Sierra Leone: Socialist Leaders Head For North American Tour (By James Koroma)
Official information from African Socialist Movement (ASM) has confirmed that a delegation of its leaders from Sierra Leone is due to arrive in the United States in early September this year to brief audiences in North America about the evolving situation in that West Africa country.
This delegation is expected to visit several cities to speak to students and community leaders across the United States and Canada between the months of September and October.
The visit, which comes few months ahead of the country’s legislative and presidential elections, is said to be part of an ongoing international campaign to win political support for the work of the African Socialist Movement (ASM) in Sierra Leone.
An ASM delegation is currently on a tour of Asia and South America to meet with political leaders and governments to share the situation of their country and win international opinion for their program.
A year ago, the movement’s leaders entered into a political coalition with Sierra Leone’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in preparations for the forthcoming elections in November. They say their objective is to overcome the monopoly of power by the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and All Peoples Congress (APC). Both parties have ruled Sierra Leone during the last fifty years.
Socialist leaders say their coalition arrangement with the NDA will allow them to run ten of their members for parliamentary and local council positions during the elections of November.
ASM’s Chairman, Chernoh Alpha Bah and his General Secretary Saa Famanda have already declared their intentions to contest for parliamentary positions in the forthcoming elections under the ticket of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). They will be among the ten representatives of the ASM who will be running for positions in the elections under the ticket of the NDA. Bah plans to contest in Makeni and Famanda in the outskirts of Waterloo, both areas are historically considered strongholds of the All Peoples Congress (APC), which has been in power since 2007.
ASM leaders in Freetown say the nearly five years of APC rule has intensified the miserable conditions of the masses and worsened the economic situation of the country.
“The international community needs a better understanding of the objective conditions of the people of Sierra Leone and why they have an obligation to support a genuine struggle to change these miserable conditions imposed on the country,” Chernoh Alpha Bah said in a telephone interview last night from Dubai, capital of the United Arab Emirates.
A statement issued by ASM’s Director of International Affairs, Ajamu Bandele said the tour offers an opportunity “to establish new relationships with each other so that it is possible for us to get familiar and cultivate principled solidarity between those brothers and sisters of this new generation of African leadership that are actively involved in the work to educate, organize, and mobilize our people, especially the youth, into the process of African liberation.”
Ajamu Bandele says the tour is aimed at educating American audiences about the work, program and activities of the African Socialist Movement (ASM) and to win them to a position of support.
The delegation that will be lead by ASM Chairman Chernoh Alpha Bah will also include the movement’s General Secretary Saa Famanda and two other representatives of the Sierra Leone media. They are scheduled to address audiences in Atlanta, Washington, Chicago, California, Florida and Philadelphia. They will be touring alongside Hajj Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X.