- Sierra Leoneans have lashed out at the government’s proposal to enlist youth into the police force as part of its post conflict initiatives and reintegration.
Locals have said the programme would complicate the already fragile situation in the country, saying the youth enrolment into police force could end up being blighted by the recruitment of young criminal war veterans.
The decade-long civil war brought an end to formal education for a majority of the country’s youth, with many Sierra Leonean youths from poorer rural households having grown up knowing only war and without ever going to school.
However, police chief, Chris Charley said the selection criterions would be based on the age, mental and physical health, and official clearance that one has no criminal records.
According to the police department, the capital city of Freetown would be divided into 860 zones with 10 youth volunteers manning each zone. The youth are expected to tackle the vestiges of an eleven-year war that left in its wake numerous gun-wielding former child soldiers who have contributed to the rise of indiscriminate criminal acts in the country, the officials said.
Despite a disarmament programme that sought to clear Sierra Leone of illegal arms at the end of the war in 2002, the country’s efforts to restore civility is still undermined by uncontrolled crime levels.
The young volunteers will also be fighting any form of anti-social behavior and armed robbery. Local reports said hundreds of boys have already agreed to sign up and serve on a volunteer basis to compliment the police force.
With little or no access to education or vocational training opportunities, income generating activities or health care, young Sierra Leoneans, more often than not, live in abject poverty, dependency, dislocation and family separation.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.