John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "Sierra Leone"

Maybe Better News on Ebola?

by John Campbell
A billboard with a message about Ebola is seen on a street in Conakry, Guinea October 26, 2014. (Michelle Nichols/Courtesy Reuters) A billboard with a message about Ebola is seen on a street in Conakry, Guinea October 26, 2014. (Michelle Nichols/Courtesy Reuters)

The New York Times and other media are reporting a drop in Ebola infection rates and empty beds in the emergency field hospitals set up by the U.S. military in Monrovia. While there is Ebola all along the border between Liberia and Ivory Coast, Abidjan has not reported any cases. The World Health Organization has stated that Nigeria and Senegal are Ebola free. Perhaps even more important, no new Nigerian cases have been announced since the WHO’s declaration. Especially in Liberia, a public communications campaign on Ebola has taken off. Read more »

Ebola and Counterinsurgency—A Struggle for Legitimacy

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Supplies, including 100 tons of emergency medical aid, are seen before being loaded on to a 747 aircraft at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport September 20, 2014. The chartered 747 jet, carrying the largest single shipment of aid to the Ebola zone to date and coordinated by CGI and other U.S. aid organizations, departed the airport on Saturday afternoon bound for West Africa. (Carlo Allegri/Courtesy Reuters) Supplies, including 100 tons of emergency medical aid, are seen before being loaded on to a 747 aircraft at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport September 20, 2014. The chartered 747 jet, carrying the largest single shipment of aid to the Ebola zone to date and coordinated by CGI and other U.S. aid organizations, departed the airport on Saturday afternoon bound for West Africa. (Carlo Allegri/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Colonel Clint Hinote. He is the 2014-2015 U.S. Air Force Military Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. The opinions expressed here are his own.

As the United States sends military forces forward to support the effort to stop Ebola in West Africa, it is striking to see how similar this struggle is to counterinsurgency operations. While American soldiers will not be conducting any combat or law enforcement operations, counterinsurgency concepts are applicable to the deteriorating situation, and these have major implications for the broad coalition joining the fight against Ebola. Read more »

Ebola “a Complete Disaster”

by John Campbell
A health worker, wearing head-to-toe protective gear, offers water to a woman with Ebola, at a treatment centre for infected persons, as a young boy stands nearby in Kenema Government Hospital, in Kenema, Eastern Province, Sierra Leone, in this handout photo courtesy of UNICEF taken in July 2014. (UNICEF/Courtesy Reuters) A health worker, wearing head-to-toe protective gear, offers water to a woman with Ebola, at a treatment centre for infected persons, as a young boy stands nearby in Kenema Government Hospital, in Kenema, Eastern Province, Sierra Leone, in this handout photo courtesy of UNICEF taken in July 2014. (UNICEF/Courtesy Reuters)

This is the conclusion of Dr. Joanne Liu, MD, president of Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sans Frontieres-MSF). Her interview in the New York Times is a compelling must-read for those watching Ebola and West Africa. Far from echoing the cautious optimism that the disease may be coming under control in certain areas, she says, “no one yet has the full measure of the magnitude of this crisis. We don’t have good data collection. We don’t have enough surveillance.” Read more »

Health Workers Pay the Ultimate Price in the West African Fight against Ebola

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Medical staff working with Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) prepare to bring food to patients kept in an isolation area at the MSF Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, July 20, 2014 (Tommy Trenchard/Courtesy Reuters). Medical staff working with Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) prepare to bring food to patients kept in an isolation area at the MSF Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, July 20, 2014 (Tommy Trenchard/Courtesy Reuters).

This is a guest post by Mohamed Jallow, grants officer at IntraHealth International, a nonprofit organization that empowers health workers around the world to better serve their communities. A version of this post originally appeared on VITAL, IntraHealth International’s blog. Read more »

“New Deal” Has Potential to Provide New Solutions for Fragile African States

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan November 30, 2011. (Saul Loeb/Pool/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan November 30, 2011. (Saul Loeb/Pool/Courtesy Reuters).

This is a guest post by Hamish Stewart, a co-founding Director of the Centre for African Development and Security.

