Stop The Inter-tribal Hatred!

By Aroun Rashid Deen
New York City 03/13/2015


Leaders on both sides of the current APC-divide must call on their so-called supporters and fans to refrain from using reckless languages in their blame-game exchanges on social networks that are likely to provoke inter-tribal animosity in the country. Two of such inter-tribal blame-game ranting in which each of the speakers faults a certain ethnic group, and the people of particular regions for the wrongs of society, stand out.

A woman in a WhatsApp audio post is uncouth towards people of the Kono ethnic group of which Vice President Sam Sumana is a member. The woman who describes herself as a fan of President Ernest Koroma also accuses southerners and easterners of being responsible for the outbreak of Ebola, of masterminding the rebel war and of “kill(ing) people”. “…una de Kono dem una mami ein…una de southern en de eastern nar una bring Ebola…nar una bring rebel war…“… …” Even though she does not specifically mention the Mendes - the predominant tribe in those two regions, it is clear who she is alluding to as southerners and easterners. 

A defender of the Vice President Sumana, in response, is no less flippant in her choice of words. She describes persons of President Koroma’s ethnic group, Temne, in extreme vulgarity. 

She too says Temnes are responsible for “bring(ing)” the Ebola epidemic that had killed most of them (the Temnes). “…yu stupid Temne uman…, den Temne dem nar una don die boku so pan da Ebola dae…” She further states that Konos are superior to Temnes. “Kono den bette pas una.”

The concern here is not about the vulgarity in their choice of words while demeaning each other’s womanhood. Their ill-references against each other’s tribe are likely to fuel inter-ethnic or inter-tribal hatred in the country. This must stop!

Veteran Sierra Leonean journalist and former Concord Times editor, Foday Fofanah, now in Maryland, USA, worries about the misuse of social networks by Sierra Leoneans everywhere particularly those targeting government functionaries. "Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad have taken the social networks to a different level and in a completely different direction: it's being used for all the wrong reasons." Fofanah wonders when this will end.

It is wrong to blame the entire membership of a whole ethnic community for some of the troubles in the country such as the rebel war on the basis that the leader of that rebel movement was a member of that particular ethnic group. Equally, it is erroneous to fault the people of an entire province or region just because the war started in that region.

It will be helpful if people to whom such hateful utterances are sent on their phones delete them and not forward them to others.

As evil and bloody as the past rebel war was, it never took any tribal, religious or regional dimension. It would have been bloodier had that been the case.

Some of the so-called fans of politicians may not understand what their actions could result to.   

Their politician god-fathers on the other hand are most likely not unaware of the consequences.    

The leaders of the country must not forget that inter-tribal detestation between the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda resulting from similar behaviors, was what led to the genocide in that country.

It is disappointing that some Sierra Leonean women would display such ignorance particularly at this time when other women are gathered in cities all over the world striving for gender equality and women’s rights and wellbeing.

Political leaders in the midst of the current APC clash must caution their supporters to be mindful of how they express themselves regarding the stalemate. There is nothing like a good or bad ethnic group. A person’s behavior and sense of judgment has nothing to do with her or his ethnicity.

Login to post comments


Like Us

Latest Tweets

(C) 2014 Sierra Network Salone. All Rights Reserved.