BBC Journalist, four others face deportation from Cameroon


Sierra Leone’s BBC Sport Journalist Mohamed Fajah Barrie who was supposed to cover the Sierra Leone vs Cameroon 2015 AFCON matches in Yaoundé awaits deportation.

Mr Barrie will be deported with four others, Sierra Leone Sports writers Association Secretary General Frank Magnus Cole, Mohamed Kelfala Sesay Sport commentator, and two Leone Stars officials James Fofanah and M.A. Kabba in the early hours of Monday 13 October 2014.

Photo: Mohamed Fajah Barrie with Sierra Leone President His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma

According to the renowned BBC Sport Journalist Mohamed Fajah Barrie, who is also the Sports Writers Association President in Sierra Leone; a police commissioner earlier today already confirmed their deportation.

“A Police commissioner has just had a meeting with Sierra Leonean Sports Journalists in Yaoundé to cover Sierra Leone Vs Cameroon 2015 AFCON matches and has informed the journalists that they together with two Leone Stars officers James Fofanah and M.A. Kabba will be deported to Sierra Leone tomorrow morning.

Report coming in suggested that all three journalists were not included in the Sierra Leone delegation list by the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) that they are free from Ebola and because of the Ebola scare the Cameroon authorities put up several procedures to protect their territory.

Upon arrival in Cameroon Fajah Barrie first posted on his social media Facebook page Wednesday the 8 October approximately 17:51pm.

“Thanks to Allah for his travel mercies as we arrived safely in Yaoundé via Casablanca and Douala this morning we were able to land on time to watch Leone Stars first training session.

“It took place under the watchful eyes of the Sports Ministry backed coaches Atto Mensah and John Sama. The SLFA appointed Coaches John Ajina Sesay and Abdulai Bah are due to arrive in Yaoundé tomorrow, Thursday. It’s going to interesting!!!

Surprisingly Fajah posted the next day “Breaking news: Sports journalists Mohamed Fajah Barrie, Frank Cole and Mohamed Kelfala Sesay plus James Fofanah have been prevented from leaving their Felicia hotel by Cameroonian Immigration officers and police because they say our names are not in the list of delegation presented to the Cameroonian FA by the SLFA.

“As usual SWASAL wrote letter to the SLFA asking them to include us in their list, we even followed up with telephone calls to both the SLFA and Sports ministry and we were assured that our names would be included.

Instructions have been given to police officers at the entrance of the hotel not to allow us to step out of the hotel….This is really embarrassing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Football Sierra Leone on several occasions have tried contacted the Cameroon FA to verified the rationale behind the five deportation, still awaits there response.

However, Cameroon’s Minister of Communication and government spokesperson Issa Tchiroma Bakari told VOA on the 9th October that they were not in any way stigmatizing Sierra Leone, but simply helping to stop Ebola’s spread.

He calls on Cameroonians to be welcoming, but not to go close to the visitors.
“All protective measures taken during the stay of the Sierra Leone football delegation in Cameroon are not intended to stigmatize members of this delegation,” he said.

“The measures undertaken are intended to guarantee their health and at the same time prevent any unfortunate contamination to occur during their stay.”

The Sierra Leone Football Association is unavailable to comment.


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