Adikalie Foday Sumah, who served as ambassador from Sierra Leone to the United Nations, recently established the Salone/Israel Friendship Organization, which works to change the voting patterns at the United Nations and the local government, and to strengthen relations between the two countries.
In 2018, Sumah – then ambassador – took part in a delegation of U.N. ambassadors led by Ambassador Danny Danon to Israel. After completing his term at the U.N., Ambassador Sumah returned to Sierra Leone and established the pro-Israel organization.
The visit to Israel, said Sumah, is what inspired him to establish the organization. “I came to Israel, I saw how powerful this country is, a country mixed with Jews, Christians and Muslims, and G-d has put it above everyone else,” he said. Sumah then encouraged the president of Sierra Leone to promote joint projects with Israel and a letter on the subject was also sent to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Last week, the organization held a press conference during which its members spoke of the need to establish embassies in their capitals and called on the Sierra Leone government to take action. The organization’s activities has received cross-party support in Parliament, as evidenced by the number of parliamentary members that attended a press conference that was decorated with Israeli flags. “Through Israel’s capabilities in the areas of education, technology and industry,” the parliamentary members said at the conference, “the sky is the limit for Sierra Leone.”
It should be noted that neither Israel nor Sierra Leone have embassies in their capitals. Israel is cultivating ties with Sierra Leone through its embassy in Senegal, while Sierra Leone maintains an honorary consul in Israel.
Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said that “Sumah’s initiative is yet another welcome testimony to the enormous contribution of the Ambassadors’ Delegations to the State of Israel. These ambassadors return to their positions at the United Nations and to their countries with a positive attitude toward Israel. This is reflected in the voting patterns towards Israel, in ongoing cooperation and, as we see in Sierra Leone, in the establishment of local pro-Israel organizations.”