September 17, 2021

Beirut garbage deal: Sierra Leone Foreign Affairs officials in hot waters

2 min read

Sierra Leone: Two officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been picked up by the Police and are currently being investigated at Police CID Headquarters following the illegal certification of the ‘unauthorized letter’ purportedly signed by Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo.

A Lebanese businessman is also said to have been invited at the CID while his boss who is also wanted for questioning is reported to be out of the country presently.

Sierra Leone government denies accepting deal with Beirut

Sources in the government said the letter was strangely not copied to anyone or any other Ministry, Department or Agency – which is unusual and rather unprofessional for such a letter that claimed to be in the wake of consultations and which mentioned other key ministries in it.

Police sources say the officials under investigation are denying setting eyes on such a letter.

The former presidential adviser, Alhaji I.B. Kargbo, was reported to have been called for questioning at the CID Headquarters.

AS – SAFIR Newspaper of Lebanon reported that Sierra Leone has reportedly agreed to accept Lebanon’s trash after Beirut last month approved an exportation plan to end the country’s nearly six-month-long waste crisis.

The incriminating letter

President Koroma instructed the Office of National Security and the Sierra Leone Police to conduct criminal investigations into the circumstances surrounding the matter.

“Since this matter is currently the subject of an active debate, it is incumbent on government to clear the air by issuing this disclaimer. Government wants to make it abundantly clear that it has not agreed to accept waste from Lebanon and has not authorised any official of state to convey approval to that effect. Government is fully aware of the danger posed by hazardous and non – harzardous waste and gives the full assurance that it will never expose the public to such long – term risks to health and the environment,”  a press release from State House states.

The report said the Lebanese Foreign Ministry received a letter Thursday from Sierra Leone authorities informing it of the country’s willingness to accept its waste.

The letter, which was originally addressed to Holland’s Howa BV firm, is signed by an adviser to Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, according to AS – SAFIR.


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