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As they celebrate 8th Annual Armed Forces Day…

President Koroma cautions RSLAF

February 22, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

 President Ernest Bai Koroma, Commander -In-Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) and Minister of Defense, has during the Armed Forces Day celebration, warned members of the armed force against complacency and cautioned them to  refrain from any act that could bring back the bad memories of the country’s brutal and dark past.

He sounded the warning on Saturday, 18th February, 2017 during the ceremony at the Wilberforce Barracks Hockey Pitch.

He stated that the Armed Forces Day was a spectacular landmark day set aside each year to reflect on the role of the RSLAF to see how they could perform better.

He said the story of RSLAF was a bitter-sweet affair until quite recently when the they engaged in an overall transformation through enhanced and advanced training of all units, and that in the past recent years, the RSLAF, due to its heightened training, coupled with discipline and professionalism, has been a better and more focused military institution which was now contributing greatly to keeping the peace in countries such as Sudan, Somalia, Mali, Haiti, Lebanon and Nepal.

 He disclosed that  the country currently has two battalions on standby for use by the United Nations for peace keeping missions, adding that all that remained  now was to fully equip them with the requisite equipment and logistic, so that they would be better prepared to take up international duty when called upon to do so.

He commended all officers and other ranks for maintaining discipline, loyalty and for not doing anything that has the potential to derail all the good work which has put the RSLAF on the international spotlight as a professional military.

He further noted that he was satisfied that the RSLAF laid premium on education and commended them for introducing French Language into the curriculum of all ranks, thus praising  them for staying neutral during elections and for their high discipline, service to the nation and for their loyalty.

“My government is very serious about making the RSLAF better .That is why I am ensuring that work on the first phase of the Kambia Military Barracks will soon commence, while the Gondama and Wilberforce barracks phase two programme are underway,” he said.

He also presented meritorious awards for long service, dedication; professional among other attributes to ten nominees.

Speaking earlier, Head of Media and Public Relations for the RSLAF, Colonel Usman Turay, said the day was set aside to celebrate men and women in the Army, both living and dead, that had sacrificed to serve the nation.

He said the RSLAF has contributed greatly to the development of the country, as they have fought in various countries including in the Economic Community of West African States’ Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) in Liberia and also in the 11 years civil war in the country.

He said they have participated in peace keeping operations in the People’s Democratic of Congo, Sudan and recently in Somalia.