• August 31, 2022

The Sierra Leone Ambassador’s residence in Addis Ababa completed- the facts

The Sierra Leone Ambassador’s residence in Addis Ababa completed- the facts
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By Momoh Briama

The official residence of Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Ethiopia has been completed and handed over to the Sierra Leone Mission in Addis Ababa.

The Sierra Leone Ambassador's residence in Addis Ababa completed- the facts
The Sierra Leone Ambassador’s residence in Addis Ababa completed- the facts

The Sierra Leone Government opened its Embassy in Ethiopia in the early 1970s but until recently, both the Embassy and the Ambassador were housed in rented buildings. Back in 2013, the Sierra Leone Government took the bold step to construct an Embassy building in Ethiopia. Through the generosity of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Government of Sierra Leone was provided with a parcel of land in the prestigious Bole area in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

The project was an ultra-modern complex consisting of a presidential VIP suite, the Chancery and the Ambassador’s residence. In January 2013, the project which was estimated at US 2.5 million was officially commissioned by President Ernest Bai Koroma who also turned the sod for the construction of the complex. Four years later on 5th July 2017,  the first part of the project, the Embassy complex, was completed and inaugurated by the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

By this time, simultaneously, the construction of the presidential VIP suite and the Ambassador’s residence was well underway at about 60% completion. But when the new government of President Bio assumed office, the first thing it’s newly appointed officials in Addis Ababa did was to deface President Koroma’s name on the plaque  which stated the facts about the project.

This opprobrium is however not unique to the officials at the Sierra Leone embassy in Ethiopia. Since its ascendency to power, the Bio-led government has done everything in the vain attempt to completely obliterate any trace of President Koroma’s leadership of Sierra Leone. At State House, they brought down the official website, deleted everything and established a new one. Since he left office, the national broadcaster has refused to air anything, on radio or television, that has to do with former President Koroma.

It is therefore not surprising that on the occasion of the handing over of the Ambassador’s residence, which is one of the remaining components of the Embassy complex highlighted above, Adekunle King, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, decided to throw tantrums at President Koroma’s government.

With glee and in a puerile and self-effacing way, the Ambassador posted and caused to be posted on social media that:

“For over 12 years the Ambassador’s Residence in Addis Ababa had been in a state of decay as a result of wanton neglect of the APC government.”

In the same social media post, the Sierra Leone Embassy in Ethiopia embarked on the Bio-led administration’s relentless effort to bolster Bio’s jaundiced reputation by claiming that: “But as His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio always provided salvation to the state of Sierra Leone, a majestic and prestigious building has been completed and handed over to His Excellency Ambassador Adekunle King today 25th August 2022”.

Former Information Attache to the Sierra Leone Embassy in Ethiopia, Abdul Karim Koroma, was peeved by what he described as Ambassador King’s immaturity and diplomatic inexperience.

“Diplomats are supposed to be measured in their pronouncements and demeanor. Sadly, his bravado about the completion of the Head of Mission’s official residence was a calculated ploy to spew lies and paint the former President Koroma administration in a bad light”.

The Sierra Leone Ambassador's residence in Addis Ababa completed- the facts
The Sierra Leone Ambassador’s residence in Addis Ababa completed- the facts

The former Information Attache further said that: “The Ambassador’s residence was never in a state of decay as he falsely claimed. Prior to this project, both the Embassy and the Ambassador’s residence were housed in rented buildings”.

Koroma also noted that now that the embassy has it’s own buildings, a mature and experienced Ambassador would be circumspect in his public pronouncements about such development. “It’s  unfortunate that Ambassador King could dabble and let himself loose in political mudslinging over a building project that spans two governments,” Koroma said.

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