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Sierra Leone government vows to protect image of its soldiers

By Edward Marah 

Sierra Leone government vows to protect image of its soldiers

Sierra Leone government vows to protect image of its soldiers

The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and Commander-In-Chief of the Republic of Sierra
Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has told officers and newly recruited personnel of the force that as officers they are the custodians of the country’s territorial integrity which they should strive to protect at all time.

He made the revelation last Friday 29th July, 2011 at the passing-out and decoration ceremony of thirty-eight second and substantive lieutenants and over one hundred private soldiers and officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) at the Benguema Military Training Garrison inFreetown.

President Ernest Bai Koroma noted that as officers they should efficiently discharge their constitutional responsibility by protecting the country’s air, land and sea territorial integrity and the constitution of the state.

President Koroma described the training as rigorous and hoped that the officers would live up to  xpectations in the discharge of their constitutional duty, and assured them of Government’s continuous
commitment to upgrading their capabilities and enhancing their welfare with improved conditions of service.

President Koroam pledges his Government’s continuous commitment in ensuring that the RSLAF’s
image is fully protected at all times, stressing that the display of bravery, diligence and dedication to their work in diverse professional military skills both at home and in international peacekeeping missions cannot be over emphasized.

He also reminded officers of RSLAF of its duty, adding that as trained personnel they should be
consciously dedicated to duty, honour and country as custodians of the nation’s defense and not substitute words for actions, but master themselves with high.

The Training Officer Colonel D.T.O. Taluvah disclosed that the personnel went through basic military and specialized training for senior, junior commissioned and non commissioned officers, including infantry
and other skills which ensured their deployment on peacekeeping missions to various parts of the world with the United Nations, African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States.

Founded in 1961 at Independence on the model of the British colonial masters, the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces is now operating on a unified service structure consisting of well over 12,000
personnel with decentralised branches, including peacekeeping deployments in various postings across the globe.

So far, the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma has made significant progress in restructuring the Armed Forces and improving access to justice and key economic rights- notably health care and education.

RSLAF personnel are currently taking part in international peacekeeping missions in Dafur, Sudan and other parts of the world and actively participating in the ECOWAS Standby Forces in the sub-region.

It could be recalled that during the last Armed Forces Day, President Koroma vowed to improve the welfare of the military, which is reflected in the present conditions of service of RSLAF personnel as they now receive a monthly one bag rice quota, uniforms, quarters and salaries paid on time.

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