Sierra Leone’s CDS lobbies China to Support Africa’s Military
June 27, 2018
By Joseph S. Margai in Beijing
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Lt. Gen. Brima Sesay, has urged the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the People’s Republic of China, under the Central Military Commission, to support Africa militaries with modern and technological security courses.
The CDS, who was making a statement at the China-Africa Defense and Security Forum in Beijing on Tuesday, 26th June, said modern military was driven by improved technology, adding that because China’s army was advanced, not least in terms of technology, they should consider supporting their African counterpart.
According to him, because it’s better to teach someone how to fish than to give that person some fish, China should continue to provide African armies with advanced military courses, adding that the two weeks forum, which commenced on Tuesday, was a step in the right direction.
At the event, attended by two high ranking officers from 53 African countries, Lt. Gen. Sesay emphasised mutual cooperation and collaboration for interconnectedness in the area of defence and security in the African region.
“China as a developing country is a model for us in other developing nations. This is the right time for Chinese and African armies to come together and share ideas on how to solve the security problems of the African continent,” he urged.
The RSLAF CDS, who was impressed with the attendance of high ranking officers from various African countries, also noted that the forum marked the first China-Africa Defense and Security Forum organised by the Chinese Central Military Commission, adding that it was timely and significant.
He noted that the relationship between China and Africa was based on respect and mutual trust.
“This forum would motivate us to learn and implement new things in our various countries so as to further strengthen our militaries. We are even expecting more security and defence programmes from the Chinese army so that we will altogether promote peace and stability in both China and Africa,” he said.
He recalled that China deployed military personnel during Sierra Leone’s Ebola outbreak to help fight the disease, adding that they were there until the disease was contained.
Hu Changming, General Director of the Military International Office, Central Military Commission of China, said the forum was part of President Xi Jinping’s policy to promote a common interest, mutual respect and benefits, and to have a shared future for mankind.
He said China was moving at the central stage of the world and that it was important to bring development to the African continent through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
“China’s aim is to uphold international security and promote world peace. This forum is a strong foundation for a shared community. We have strong support and interest of both people (the Chinese and Africans). China and Chinese military will always continue to support Africans for peace and stability of the continent,” he said.
Hu said China was averse to cold war mentality as there was a need for collective security mechanism that would guarantee security of both China and Africa.
“China will support the military transformation for African countries, provide equipment and advanced technology for African militaries, and support in building Africa’s independent security,” he pledged.
He added that the two week forum would focus on many security issues that will transform Africa’s security sectors.