NPRC Junta


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    Join date : 2010-09-22

    NPRC Junta

    Post by kosovohp on Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:39 am

    On 29 April 1992, a group comprising a colonel and seven junior officers in the Sierra Leonean army, apparently frustrated by the government's failure to deal with the rebels and to pay salaries, launched a military coup which sent president Momoh into exile in Guinea.[32] The officers were Colonel Yahya Kanu, an ethnic Temne; the ethnic Mendes Captain Solomon A. J. Musa; Captain Julius Maada Bio, and Lieutenant Sahr Sandy; ethnic Konos Captain Samuel Komba Kambo and Captain Komba Mondeh; the Creole Captain Valentine E. M. Strasser; and the ethnic Kissi Second Lieutenant Tom Nyuma. Sandy was said to have insisted to his colleagues on the second day of the action that theirs would no longer be a revolt over pay but a revolution to overthrow the APC and the system of one-party politics. Sandy was the only soldier killed during the coup, allegedly by his adoptive uncle, APC member Colonel S.I.M. Turay. Turay was declared wanted for the murder of Sandy by the NPRC junta, but managed to escape to Guinea, where he joined the exiled president. Colonel Yahya Kanu was the very popular commander of the fearless Tiger Battalion which was at the forefront in the war against the RUF under president Momoh. The officers established the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC). Kanu was not formally declared head of the new junta. In an interview with the BBC Focus on Africa program, he even refused to acknowledge that the revolt was a coup by his men, yet he was seen as the de facto leader of the NPRC.

    Later, however, Kanu was arrested and imprisoned by his junior officers, who accused him of trying to negotiate a compromise with the toppled APC administration. Kanu's arrest divided the army into two rival groups, namely, his Tiger Battalion and Tom Nyuma's Cobra Battalion and their respective supporters. On April 29, 1992, Valentine Strasser took over as leader and chairman of the NPRC and Head of State of Sierra Leone. Strasser became the youngest Head of State in the world, just three days after his 27th birthday. 25 year-old S.A.J. Musa, a close friend of Strasser and an officer in Kanu's feared Tiger Battalion, was named Vice-Chairman of the NPRC. Many Sierra Leoneans nationwide rushed into the streets to celebrate the NPRC's takeover from the 23-year dictatorial APC regime, which they perceived as corrupt. The NPRC junta immediately suspended the 1991 Constitution, declared a state of emergency, banned all political parties, limited freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and enacted a rule-by-decree policy, in which soldiers were granted unlimited powers of administrative detention without charge or trial, and challenges against such detentions in court were precluded. The NPRC Junta maintained relations with ECOWAS and strengthened support for Sierra Leone-based ECOMOG troops fighting in Liberia. In his first speech as head of state, Strasser reassured the world of meeting his country's obligations to her creditors, and making a commitment to the IMF and the World Bank to accelerate the economic reform process started by Momoh's government in 1989 aimed at stabilizing the severely crippled economy. Shortly after that, Strasser negotiated a Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) with these two institutions. The junta formed the Supreme Council of State (SCS), made up of only members NPRC—the six surviving leaders mentioned above—chaired by Strasser himself. They also appointed an advisory council of retired senior civil servants and academics, chaired by a retired UN administrator Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. These men were all regarded as untainted by the 23 years of alleged APC mismanagement, corruption and abuse of power.

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