June 10, 2019
By: Frederick V. Kanneh
Some police officers who were among the 159 peace keeping force that left the shores of Sierra Leone on April 2018 to Somalia has told concord Times that they were yet to receive their peace Keeping Packages months after they arrived in Sierra Leone.
Explaining their concerns to this press, the officers claimed that the current situation was far different from what they were told by the Government of Sierra Leone with regards their peace keeping packages.
According to them, they were told that their packages would have been available to them immediately they arrived in Sierra Leone, adding that, the manner at which the police heads were reacting to them in relation to their packages, was adding more salt to injuries.
They noted that, they were mocked by some of their counterparts who had gone on peacekeeping mission before, and that they were not expecting any delay in having their packages as they had genuinely worked for them.
“We are very much disappointed in the fact that up till this moment we are yet to receive our packages. We want the government to know that we risked our lives in another man’s country. We abandoned our families for a whole year; thus, these packages are our sweats and blood, and therefore we must have them and on time,” said one of the O.S.D officers who begged anonymity.
However, Head of police media, Superintendent Brima Kamara, confirmed to concord Times that the 159 police officers were yet to receive their peace keeping packages.
He added that, the government of Sierra Leone was not responsible for the delay in the payment of their packages, but the United Nations that supposed to have sent their monies to the African Union’s account.
He said the African Union in turn should send the monies into the account of the Sierra Leone Police.
He said the United Nations have neither paid peace keepers’ monies nor the one they owe the Government of Sierra Leone.
He said even though the 159 police officers were yet to receive their peace keeping packages, but that the Government of Sierra Leone had given them their full monthly salaries including their rice supplies till date.
He said it was the first time Sierra Leone embarked on reform peacekeeping operation system called ‘Formed Police Unit,’ since the country began participating in international peacekeeping.
He said the Sierra Leone government was willing to pay the peace keepers as soon as the monies reflect in the Sierra Leone police account.
“They are not alone in that position. As a country, our vendors who supplied us the ammunition and the equipment used in that mission are on our necks for their monies. We have always told them that as a government, we have done all the paper work, and that as soon as the monies reflect in our account, we will give it to them,” he said.