Africa-Press – Sierra-Leone. Razoni, the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship was the first to leave port, carrying corn bound for Lebanon and other unspecified ships also would depart Ukraine according to a statement by the Turkish Defense Ministry.
Turkey and the United Nations brokered an agreement with Russia and Ukraine in late July to get grain exports going again amid a global food crisis that the U.N. says has been worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The deal calls for safe passage of cargo ships traveling from ports in Southern Ukraine through waters in the Black Sea that Russia has controlled since starting the war in late February.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the resumption of exports from Odesa.
“The day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, as the first Ukrainian grain leaves Odesa after months of Russian blockade,” Kuleba tweeted. “Ukraine has always been a reliable partner and will remain one should Russia respect its part of the deal.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday the departure of the first ship is “very positive.”
A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said ensuring grain can reach global markets “is a humanitarian imperative.”
“The Secretary-General hopes that this will be the first of many commercial ships moving in accordance with the Initiative signed, and that this will bring much-needed stability and relief to global food security especially in the most fragile humanitarian contexts,” Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
Dujarric added that the World Food Program plans to purchase 30,000 metric tons of wheat to load and ship out of Ukraine on a U.N.-chartered vessel.
Reacting to this development, the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles Esq,said it is quite an honour to know that the first ship carrying grain from the UN-brokered grain sale agreement between Ukraine and Russia in their ongoing conflict is doing so under the flag of Sierra Leone.
She furthered that it means the ship is registered with the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration.
“It means both Ukraine and Russia see us as neutral parties,” she stated adding how such speaks volume of peace for Sierra Leone internationally.
According to her, the country is no longer the “cut han, cut foot nation” as we were referred to as a result of our war and congratulated President Bio, the Government and People of Sierra Leone adding that we cannot afford to go back to war.
“As the elections approach let us strive to be peaceful, resolve all I mean all our differences in a peaceful manner,” she admonished cautioning that when trouble comes those with money easily leave the country and those without remain and suffer saying we have been through it enough and nothing should destabilize our beloved country again.
The Legal Aid Board Head maintained that Sierra Leone is the only place we call home and individuals must not allow personal ambitions override our obligations to the oncoming generations.
She said tensions are in all countries worldwide but that madness does not take over commonsense arguing that in an election one person wins and another person loses.
“Remember before you were born there were other Sierra Leoneans,after all of us die there are going to be other Sierra Leoneans,” she said adding that in whatever capacity one finds oneself must remember that he or she is now a custodian of this nation.
“Let not your action make Sierra Leonean history treat you harshly,” she cautions maintaining that always must strive to give his or her best, put country first.
She said there is an 18th Century English novel titled “Waiting for Godot’ in other words waiting for God arguing how from the day we are born to the day we die we are waiting for God.
“During that period we grow up, go to school, some marry and have a family, get jobs, some retire etc,” she said asserting that all those human pastimes are to fill time gap whilst waiting to go back to God.
She advised to be careful with things like power, or the fight for it, how we treat and care for people and how we go about our daily chores.
“Some of us may have jobs, some of us not, some may have money, some not but whatever you do remember God who you will provide for you,” she advice further stating that if the birds of the fields do find something to eat you will also find it.
“Remember in the midst of our miseries something good happens to keep us alive and so no need to create tension on either national issues or domestic ones,” she said.
She advised all to strive to be happy saying despite its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams it is a beautiful world and we must strive to be happy in whatever situations we find ourselves as no condition is permanent adding that we are not better than all those we have buried..