February 8, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) has warned men and women of the force to desist from erecting structures in barracks because it was illegal.
It could be recalled that the army sometime ago launched an operation code-named “Operation Restore Dignity”, which was meant to demolish illegal structures in military barracks across the country.
That operation though failed to yield any dividend.
That notwithstanding, Lieutenant-General Samuel O. Williams has insisted that the position of the military high command had always been that it was not legitimate for officers to build structures in barracks even though he admitted accommodation deficiency.
He confirmed that “Operation Restore Dignity” was virtually dead for reasons he didn’t disclose, but added that a moratorium had been placed on personnel wishing to put up new structures within barracks.
“The ideal situation is no serving member of the army is allowed to build or put up a structure in barracks. The ground they are going to put up such structure is not theirs but the property of the armed forces. We have now place a moratorium on it,” he said.
Lieutenant-General Williams noted however that it was their responsibility to provide accommodation for military personnel.
To that end, he disclosed that construction was ongoing for eight accommodation blocks with six apartments each, which he said would partially address the problem of accommodation for officers within the Western Area.
“It is not a solution to our accommodation deficiency but it is a way of addressing it. We are also currently rehabilitating our barracks facilities across the country to ease the burden,” he stated.
The Chief of Defence Staff praised his officers and men for their role in the Ebola fight.
The virus has threatened to rear its ugly head again after two positive cases were reported in Kambia and Tonkolili districts, northern Sierra Leone, last month, with one dead.
“We have also redeployed a small number of our personnel in Tonkolili District as a result of the re-emergence of the Ebola virus in that part of the country,” he disclosed.