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‘Give military morale, we will work for you’

…new CDS assures

April 14, 2016 By Mohamed Massaquoi

The new Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) has heartened Sierra Leoneans, including the media, to give support to security forces for their diligence in peacekeeping missions across the world, adding that criticising military personnel without any justification could reduce their morale, thus affecting efficiency and output.

Major General John Milton made the plea at a joint press briefing with Inspector General of Police Francis Alieu Munu at the Sierra Leone Police headquarters yesterday.

While giving an update on peacekeeping activities of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Maj-Gen. Milton said the RSLAF are currently preparing to take part in peacekeeping missions across the world and that a special United Nations Advisory Team was recently in the country to meet with the management of the Sierra Leone Police, the Armed Forces and other stakeholders to evaluate the state and preparedness of both forces to deploy in peacekeeping missions around the world, adding that RSLAF peacekeepers in Darfur and Somalia have displayed high professional standards while carrying out their responsibilities.

 “If you give us the moral, we can work for you. Peacekeeping mission is very important not only to the personnel but the entire nation, that is why every member of the Sierra Leonean society should give us the appropriate support,” he urged.

“The UN team looked at our logistics, training and other facilities. I am proud to say that they are pleased with our operations and with the level of equipment. This will help our forces because it will help our forces to be more professional and it will also bring in income to the personnel and the country as a whole,” he said and added that the UN team concluded that the RSLAF was combat ready to carry out peacekeeping duties.

IG Munu on the other hand noted that after the assessment the UN team gave recommendations and earmarked Sierra Leone for elevation to level 2 of the police capacity readiness system, which set in motion negotiation for a draft memorandum of understanding with the world body for a rapid deployment of personnel to missions across the world.

He said the SLP had been participating in peacekeeping missions around the world, including the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti and the UN Africa Union hybrid operations in Darfur.

“The SLP has contributed 554 officers comprising 165 females and 389 males to UN missions and Africa Union where they served in various capacities and professional areas. A robust training team has been put together and currently training is ongoing with Poly Group International and the SLP trainers at the Hastings Training School. The SLP in February 2013 reviewed its peacekeeping police from a gender perspective in upholding the UN guiding principles of inclusivity non-discrimination, standard setting and role modeling,” he said, adding that they are not responsible of intake after the examination as a special team from the UN decides who make the cut.

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