The world is optimistic about Africa’s future, but to unlock its economic potential concerted efforts must be made to engage with its most fragile states. Read more »

To the Victors Go the Spoils: How Winner-Takes-All Politics Undermine Democracy in Sierra Leone

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Sierra Leone's President Bai Koroma's motorcade goes around the national stadium before his inauguration ceremony in Freetown 15/11/2007. (Katrina Manson/Courtesy Reuters) Sierra Leone's President Bai Koroma's motorcade goes around the national stadium before his inauguration ceremony in Freetown 15/11/2007. (Katrina Manson/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Mohamed Jallow, program development specialist at IntraHealth International. He was previously a program associate at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Looking at the bitterly divisive elections campaigns in Sierra Leone, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo’s words from the 2007 elections come to mind; winning the elections is literally “a matter of life and death.” In Sierra Leone, as is in Nigeria, the winner-takes-all-system is an integral part of politics. Widespread political patronage and the perception that those who win presidential elections provide sole, unfettered access to the lucrative benefits of political power, makes the electoral process a very dangerous undertaking. Read more »

Avoiding Political Violence in Sierra Leone

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Sierra Leone's opposition party All People?s Congress supporters mingle outside their party headquarters in Freetown 26/07/2007. (Katrina Manson/Courtesy Reuters) Sierra Leone's opposition party All People?s Congress supporters mingle outside their party headquarters in Freetown 26/07/2007. (Katrina Manson/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest blog post by Mohamed Jallow, Program Development Specialist at IntraHealth International. He was previously a program associate at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sierra Leoneans go to the polls a little over a week after the United States this year. Unlike the United States, Sierra Leone is still experimenting with the idea of democracy and all its complexities. There remains an ever present fear of elections degenerating into chaos and violence. Read more »

Guest Post: Sierra Leone: Cholera Outbreak Underscores Need for Public Health Investment

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A cholera patient lies in a treatment centre run by Medecins Sans Frontieres on Macauley Street in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, August 23, 2012. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) A cholera patient lies in a treatment centre run by Medecins Sans Frontieres on Macauley Street in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, August 23, 2012. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Mohamed Jallow, a former interdepartmental associate at the Council on Foreign Relations, and now a program development specialist at IntraHealth International. Mohamed is originally from Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone is in a state of “health emergency” after a cholera outbreak inundated the country’s ill-equipped health system. According to the WHO, since the beginning of the year, Sierra Leone has recorded over 11, 653 cases of cholera, and 216 deaths. Read more »

Guest Post: At Victory Temple, “Leading By Example, Not By Doctorate”

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
RCCG Pastor Lagosian Shina Enitan at Victory Temple courtesy Jim Sanders, Alexandria, Virginia, July 24, 2012. RCCG Pastor Lagosian Shina Enitan at Victory Temple courtesy Jim Sanders, Alexandria, Virginia, July 24, 2012.

This is a guest post by Jim Sanders, a career, now retired, West Africa watcher for various federal agencies. The views expressed below are his personal views and do not reflect those of his former employers.

Why am I  running a guest post on a Nigerian church in Alexandria, Virginia?  We sometimes overlook West Africa’s growing and vibrant social and cultural influence in the United States.  Jim Sanders recently visited a Redeemed Christian Church of God parish and interviewed the Nigerian pastor. The conversation provides fascinating insights into a Nigerian community in suburban Washington, D.C. and  also into aspects of Nigerian religious sensibility at home. His post  provides an opportunity for we Americans to “see ourselves as others see us.” Read more »

Charles Taylor Sentenced – a Step Forward?

by John Campbell
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor (bottom) argues with a photographer as he awaits the start of the prosecution's closing arguments during his trial at the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam February 8, 2011. (Jerry Lampen/Courtesy Reuters) Former Liberian President Charles Taylor (bottom) argues with a photographer as he awaits the start of the prosecution's closing arguments during his trial at the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam February 8, 2011. (Jerry Lampen/Courtesy Reuters)

In April, the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague found Charles Taylor guilty of many crimes against humanity related to his involvement with the civil war in Sierra Leone. (Taylor was not tried for his activities in Liberia where he was a major warlord as well as chief of state.) On May 30, three justices sentenced Taylor to prison for fifty years. As he is 64 years of age, he will spend the rest of his life incarcerated. He will serve his sentence in the UK. Read more »