The argument about President Bio not going to the United States has been going on for some time now.

This debate has come up again because President Julius Maada Bio is expected to attend his maiden United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in the United States of America where UNGA will meet as President of Sierra Leone.

It is believed that Julius Maada Bio in the 2012 elections which he lost to former President Koroma made several fruitless attempts to enter the United States using Canada to prove to Sierra Leoneans that he will enter United States.

Even in the 2018 elections, pro-Bio newspapers trumpeted that he would be going to the US and that he has no problem with the US.

But President Bio himself confessed on local television and radio station in the build up to the 2018 elections that he had personal issues with the United States but that if he becomes President and the US bars him from entering their country, he will do same to them.

Facts are that the United States domestic policies have no way to affect proscribed leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly.

“The United States is obligated to admit foreign nationals to travel to the United Nations under the 1947 U.N. Headquarters Agreement, which based the organization in New York City,” an international diplomat maintained

That in 1988 when the Reagan administration of the United Nations refused to give clearance to former Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat from attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, the UN moved the assembly from New York to Geneva.

That Indian Premier, Narendra Modi who is barred from entering the US in his personal capacity has been attending  UNGA as Prime Minister of India.

“The George W. Bush administration considered denying a visa to then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, before his first trip to New York in 2005, but decided to grant it,” the Diplomat explains.

That Gadafi, Mugabe are also leaders who attended the UN Summit and not United States of America.

“Therefore attending UNGA does not mean one is entering the US and one must not cross about 40 mile radius or so when doing that,” the diplomat maintained

That if it is true that President Bio has issues with the US, he will not be going to US but to UNGA except in cases where he has called for review of his immigration status.


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