reduced. He also said the Laisez Passé should be valid for a “journey within 90 days.”“Even if you go to Monrovia and make a week and come back to Jendima or Sorogbei Me, the Laisez Passé automatically expires; it’s valid for a trip or journey despite the days you make in less than 90 days,” Sheriff said. “That should not be so; we beg for your intervention.”Members of ECOWAS Parliament and citizens of Guinea and Liberia crossing the borderA Sierra Leonean marketer, Elizabeth Sheriff, said the high conversion rate of Sierra Leone’s Leones to Liberian dollars is creating setbacks to marketers and has caused loss of profit and sometimes their principal (market money). Both Sierra Leoneans reported of loss of goods and lives as the results of the bottlenecks in cross-border trade and movement.Madam Sheriff said she wished there would be one currency in the region; while Commissioner Zwannah Massaley Cole of Liberia said the lack of electricity at the two border towns, Bo Waterside and Jendima, is not helping in the curtailing of illegal entrants, stressing that “electricity is security.”Madam Lucia Sonii of Liberia called on ECOWAS Parliament to give West African market women loans to boost their markets to help their respective countries’ economies.On Saturday at Liberia-Guinea border, both citizens across the borders allegedly accused each country’s security personnel of harassment and abuses.A Liberian marketer, Nya Dolo, said in 2016, a baby mother (a Nimbaian marketer) was flogged by a  Guinean officer and also last year a pregnant Nimbaian marketer was also ill-treated; both incidents occurred at Lion’s Gate in Jeaquah in Guinea.The market women, mostly Nimbaians, also recounted their experiences of extortion at the gates involving custom duties and other charges.Citizens voicing out their concerns at Liberia-Sierra Leone borderA Guinean trader, Abu Bakar Barry, narrated that most of them are also harassed at the Liberian border. He said Liberian officers forcibly take money from them as well as some of their goods.“Sometimes we receive slaps,” Barry claimed.Residents across both sides of the border confirmed the treatment meted out against citizens from both countries, describing it as “pay back.”“If Liberian officers know their marketers are badly handled and received the intelligence, they too do the same to Guinean traders,” a female marketer, who begged for anonymity, said.“Both citizens are not experiencing free movement. The last time, each country’s security officers decided to start checking women for whatever reason. I saw men putting their hands in women’s clothes at the two sides in the name of checking,” a male trader said.He added: “Both countries’ security act badly and we are the ones suffering.”Sen. Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County called for “peaceful and free movement” of citizens from both Liberia and Guinea and the message was buttressed by Guinean Ambassador to Liberia.ECOWAS Special Representative to Liberia said to tackle the ID Card scenario, the ECOWAS biometric ID should be introduced and taken seriously, and ECOWAS will hold a workshop on the Protocol of Free Movement between the security personnel.ECOWAS Parliament Speaker Cisse Lo called for an end to harassment, abuses, and losses in the borders and urged ECOWAS citizens to coexist.He assured them of an amicable discussion in their pending sitting of Parliament members and onward discussion with the President of ECOWAS Authority.Speaker Cisse Lo stressed that West Africa and Africa can only be united if they treat one another as brothers and sisters, despite their different countries, religion, and ethnicity.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Raila hosts Kenyan football legends

first_img0Shares0000The ex-internationals, who represented Kenya in the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties, said they have been ignored despite playing a pivotal role in putting Kenyan football on the world map.NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Thursday met retired Kenyan footballers led by legendary Joe Kadenge expressing the pain seeing the state of their lives.Odinga said he will meet with President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss ways and means of helping the retired footballers get better livelihoods. The ex-internationals, who represented Kenya in the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties, said they have been ignored despite playing a pivotal role in putting Kenyan football on the world map.“The current crop of Kenyan footballers are enjoying the fruits of our labour,” said Kadenge who was happy to meet Raila one more time.Former Prime minister Raila Odinga greeting legendary Bobby Ogolla“Mheshimiwa (Raila) you are my long time friend from the fifties when I was playing and I have confidence through you, we, the legends will get recognition,” he added.Raila was excited to have met the legends who were led to his Capital Hill office by former Football Kenya President Sam Nyamweya. The former Prime Minister spoke of his playing days at Luo Union while Kadenge was with Abaluhyia and he maintained that community football was the way to go in building passion for the game.The legends stated their support for the new found working relationship between the opposition chief and President Uhuru Kenya and said the same should be extended to football from the management level to the playing unit.Odinga said he will meet with President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss ways and means of helping the retired footballers get better livelihoods.Among the legends who were present included former Harambee Stars coach Marshal Mulwa, John Bobby Ogolla, Mahmmoud Abass, Victor Onyango, John “Shoto” Lukoye, Josiah Ougo, George Waweru, James Ojiambo and Swaleh Oswayo.The legends recently formed an association to look into their issues. The Sports Stars Foundation’s aim of empowering sportsmen after their active years in sports.The foundation which is open to all sportsmen across all disciplines is mooting a grand plan of forming a Savings and Credit Association (SACCO) in future to financially help the sportsmen.The foundation which is open to all sportsmen across all disciplines is mooting a grand plan of forming a Savings and Credit Association (SACCO) in future to financially help the sportsmen.0Shares0000(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

