…Director of Research and Planning, ONS
November 30, 2015 Memunatu Bangura
Director of Research and Planning at the Office of National Security (ONS), Francis Langumba Keili, yesterday told newsmen that Sierra Leone was prepared to counter any form of terrorist attack in the country.
He said the ONS had been engaged in counter terrorism, terrorism strategies and implementation plans and in collaboration with the Law Officers Department provided technical support for drafting an anti-terrorism legislation in the country.
Mr. Keili said the ONS had engaged Islamic clerics and religious leaders to educate young people to eschew radicalisation and indoctrination by terrorists.
He admitted though that the terrorism was on the increase in the sub-region, adding that it was close to Sierra Leone, with the potential to creating panic and speculation among the populace.
“We are proactive in terms of preparations, we are more than prepare for any kind of national emergency that may occur,” he said.
The Director of Research at the ONS revealed they had trained officials in over twenty Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs) and thirty five private security agencies as part of efforts to strengthening security in the country.
He disclosed that the United States Embassy in Freetown had sponsored fifty Sierra Leoneans to train in disaster management and national emergencies in Accra, Ghana.
He told newsmen that ONS was at present recruiting more staff and had re-activated the district disaster committee to strengthening the level of security at district level.
“We all know that the threat of terrorism is great, ONS is working assiduously in ensuring that Sierra Leoneans are safe,” he said.
Mr. Keili was speaking in Freetown in the wake of the recent terrorist attack at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali where Islamist gunmen killed 19 and injured scores last week.
Fears have been expressed that other capitals in West Africa may not be safe as a result.