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Sierra Leone News: Parliament enacts Citizenship Amendment Act 2017

Members of Parliament (MP’s), on Wednesday 5 July 2017, unanimously enacted into law the Bill, “The Citizenship Amendment Act 2017, after exhaustive deliberations.
The Bill amends the Citizenship Act of 1973 and takes into consideration the amendment made to the Citizenship Act in 2006, providing for citizenship by birth to be granted through the mother.
Presenting the Bill to the House of Parliament, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Alfred Palo Conteh, explained that for far too long their female folks have not been captured in the Citizenship Act of 2006, citing section 5 of the Act of 1973, which he maintained should be repealed and replaced.
According to him, the replacement should contain, “Every person born outside Sierra Leone on or after the 19 April 1971 of a father or mother who was or would but for the death of the person, have been a citizen of Sierra Leone by birth”.
The Minister disclosed that the Bill aimed at amending Section 5 of the Citizenship Act of 1973 to take into cognizance the amendment made to the Citizenship Act of 2006, wherein citizenship by birth can now be granted directly through the mother. He maintained that the new clause proposes the insertion of the word “mother” to take into the 2006 amendment.
Hon. Rosaline Jariatu Smith appreciated the effort and work of the government in giving rights to Sierra Leonean women who gave birth to children with foreign fathers.
Hon. Paramount Chief Bai Kurr Kanagbaro Sankah III, described the amendment as “clean”, calling on the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Immigration department to address the issues of people who have Sierra Leonean Passports but are not Sierra Leoneans, which both the Leader of the House and the Acting Minority Leader, Hon. Leonard S. Fofanah and Hon. Sidie Tunis, supported.
AMK/5/7/17
By Alhaji M. Kamara
Thursday July 06, 2017.

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