After about 20 years of closure, France has reopened its consulate in Freetown, the Foreign Affairs ministry said Thursday.

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The consulate will be answerable to the French embassy in Conakry, the capital of neighboring Guinea, the statement said.

The consulate was shut down at the height of the civil war. Until now Sierra Leoneans have hard to travel to Guinea or Ivory Coast to apply for a French visa.

But although this will still have to be processed in Conakry, it will be facilitated by the consul in Freetown.

The new Consul is Madam Rugue Kamara, who was praised for her effort in lobbying for the reopening of the consul.

Bertrand Cockery, French ambassador to Guinea and Sierra Leone, who is based in Conakry, was in Freetown to preside over the ceremony, the statement revealed.

Ebon Strasser King, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation, used the forum to extend condolence to the French government for the recent terrorist attack on the European country.