Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Juxon-Smith, the new military leader of Sierra Leone, in an interview in Freetown on Friday, placed the blame for his country's present difficulties on the politicians.
Establishing shots of Freetown; Colonel Juxon-Smith speaking (SOF).
SOUND ON FILM BEGINS.
QUESTIONER: But the people will they accept this military government?
JUXON-SMITH: I haven't got the slightest doubt. One of our officers, Major...... went to the provinces and his reports and observations were that the people were relieved, in fact that the army had stepped in. Because they themselves were so fed up with the political rivalries. I grew up in this country and during my boyhood days I never knew I was, one tribe was different from another. There was certainly not inter-tribal rivalries or bitterness and it is only since politics came that I became a .... and you became a .... and wouldn't sit down together. Surely, what we are trying to do now, not only rectifying the finance we are also going to rectify the moral aspect of the State which is a necessary element of it so that Mr. X who comes from the northern most part of the country should be able to sit down with Mr. Y, who comes from the south and discuss things. They wouldn't necessarily see eye to eye, no two persons think alike, but they should be able to arrive at a compromise and when they do strike a compromise they should both be able to honour that compromise.
QUESTIONER: But you are blaming fairly and squarely the politicians for this.
JUXON-SMITH: Most definitely. They have run the situation so recklessly and so poorly, I mean they were all fighting for power. Those who had it didn't want to give up and we would have failed in our duty, by that I mean the army and the police, to our country and to posterity and to the world if we had let the blood of our brothers and sisters run the streets of Freetown just to fill up somebody's pockets.
QUESTIONER: Thank you very much.
SOUND OF FILM ENDS.
EDITORS: OUR PROD. NO. 3050/67 "SIERRA LEONE: "COLONEL JUXON-SMITH TELLS NEWSMEN IN FREETOWN THAT HIS REGIME WILL REMOVE TRIBALISM" SERVICE 31 MARCH, 1967 REFERS.
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Background: Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Juxon-Smith, the new military leader of Sierra Leone, in an interview in Freetown on Friday, placed the blame for his country's present difficulties on the politicians. Colonel Juxon-Smith, a British trained officer, was appointed chairman of the National Reformation Council after last week's coup.
A career soldier Colonel Juxon-Smith joined the Sierra Leone army in 1951 and was commissioned in 1953 after graduating from Britain's Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.
He professes to follow both Moslem and Christian religions, attending both church and Mosque at times, and since his return many of his public pronouncements have referred to "the help of Almighty God". He relaxes by reading philosophical works, especially the works of Plato. He is married with a ten-month-old son.
Colonel Juxon-Smith spoke to reporters on Friday.....