City win pitch battle as Mahrez sinks Spurs

first_imgIt was an emotional moment for former Leicester star Mahrez just 48 hours after the death of Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash outside the club’s King Power Stadium on Saturday.A sixth win from their last seven league games lifted Pep Guardiola’s unbeaten side back above Liverpool on goal difference.Guardiola hailed City’s Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk last week as the finest display of his reign in Manchester.This was a far more prosaic performance, but it must have been just as encouraging for Guardiola, given the way City subdued a Tottenham side who had lost only two of their previous 21 league games at Wembley.City were rock-solid at the back as they equalled the club record of six consecutive league clean-sheets.It was a dispiriting evening for fifth placed Tottenham, who now trail City by five points after their first league defeat in five games.Mauricio Pochettino this week admitted he is enduring his “worst feeling” as Tottenham boss this season, despite guiding them to their best Premier League start, and this sloppy display will have done nothing to improve his mood.-NFL damageHis cause wasn’t helped by the presence of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles at Tottenham’s temporary home a day earlier.There were large areas of worn brown turf down the middle and both flanks, while the NFL logo in the centre circle and yard-line markers the length of the pitch were all still visible.But City were unfazed as they raced into the lead after just six minutes.Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier misjudged a long kick from City goalkeeper Ederson, his errant header allowing Raheem Sterling to steal possession and cut past him into the penalty area.Sterling showed tremendous composure as he picked out Mahrez’s run and the Algerian finished the raid with a clinical close-range finish.Mahrez pointed his fingers to the sky in what appeared to be a tribute to Vichai.Following the tragic accident, Mahrez had posted two images of himself with Vichai on Instagram, with the caption: “One of the best person I’ve ever met. I will never forget you. Rest In Peace Vichai.”– Anguished glances –There were plenty of anguished glances at the pitch from both teams when passes went astray, but the surface couldn’t be blamed for some of the miscues.City seemed less troubled by the surface and they scythed through the Tottenham defence with a flowing move that ended with Hugo Lloris pushing Mahrez’s drive onto a post.Sent clean through on goal by Erik Lamela’s pass, Harry Kane had a golden chance to equalise but his poor first touch, which couldn’t be blamed on the turf, allowed Ederson to block with his legs.City had lost just two of their last 101 Premier League games in which they led at half-time and Sterling should have doubled their lead soon after the restart.Bernardo Silva’s pass gave David Silva a clear sight of goal, but he couldn’t get a shot away and instead found Sterling, whose close-range effort was blocked on the line.Sergio Aguero fared no better, the City forward shot tamely at Lloris from just 10 yards out and then saw a more potent long-range strike repelled by the Tottenham keeper.-Dele Alli presenceDele Alli, back after a four-match absence with a hamstring injury, came on for the last 15 minutes and the Tottenham midfielder almost set up an immediate equaliser.Alli’s run and pass picked out Lamela, but the Argentine somehow blazed over with only Ederson to beat.In a fractious finale, Lamela and City’s Benjamin Mendy escaped punishment despite coming to blows.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Riyad Mahrez was Manchester City’s match winner against Tottenham (AFP Photo/Ben STANSALL)LONDON, United Kingdom, Oct 30 – Riyad Mahrez fired Manchester City back to the top of the Premier League as the champions won 1-0 in their pitch battle with Tottenham on Monday. Playing on the scarred Wembley turf just 24 hours after it was damaged by an NFL fixture, City’s peerless quality and a predatory finish from Mahrez helped them ignore the pitch problems.last_img read more

Arsene Wenger calls on Arsenal players to earn ‘special’ win against arch rivals Tottenham

first_img1 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called on his players to put their recent frustrations behind them by knocking local rivals Tottenham out of the Capital One Cup at White Hart Lane.The Gunners go into the north London derby on the back of successive defeats, losing 2-0 at Chelsea following the away loss in their Champions League opener to Dinamo Zagreb.Wenger believes his men were on the victims of some rough justice in both matches, seeing forward Olivier Giroud sent off in Croatia while there were controversial red cards for both defender Gabriel and midfielder Santi Cazorla at Stamford Bridge following Saturday’s fiery Premier League encounter.The Arsenal manager, though, hopes having another big showdown can help his players get back on track.“I believe we were unfortunate in Zagreb to have a man sent off, and at Chelsea as well, but you want your players to behave in a perfect way and not to show any response at all,” Wenger said on Arsenal Player.“We have shown our frustration a little bit in both situations and you cannot afford that.”Wenger continued: “We want to get back into winning habits and that is why the momentum is even more important for us.“Every single game that you play with Arsenal you want to win, especially this one which is a bit more special because it is always a big meaning.”Tottenham beat Crystal Palace 1-0 on Sunday to move into ninth place, and just a point behind Arsenal.Wenger has been impressed by the development of Mauricio Pochettino’s squad.“They had a slow start but since then they have had two good wins, so that will have boosted their confidence,” the Gunners boss said.“It makes you think it will be a very even game tomorrow.” Mauricio Pochettino and Arsene Wenger last_img read more

Rafa Benitez: What I’m expecting Newcastle’s players to show me

first_imgRafa Benitez has revealed what he wants to see from his players, as Newcastle prepare to take on Swansea City in the Premier League this weekend.The Magpies host their Welsh opposition at St James’ Park on Saturday, with Benitez hoping to pick up his first win as manager of the Tyneside club.In four games he has claimed just a single point, leaving the club six points off safety, with only six fixtures remaining.Performance levels have not really improved since Benitez replaced Steve McClaren as manager, but the Spaniard has urged his players to give their all against the Swans in search of a much-needed victory.The former Liverpool boss said: “The only thing that I’m asking the players is that they have to give everything and finish the game without regret that they left everything there.“I think everybody expects that. The fans will be behind them if they do that.”The Magpies have had to deal with a host of injuries this season, and they host Swansea without Daryl Janmaat.The Dutch full-back is one of the best players in Benitez’s squad, but he broke two fingers after punching a wall following the 3-1 defeat to Southampton last week.He was willing to play on despite that problem, but the 26-year-old has since been ruled out of the game due to a groin injury.“Because he’s injured, we can’t do anything,” Benitez added.“He’s ready to take the risk, if he has to do it, with his hand, but we still have to find a solution to his groin problem.” 1 Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez last_img read more