“We are not here to break legs,” Chief says

Before the commencement of the foot ball tournament for reconciliation in Kissi Teng chiefdom, Kundu Section Chief, Sahr Wundeh Falleh called on participating teams to play the game as brothers and sisters in the spirit of reconciliation.

“We are not here to break legs but to build peace in our communities,“ Chief Falleh stressed, adding “if you kick a player you are kicking your own brother or sister because we are all from the same family in the district.” He emphasized the need for such programme to continue calling on Fambul Tok and PLAY 31 to continue the good initiative.

As the football for reconciliation tournament continued in Kailahun district, communities that were not part of the initial tournament are now determined to be a part of the tournament.

During the second leg of the tournament in Kpeingbakordu village in the Kissi Teng chiefdom, two teams were drawn from Dakalele section. It was a combination of Nyadeyama and Kuudu teams whilst the host team (Kpeingbakordu), formed one team. One female team represented each of the three communities in the tournament.

Chief Augustine Brima of Kuudu village also admonished players to play among themselves as a family and cautioned them to maintain peace if anyone lose.

Regent Chief of Kissi Teng chiefdom, Fallah Jusu joined others to extend appreciation to Fambul Tok and PLAY 31 for collaborating with communities to build peace in the country after the decade long civil conflict. “Foot ball has brought joy to our communities”.

Women’s representative, Mariama Jalloh called on her women folks to be law abiding, adding that she was extremely happy to see for the very first time women playing football.

‘I’m really happy for Fambul Tok because nobody has ever thought of organizing such a wonderful event’ Jalloh said.

The Programme Director, Fambul Tok, John Caulker called on players to be mindful of the way they play.According to him, everyone belong to one big family and therefore, if anyone deliberately hurts the other, it would not augur well.

In the women’s category, the host team Kpeingbakordu lost by a lone goal to the Nyadeyama female team.

In the men’s football, the host team proved to hundreds of spectators that they were determined to win by all means possible. They defeated the combined teams from Nyadeyama and Kuudu by a lone goal.

Kailahun calls on Govt. to declare March 23rd National Day for Reflection

Paramount Chief of Upper Bambara chiefdom, Kailahun district Cyril Foray Gondor II has on behalf of the people of the chiefdom and Bomaru Town called on the government of Sierra Leone to declare March 23rd,the date the war started in Sierra Leone,a national day for reflection.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday at Forum of Conscience in Freetown, P.C Gondor II said: “we need to reflect on what went wrongs and why did we, Sierra Leoneans did go so low to kill one another. As a family, we need to sit together and discuss that we shall never return to those dark and ugly days of war.”

He said they welcome Fambul Tok community healing initiative, which facilitates dialogue among offenders, victims and members of the community in the spirit of national healing and reconciliation.

Chief Gondor disclosed that on behalf of Fambul Tok District Executive, Kailahun and especially Bomaru town and in collaboration with Forum of Conscience and Catalyst for Peace, they are going to observe the first anniversary of Fambul Tok reconciliation project, which coincides with the national day of reflection.

He went on to state that the day would be observed with series of activities ranging from feasting, traditional dances, cultural performances to football matches.

He extended invitation to the government of Sierra Leone. Members of Parliament, the Judiciary, members of the Diplomatic community, local and international NGOs, religious and traditional leaders to Bomaru and join them in observing the occasion.

“As a nation, we need to collectively reflect on the past and say Never Never Never again shall we use guns and machetes to settle our disputes.”

He said they welcome the verdict of the Revolutionary United Front members at the Special Court and reiterated that the verdict brings an end to the retributive justice process.”Now the country needs to focus on restorative justice. It can be achieved through community reconciliation and the implementation of the TRC recommendations with emphasize reparation programs for war victims” he concluded.

Fambul Tok trains focal persons in Kono

participants at the Fambul Tok training in Kono District, Eastern Sierra Leone

participants at the Fambul Tok training in Kono District, Eastern Sierra Leone

As Fambul Tok community reconciliation project continues to gain momentum in Sierra Leone, it continues to expand its activities in the country.

Kono district, one of the districts that was badly hit during the rebel war has recently embraced Fambul Tok because of its use of traditional methods in reconciling communities.

The project was launched in Kono last December with re-consultation to sound the opinion of people in all the 14 chiefdoms in Kono as to whether they were ready to reconcile. The session gave an opportunity to them to speak out and at the end of it all, they agreed to reconcile.

Last week, representatives of all 14 chiefdoms gathered in Tombodu, Kamaa Chiefdom for two-day training in various topics relating to reconciliation process. The training was facilitated by Robert Roche of Catalyst for Peace, Francis Onyekwue, a consultant, and Momodu Kamara of the Training unit of Fambul Tok project. Some of the topics dealt with included trauma healing, resilience, communication and listening skills.

In his remarks, Executive Director of Forum of Conscience and also Programme Director of the project, John Caulker said Fambul Tok belongs to communities. He urged them to own the process.

“Fambul Tok is a train that moves. It starts slowly but if one vital thing is missing it cannot go further,” Caulker stressed, adding, “all of us should put hands on deck so that the reconciliation process will flourish in Sierra Leone.” The Director went on to state that reconciliation is not an event but a continuous process.

Meanwhile a series of trainings for reconciliation committees and outreach members in all sections in the 14 districts will be conducted before the end of February.

A district executive of Fambul Tok was formed so that they would spearhead the activities of Fambul Tok in their district and inform their various chiefdoms about the process. The executive is to be chaired by Chiefdom Speaker, Aiah Raymond Komba of Kamaa Chiefdom.