Sierra Leone expels 22 foreigners

Published: 2/Apr/1998

The Sierra Leone government has expelled 22 foreigners, mostly Lebanese, who allegedly had business dealings with the ousted military junta. The order of expulsion was signed personally by President Kabbah, according to a statement issued by the attorney-general’s office.

“Their continued presence is not in the best interest of Sierra Leone. They have shown themselves to be disloyal to Sierra Leone and its government,” the statement said. Nine of those expelled were naturalised Sierra Leone citizens, who have had their citizenship revoked.

“Those expelled gave full support to the military junta to cause suffering and hardship on the people,” Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Solomon Berewa said in a radio broadcast.

A second statement issued by the attorney-general’s office reminded naturalised citizens that Sierra Leone law forbids dual citizenship.

Many foreigners “have caused much havoc on the economy of Sierra Leone, and when they saw it served their selfish and narrow interests, they would even collaborate with customs while determined to destroy this country, and caused suffering on the people of Sierra Leone,” the statement said, adding that efforts would be made to recover lost customs duties and taxes “which formed the main revenue base of this country.”

9 April:

President Kabbah praised the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) in an address to the nation Wednesday night, and outlined his government’s plans to restructure the army. ….

[On the expulsion of foreigners] He said that some of these foreigners, most of them Lebanese, had improperly obtained their Sierra Leonean passports, and some were involved in some dubious deals that violated the privileges which (the) passport confers on them, and therefore these people were expelled from the country. This does not in any way mean that his government is xenophobic or rather anti-foreign, and that (the) government and the people of Sierra Leone are ready to accommodate foreigners as long as they respect the local people and abide by the laws of the land.

Themes: Deportations, Loss and Deprivation of Nationality
Regions: Sierra Leone
Year: 1998