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Is a dissident Sierra Leone radio host still on the run?

Sierra LeoneI can’t find any updates on the fate of Sierra Leone radio manager Sahr Amadu Komba, who “fears for his life,” according to journalist rights groups. Mr. Komba got the heck out of that country’s equivalent of Dodge this month after pissing off the wrong people. Like lots of folks in and around Sierra Leone’s eastern Kono district, he’s been wondering out loud why the region has been plagued by floods. Komba’s Eastern Radio 96.5 FM recently broadcast a conversation with some activists who blame the latest flood on illegal mining in the area. The July 27 disaster wrecked homes and blocked the road connecting a local mining town to Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital.

Radio Rights WatchNext thing you know this happened, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists:

“According to news reports, Karamoh Kabba, the most senior government official in the region, defended the mining in the region in a in a July 27 interview with the government-owned Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation 90.2 FM, and likened Eastern Radio’s broadcast to those of the Rwandan station Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, which broadcast messages calling ethnic Tutsi Rwandans ‘cockroaches,’ and threatened to kill them ahead of the 1994 genocide of Tutsis.”

Human rights groups called the comparison ridiculous and demanded Kabba’s resignation. Apparently they’re not the only ones asking him to quit. A group of Koidu women also want him out following what they call his “total disrespect” of their mobilization against illegal mining.

As for Komba, he apparently has resurfaced but is keeping a very low profile. “He fears for his life,” CPJ says, “and has limited his movement after receiving further threats. Most recently, he said, a man accosted him at a gas station on August 6 and told him, ‘We will handle you’.”


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