... New batch of Sierra Leone workers off to Iraq 30 July 2005 19:11 GMT Agence France Presse FREETOWN, July 30 (AFP) -- Some 100 Sierra Leonean nurses, labMessage 1 of 34 , Aug 1, 2005View Source----------------------------------
New batch of Sierra Leone workers off to Iraq
30 July 2005
Agence France Presse
FREETOWN, July 30 (AFP) --
Some 100 Sierra Leonean nurses, lab technicians, caterers and plumbers were this
weekend flying to Iraq to join the growing number of west Africans being
contracted to perform the mundane tasks underpinning the occupation.
This week's departures will bring to 440 the number of Sierra Leoneans currently
in Iraq under a contract signed by the Sierra Leone government with a private US
The Labor Ministry's overseas employment officer Ismael Kargbo declined to
reveal the name of the company but said the government had contracted a wage of
roughly 100 US dollars per month for each of the workers, plus perks such as
free international telephone calls.
The recruitment program is not confined to Iraq, Kargbo said, but also includes
the supply of blue-collar skilled workers to Jordan, Afghanistan and Kuwait.
Labor Minister Alpha Timbo said Nigeria, Ghana and Guinea were also supplying
"I personally feel good about the venture and the recruits are happy to go and
work in a foreign country," he said, noting there were still 2,000 people on the
waiting list, vying for fewer than 400 more spots.
"Everyone is eager to go as in its present stage, the Sierra Leone economy
cannot provide jobs for many people locally."
Though 100 US dollars seems a paltry sum for braving the hazards of Iraq, where
another 22 Iraqis and two British security guards were killed on Saturday, the
fate of many in Sierra Leone is comparably dire.
Emerging from a decade of brutal civil war marked by the maiming and mutilation
and horrific rapes of thousands of civilians, Sierra Leone is the world's least
developed country, with soaring unemployment, little infrastructure and extreme
Aminata Sesay was one of many mothers who saw off their children on Saturday,
proud that her son Amadu Turay, 24, was among those chosen to work as a cleaner
"I fully support my son's decision to travel," she told AFP. "I just need him to
call me when he arrives to tell me that things are good for him."
Mark, Thanks for your response. The reports that I ve read were not stored in any hard drive or hard copies; like most people, I read or hear reports, processMessage 34 of 34 , Aug 4, 2005View SourceMark,Thanks for your response. The reports that I've read were not stored in any hard drive or hard copies; like most people, I read or hear reports, process them and store them in that part of my brain that handles them:-) So I cannot give you any hard copies at this time. When we reach the point where it becomes necessary to document or verify these reports, I'm sure I and others on this forum will be able to find enough to contribute. Beside, if this forum or any other is going to take up the issue with the Salone govt or whoever is involved, I believe that the burden of proof would be on that entity to show that those Salone recurits are not being sent into harm's way, not the other way around.When you see young men and women from such a disadvantaged background as those from Salone being taken advantage of with emphsis on the $$$ sign, we can't sit around and wait for hard facts "before we dig in with both hands"; yes, some of us are getting very emotional about it but it's because we already know that Iraq is a danger zone even for our soldiers, which is enough to know that civilians are perhaps in greater danger. We need to know that these men and women are making the choice to go with the full information of what's at stake; then of course, as the Mende people say "Bi dia glae ma bi dae kalay ma" translation "when you say it to the dog you must say it to the bone", I leave the interpretation to the reader.(excuse my Mende spelling:-)Regards,Fatima
Mark Hager <mark.hager@...> wrote:
Fatima: Ive appreciated all of your thoughts and comments, and havent thought them the least bit wild. Surely you believe the report youve read or heard that foreign workers are being treated badly I only ask you to share it with us so that we can benefit from it in the same way. And youre welcome to believe that these workers are in harms way I only ask that we document it somehow so that we have something to stand behind when we make the claim. I use the word presume (re what these workers will be doing) precisely because I DO NOT know it to be true. Its another one of those things that I think we need to know before we dig in with both hands.
Regarding the mindset of gratefulness for crumbs, hell fire, and exploitation Im not sure if you meant to implicate me. I dont think that represents anything thats in my own mind.
From: FoSL_Mbr@yahoogroups.com [mailto:FoSL_Mbr@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of fatima wahab
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 10:27 AM
Subject: RE: [FoSL_Mbr] New batch of Sierra Leone workers off to Iraq
I don't think you are "...getting the point" otherwise you would not be calling what some of us are saying "wild rhetoric". You are entitled to your belief that the reports you get are from "reputable" sources and we're entitle to ours - especially those we get from "unembeded" sources and we know they are not "wild rhetoric". Why is it okay for you to "presume" that nurses are going to work as nurses, etc but not okay for us to believe that they are going into a possible immediate and imminent danger? The mind set that people should be grateful for the crumbs they get even if they have to be thrown into hell fire to get the crumbs is what perpetuates this problem of exploitation.
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