Standard Times (Freetown)

1 August 2001

Sierra Leone: No Grave for RUF Rogers

Information received by this press states that since the death of senior RUF member, SYB Rogers earlier this week, the body has still not been laid to rest. Instead it has been embalmed awaiting burial.

Reason for keeping the body of the late man has not been clearly explained, but prison sources say the Rukupa cemetery where decease prisoners were buried had been occupied by encroachers who have built houses and other structures at the cemetery. The only place left, according to our source, is the Kingtom cemetery but prison authorities are yet to get clearance from relevant authorities to bury the late RUF Council Chairman who is the 12th RUF detainee to have died in prison since their arrest following the May 8, 2000 mayhem.

Meanwhile, reports have disclosed that as part of efforts to secure their freedom through divine intervention, many RUF detainees have resorted to daily fasting, abstaining from food and drink for the greater part of the day. The detainees, mostly RUF big wigs, intensified their fasting following the death of SYB Roges. Eldred Collins, Mike Lamin, Peter Vandy, Lt. Akim, among othes, are said to be having sleepless nights since the passing away of the late SYB Rogers.

"We see vision every night", the detainees were quoted as saying. Also, contrary to rumours that the bespectacled Paulo Bangura, former Minister of Energy and Power in the post-Lome cabinet of inclusion who was reported dead is alive and kicking.

UNICEF improves Amputee Conditions UNICEF announced on Wednesday that it is providing support to a project to improve the sanitation and shelter conditions in the Amputees Camp at Murray Town. The project will benefit the 560 residents of the camp, including 226 amputees. UNICEF received a contribution for this project from the UNICEF National Committee in the Czech Republic and the Government of the Czech Republic.

Individual citizens made contributions in response to sensitization undertaken by Ambassador Melrose Kai-Banya who is Sierra Leone Ambassador to Russia and the CIS countries and the UNICEF National Committee to raise awareness in the Czech Republic of the hardship suffered by the people of Sierra Leone. The Government of the Czech Republic was so impressed with the fundraising results that it decided to match the individual contributions with a contribution of an equal amount. GOAL is implementing the project in collaboration with the National Commission for Reconstruction, Resettlement and Rehabilitation (NCRRR), the Amputees Camp Committee and ORIENT, a local NGO currently responsible for management of the camp. Twenty-eight lined latrines (7x4 blocks) will be constructed to replace the temporary latrines constructed in 1999.

In addition, accumulated solid waste within the camp premises has been disposed of and disposal facilities renovated. Finally, 26 shelters are also being rehabilitated. The construction work has started and will finish in August.

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