The Acting leader of the opposition All People's Congress (APC) party in the Sixth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone who also doubles as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs and International Relations Committee has delivered a statement at the Second Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform held in Prague, Czech Republic from 23rd to 24th October, 2023.
In his three minutes long address, Hon. Bangura began by requesting a silent moment in prayers for the people and children of Ukraine, before conveying Sierra Leone’s support to the cause of the people of Ukraine on behalf of the Speaker of the Sierra Leone Parliament Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu and President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada.
"Sierra Leone is a small country that does not have money or arms to give Ukraine but we will give you one thing - solidarity and support. We are going to stand behind you until the day we come back here not to talk about the war but to discuss the rebuilding of Ukraine." he affirmed.
He also expressed optimism that by the next Summit the war would have ended, urging the Russian Government to stop the war in the interest of the world, noting that his native Sierra Leone benefited from learning scholarship opportunities from Ukraine that have now been stifled by the ongoing war.
"Russia must stop this conflict with immediate effect. I urge everybody in this room that supports Ukraine to please let the support to the war be sustainable. Let us throw our support by redoubling our efforts and commitment and mobilize resources so that Ukraine can see this war through for the benefits of the world and democratic nations," Hon. Bangura emphasised.
He added that the West Africa subregion and block of ECOWAS is concerned by Russia's growing influence through its militarization policy and the presence of the Wagner Group, fueling instability in the region and continent.
He lamented the spate of military coups in west Africa which have been stated as having the involvement of Wagner and called for the inclusion of Ukraine into the European Union forthwith.
He ended by appreciating the government and people of Czech Republic for being a kind host, registering hope that their efforts will not be in vain to restore security and the territorial freedom of Ukraine from the hands of Russia.
Hon. Bangura and delegation (Hon. Princess Daramy and delegation clerk Madam Dumbuya) held sideline meetings with the President and Speaker of the Czech Republic both of whom registered huge appreciation and admiration for the powerful message delivered by Hon. Bangura.
It is worth mentioning that the Summit had earlier secured a Joint Declaration of the Participants of the Second Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform.
Following the establishment of the International Crimea Platform at its Inaugural Summit on 23 August 2021 representatives of national parliaments and parliamentary assemblies of international organizations participating in the International Crimea Platform (hereinafter referred to as "Participants") gathered in Prague, Czech Republic, on 24 October 2023 to hold the Second Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform, jointly organized by the Czech Republic and Ukraine.
Key amongst the declarations were the participants declaring their intent to encourage other states and inter- parliamentary organizations to join the International Crimea Platform, which serves as a mechanism for consolidating inter-parliamentary endeavors directed towards de-occupation and further reintegration of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol; consider the establishment of the Crimea Platform Support Groups in the parliaments of the Participants; reaffirm their resolute dedication to the principle of non-recognition of the attempted illegal annexation of Crimea, as well as attempts to illegitimately annex other Ukrainian territories, coupled with subsequent endeavors to incorporate these areas into the Russian Federation; reiterate our commitment to persistently apply and to further strengthen the sanctions against the Russian Federation, and diplomatic, economic and other appropriate measures, in order to exert pressure on the Russian Federation, as well as to counter sanctions circumvention; declare our readiness to provide support to the Ukrainian state in the process of development of reintegration strategies for the Crimean Peninsula as well as to assist Ukraine with their further implementation following the de-occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol; sustain the provision of political, diplomatic, military, financial, humanitarian, and other forms of assistance to Ukraine; to call on and raise with their international and regional partners, especially among other parliamentarians and parliaments, to support and join the Peace Formula of President Zelenskyy.