President Julius Bio of Sierra Leone has declared that those found guilty of rape and defilement of minors would be jailed for life.
"With immediate effect, sexual penetration of minors is punishable by life imprisonment.""Some of our families practice a culture of silence and indifference towards sexual violence, leaving victims even more traumatized. We as a nation must stand up and address this scourge,'' the President stated.President Bio also announced the establishment of a new police division to investigate sexual violence, a special magistrate court that would handle such cases and a public hotline specifically for reporting sexual violence, while calling on all all government owned hospitals to provide free medical treatment and certificates to all victims of sexual violence.
There has been national outcry over the increasing rate of sexual violence in the Sierra Leone .
Sierra Leoneans have called on government to introduce stringent rape laws following the rape of a 5-year-old girl by her 28-year-old male relative.
The attack crippled the girl's spine, leaving her paralyzed for life.
A community in Sierra Leone is hopeful that a court ruling which ordered an international palm oil company to return a big block of land to its owners would be a source of empowerment for them to retake control of their land and resources.
In the course of the case the court discovered that the land in Port Loko district, northern Sierra Leone, was leased to a Singapore-based palm oil company, Siva Group, in 2011, but for three years it failed to fulfill its rent obligations to landowners.
In its judgment the court ordered the return of the 41,500 hectares (103,000 acres)to the community and a imposed $250,000 fine.
Lawyers for the case disclosed that this was the first time in the history of Sierra Leone that a community would win back land leased to a foreign company.
Over two million Primary and Secondary scholl students in Sierra Leone will benefit from the free education policy of government is will commence this month.
During his Presidential campaign, President Julius Maada Bio had promised to introduce free qualitative education, this h e restated in mid August, with anohter promise to donate three months of salary to the cause.
The spokesman for the country's Education Ministry, Michael Turay described the policy as laudable.
"For the first time in the history of education in Sierra Leone, a political administration is pronouncing free quality education for kids from pre-primary school, right to senior secondary school."
"This is a very laudable but ambitious national programme," Turay stated.