Delegates from Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and other members of the MAKONA Union and the Mano River Union (MRU) recently convened a meeting at the YMCA Hall, Fort Street in Freetown, where sensitive issues regarding the two Unions and Yenga were discussed.
Guinean Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Ambassador Sompare explained that he was aware of MAKONA operations since it inception and had always been fortunate to attend some of its meetings.
He encouraged members of the MAKONA Union to always pursue the right course in seeking a peaceful resolution to the Yenga crisis which was created by our colonial masters.
In spite of all the indifferences, he observed, members of the Mano River Union belong to the same family, working to achieve the same goal.
He said ‘its time we come together to say no to conflict.’
Talking on the socio economic development of the Mano River Union, the Ambassador noted that poverty is a very big problem among the three Countries which could only be addressed by resolving conflicts and revitalizing the international market.
He recalled that the first Guinean President would be remembered for his vital role in making the African Union a reality; which he said is replicated by the current Guinean President.
He concluded that with collective effort among members of the MAKONA Union and the Mano River Union the Yenga issue would be resolved amicably.
The Deputy Secretary-General of the Mano River Union, Simeon Moriba noted that between 1973 and 1989 the MRU was very much instrumental in fostering unity and socio-economic growth among the three countries; but the decade-long rebel war retarded everything, adding that many potential staff members were rendered jobless.
On the issue of Yenga he said, there is need for technical dialogue among stakeholders in order to assess the situation on the ground.
He said they are working on a project proposal that would be used to access funds for the revitalization of the Union.
He confirmed that the development frame work of the Head of States in the Mano River Union would encompass the objectives of the MAKONA Union.
The National Chairman of the MAKONA who is also the Deputy Minister of Health, Sheku Tejan Koroma maintained that, the economic activities in the Mano River Union has a potential to improve the lives of its members ,as the common goal of the Union is to fight poverty among members in the three countries in the Mano River Union basin.
“We should have a new sense of responsibility towards achieving our goal so that future generations would not hold us responsible for our failures” the Minister stated.
The Liberian Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Thomas Brima said the MAKONA objective is not in conflict with the MRU.
He added that the MAKONA Union fosters the good relationship among the Mano River Countries.