The people of Mabaimba Ndowahun and Masemira chiefdoms have finally been able to put the war behind them following the implementation of symbolic reparation programmes aimed at restoring social ties and honouring victims in the chiefdoms by the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) on 24th and 25th July respectively.
Members of secret societies and other groups came out in large numbers to undertake series of activities including ceremonial cleansing of the bushes, pouring of libation, paying respect to the war dead and unveiling memorials.
These activities were accompanied by traditional drumming and dancing creating a solemn but colourful atmosphere in both chiefdoms.
Speaking after the programme, the Paramount Chief of Mabaimba Ndohahun, PC Kande Fino III declared that the people of his chiefdom, which was severely affected by the war, can now stand up proudly and re-echo the historic words of former President Kabbah “War done done”, as social ties broken during the conflict have been restored and the people can now return to normal traditional practices.
In Masemira, the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Raymond Kabia, emphasized the importance of tradition and culture, which he described as the fabrics that hold society together and said that it is the intention of government to restore tradition as a way of promoting national cohesion for development.
Unveiling a plague honouring victims in Mabaimba Ndowahun, Maya Kanu, a widow left with four children, thanked the government, NaCSA and the international community for the reparations programme and expressed the hope that her children will enjoy a brighter future as she has already registered for support under the programme. In Masemira, Pa Abdulai Kargbo, a double amputee, said he has been praying for God to end his life due to his suffering and call on NaCSA to urgently respond to his needs as he has registered for the programme.
The government of Sierra Leone, through NaCSA is implementing the reparations programme to respond to the needs of severely affected war victims and promote healing and reconciliation. The Programme is being supported by the UN, IOM and the German government.