Sierra Leone war-time leader Ahmad Tejan Kabbah dies

Sierra Leone has announced a week of mourning

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Sierra Leone's ex-president and war-time leader Ahmad Tejan Kabbah has died at the age of 82 after a long illness.

He died on Thursday afternoon at his home in the capital, Freetown, with his wife and close family members at his side, reports say.

In a statement, Sierra Leone's government said Mr Kabbah's death was an "irreparable loss".

Mr Kabbah was praised for his leadership during and after Sierra's Leone's decade-long civil war.

Tens of thousands died in the conflict, with many more maimed and raped.

The rebel Revolutionary United Front's trademark was to hack off the hands or feet of their victims.

The conflict officially ended in 2002 after foreign forces intervened to help defeat the rebels.

'Peace and stability'

Mr Kabbah was first elected president in 1996, ending a decade of military rule. He was briefly ousted in a military coup the following year before being restored to power by a West African regional force.

He won a landslide victory in the 2002 elections and was praised for maintaining peace and establishing democratic institutions, although he was also criticised for failing to tackle poverty.

"If we are now enjoying peace and stability in Sierra Leone, there is no way President Kabbah could be dissociated from that," government spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay said on Thursday.

Born in 1932, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah began his career in public service in 1959, rising to become the youngest permanent secretary in the country in the late 1960s.

He then spent 21 years working for the UN Development Programme, based in New York, Lesotho and Tanzania.

In 2012 the UN-backed Sierra Leone war crimes court in The Hague convicted former Liberian leader Charles Taylor of aiding and abetting war crimes in the Sierra Leone civil war.

He was the first former head of state convicted by an international court since the Nuremburg military tribunal of Nazis after World War II.

Did you ever meet Ahmad Tejan? What are your memories of him? Read your comments.

Former President Kabbah is a charismatic Leader with huge focus to his people. He succeeded with other Peace Keeping Bodies to bring a sustainable PEACE in Sierra Leone. Ex President Kabbah is full of tolerance in any aspect of life, he introduce Child Rights Acts in Sierra Leone wherein Children's Right in Sierra Leone is now observed, the National Youth Policy, the Women (Gender) Acts, the National Revenue Authority (NRA) etc. Such a man can never be forgotten in the history of Sierra Leone, at the Sierra Leone level he is our MANDELA who fought for FREEDOM in Sierra Leone. Rest In Peace EX. President Kabbah as you have done all your assignment assign to you by God so it's time for you to take your rest.

Alhalji Alhassan Sesay, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Dr. Tejan Kabba was a Statesman who believes in nations cohesion and good governance. He has respect for the rule of law and will be truly missed by all Sierra Leoneans. he is tolerant and creates opportunities for the young people of Sierra Leone.He has set high standard for governance in Sierra Leone

Michael Katta, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Late Ahmad Tejan Kabba was a selfless man who agreed to share power with the rebels for the peace and benefit of the common man. He will be remembered as the man who secured the future of Sierra Leonean workers by introducing the National Social Security and Insurance Trust - giving us a reason to be alive. No one else could have moved Sierra Leone from the brinks of collapse to the threshold of prosperity with the time Pa Kabba did. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

Shecku Kawusu Mansaray, Bonthe Island, Sierra Leone

I met Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in 1998 while he was exiled in Guinea(Conakry). He was a very concerned about his country and its people. He will remain one of the leaders that has the greatest impact in Sierra Leonean society. May his soul rest in peace -amen

Amadu Barrie, New York, US

He is not just a great lose for sierra leone but africa as a whole.He will be always remembered for his democratical values on issues. may Allah grant him erfect rest.

walanmicheal, Sierra Leone

As a young editor working for the Concord Times newspaper in Sierra Leone, I once asked President Kabbah in the run-up to the 2002 Presidential elections about why he was very much concerned, even upset, about many political parties in the country when he should have been actually celebrating that the opposition was disunited. His response that we did not need dozens of political parties surprised me. I could not help but take a photograph with him after that meeting with senior journalists. I still have the photograph which I will show to my grandchildren in future. Not surprisingly, Kabbah, who had just ended the civil war, won the 2002 elections by a landslide. Rest in peace, Pa Kabbah.

Sulaiman Momodu, Monrovia, Liberia

: I have been following this man profile for a long time when he was working for the UN. He is a man with dignity and pride, he loves his country Sierra Leone this is the reason why he left his Lucrative Job at the UN to served his people. The Government of sierra Leone should give him a befitting buried.

Francis T. Railey, Liberia

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