Four out of seven West side boys that were released from prison on the 28th April 2009 have made a courtesy call on the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone(HRCSL) to express their thanks and appreciation for the role the commission played in their release.
The Four men were led by the National Coordinator of Prisons Watch, Mambu Feika. In his presentation Mr. Feika stated that his organization has done its best to advocate for the release of the former soldiers but the Human Right Commission is the right body to handle the welfare of the released soldiers.
The four men were Samuel Kargbo aka Sami Raga, Mohamed Bangura aka Med Ghost, Foday Kamara-2 and Osman Sesay. They were released together with three others namely Foday Kallay, Mohamed Bangura and Alhaji Fofanah.
Explaining their plight to members of the Commission, one of the men said they suffered in prison for nine good years and now that they have been released they want to engage themselves in something developmental to enable them reintegrate in society.
The former soldiers told the Commissioners that they were ready to rejoin the army again to serve the nation if only their concerns are met. They all stated clearly that everything about them including their families have gone backward and would want the commission to help them regain their lives in society.In response, the Chairman of the Human Right Commission, Mr. Edward Sam gave some sort of courage to the boys stating that society has changed over the years and the country is now in a peace building process. He encouraged the West side boys to be patient as the Commission will try as best as possible to address the matter. He told them to contribute to the peace building process.
The Vice Chairperson of the Commission said she is happy that at last the right thing has been done with the release of the seven Ex-soldiers. “Now that you are free men you have a lot to contribute to society” she added.
Commissioner Rev. Moses Khanu also advised the men to be patient while the commission tries to engage various stakeholders in addressing their issue.
By William Freeman