Antony J. Blinken SECRETARY OF STATE

TRUE: US Government Slams Visa Restrictions on Some Sierra Leonean Officials for Undermining the Country’s Democratic Process

By Mabinty M. Kamara

CLAIM:

United States Government Slams Visa restrictions on some Sierra Leonean officials for undermining the Democratic Process in Sierra Leone 

VERDICT: TRUE https://www.state.gov/visa-restriction-policy-on-undermining-the-democratic-process-in-sierra-leone/

FULL TEXT:

A social media post that has been shared many times on Whatsapp and Facebook indicated that “The US has slammed Visa restrictions on Sierra Leonean officials responsible for “undermining the democratic process in the June 2023 elections.”

Methodology:

To verify this claim, SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom contacted the United States Embassy in Freetown. The Press and Media Coordinator Alhassan Jalloh confirmed that the said post is a decision of the US government, adding that the statement can be found on the US website.

Conclusion: The US Government has levied a visa restriction on some Sierra Leonean officials whose names are currently withheld.

“Due to privacy restrictions surrounding visa eligibility information, we do not publicly publish names of individuals who are affected by this policy,” Sarha Van Horne, Public Affairs Officer at the US embassy in Freetown said.

 

NOTE: This fact-checked story is a product of the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom on Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle. The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada to enable citizens have access to credible and accurate information during the elections.

The SuperNewsRoom is powered by Africell SL.

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ASDS

FALSE! Major Issa Turay was not killed by Gov’t of Sierra Leone

By Mohamed Jaward Nyallay

 

CLAIM: Makoni Times posted on its Facebook wall that Major Issa Turay was killed by President Bio’s government.

 

VERDICT:  False, the Turay family has released a statement detailing the circumstances of Major Turay’s death, which was natural.

 

Full Text:

On Thursday evening, Makoni Times posted on its Facebook wall that Major Issa Turay who passed away this week was killed by President Julius Maada Bio’s government. On its Facebook wall, it carried the picture of the later soldier with the quotation: “Another military officer from the North, Kamakwei has been killed by the Bio regime: Major Issa Turay of RSLAF”

VERIFICATION

The Turay family has since released a statement detailing the circumstances leading to his death, which shows it was a natural cause. His elder brother, Aruna Turay who authored the press release that has now gone viral, explained that Major Turay collapsed suddenly at his Benguema residence and was rushed to the military hospital at Wilberforce.

Aruna Turay wrote: “The truth is that the Late Major Issa Turay died of Natural Causes in the early hours of Wednesday, 16th August, 2023.”

Turay added: “In the early hours of Wednesday, he collapsed at his residence at the Armed Forces Training Centre (AFTC) in Benguema. His fiancée (a lactating mother) telephoned me at 6:20 am and informed me that Major Issa has just reported “feeling bad” and dropped on his parlour floor. So, immediately, I advised her to take him to the Medical centre at AFTC,”

Aruna continued that his brother was later referred to 34 Military Hospital, Wilberforce and by the time they got to the hospital he was pronounced dead.

The Turay family has urged Makoni Times to take down the post or they will explore an option to litigate the platform.

 

CONCLUSION: Based on the detailed explanation from the family, Major Issa Turay was not killed by the Bio government as Makoni Times claimed.

 

 

NOTE: This fact-checked story is a product of the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom on Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle. The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada to enable citizens have access to credible and accurate information during the elections.

The SuperNewsRoom is powered by Africell SL.

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BOYCOTT

False Claim: Allegations of APC MPs Rejecting Boycott and Pledging to Represent Electorates

By Abdulai Sillah

Claim: All APC elected MPs reject boycott, pledge to represent electorates in Parliament.

Verdict: False

Full Text: On August 3rd, 2023, a social media post purportedly authored by an individual named National Political Prophet circulated on various platforms, asserting that all APC party elected Members of Parliament had convened at the regional party office in Makeni and unanimously expressed their commitment to fulfilling their duty by representing their constituents in Parliament. The piece also alleged tensions arising from the surprise stance taken by the MPs against a boycott, with claims that Dr. Samura Kamara and the Executive were caught off guard by this firm decision, with the MPs chanting “we want to go to Parliament.”

The post further contended that the MPs declared their intention to prioritize the interests of their voters and called for APC members’ support in effectively representing their respective constituencies in Parliament.

Methodology: To fact-check this assertion, Super Newsroom engaged Hon. Peter Yamba Koroma, a senior APC party member who serves as the parliamentary caucus leader for Bombali district MPs and is involved in the organization of the party.

He categorically refuted the claims, labeling them as entirely false. Hon. Peter Yamba Koroma acknowledged a meeting held on the specified date at the regional party office involving all elected APC officials, led by Dr. Samura Kamara and the party’s executive. However, he clarified that the outcome of the meeting was a renewed commitment to continue boycotting governance until their concerns were addressed.

He stated, “We will not attend Parliament until our concerns are addressed. The meeting aimed to reinforce our commitment to our boycott action. The people who elected us strongly support our stance, and we are resolute in upholding their wishes. Since we communicated our position, President Bio and the SLPP party have not made any direct effort to engage with us. We anticipated negotiations and discussions, but as of now, the party is unaware of any such developments.”

Hon. Peter Yamba emphasized that Dr. Samura Kamara had informed them of engagement with the United Nations, which acknowledged the country’s political stalemate due to their stance.

He asserted that their decision was unanimous and free from tension, with the electorate still expressing their preference for the boycott. “Should we attend Parliament? No! Our constituents continue to urge us not to go,” he added. He affirmed their unwavering determination to persist on their decision until their concerns were adequately addressed.

Conclusion: The claim that all APC MPs have officially rejected the boycott and pledged to represent their electorates in Parliament lacks substantiated evidence. Furthermore, the APC party asserts that no direct engagement has occurred with President Bio or the SLPP party regarding their concerns, which remain unaddressed.

 

NOTE: This fact-checked story is a product of the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom on Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle. The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada to enable citizens have access to credible and accurate information.

The SuperNewsRoom is powered by Africell SL.

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