President Koroma has disclosed during the seventh annual Armed Forces Day held last Thursday at the Hockey Pitch, Wilberforce Barracks that the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) LEOBATT II will go on peacekeeping to Sudan as the negotiation is at an advance stage.
He commended the military for their tremendous role in the ebola fight as well as the UN and AU missions they have participated in and said he is confident that they will do more because his government is supporting them in all areas.
“Currently, we are supporting the military in constructing new barracks and expanding existing ones. I will be at Gondama this month to open the new barracks they have built.”
President Koroma said he is happy that they have the tailoring and agricultural departs that are functioning well and hoped they will continue to work for the government and people of Sierra Leone.
“As we celebrate this day, we need as citizens across this country, to pause and reflect on the sacrifices of the officers, men and women of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), both at home and abroad.”
The Commander in Chief of the Army said the Armed Forces Week celebration, therefore, is in recognition of the victories achieved during operations in WW 1& 2 – in India, Burma and the Cameroons. Also, the military fought gallantly in ECOMOG, Liberia and in DR Congo, Sudan and recently in Somalia. “As we celebrate these victories, we shall never lose sight of our fallen compatriots who sacrificed their lives for our survival. We shall always remember them.”
He said his government will continue to support the military develop their potential in all areas so that they will be effective in Peacekeeping and to maintain security around our borders.
“Our country is on the move. And the armed forces are also marching with us into a brighter future. That is why, under our democratic leadership, they are securing the peace. That is why, with our support, they have established agricultural farms to enhance our food security. That is why, with our guidance, the Armed Forces Engineering Unit are partnering with a civil engineering company to support our infrastructural development. That is why, with the people’s resources, and our commitment to their welfare, we have restored their rice supplies, increased their salaries and commenced the building of new accommodation blocks at Gondama and other places.”
Preisdent Koroma said with increasing revenues, they shall do more for the military because they are also doing more for this nation. He said his government will relentlessly continue to capacitate the RSLAF to meet the growing demand for addressing local security issues as well as participation in International Peace Support Operations.
“As training is a hallmark of professionalism, lots of training opportunities are now open to members of the RSLAF, and these run across all ranks. We are creating more opportunities for women to be enlisted both as officers and other ranks and be able to compete with their male counterparts.”
Director of Media Relations of the military, Col. Mark Turay, reading the citation, said they want to assure the Government and People of Sierra Leone of RSLAF’s preparedness and commitment in sustaining the peace and development of the country.
He averred that the Armed Forces Day is commemorated on 18 February because it was on that day in 2002 that the late President Alhaji Dr Ahmad Tejan Kabbah officially declared the 11 year rebel war over in Sierra Leone.
“The day is observed in Freetown and the two provincial Brigade Headquarters in Bo and Makeni.”