John Baimba Sesay-Freetown
On behalf of His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma who is Minister of Defence and Commander in Chief of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces(RSLAF),Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh informed the Republic of Sierra Leone Amed Forces that Government would do all it could to build on their capacity “to the highest level of professionalism in the dischareg of their responsibilities”.
Vice President Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh spoke on Friday 24th April at the official handing over ceremony of 6(Six) newly constructed Billets, a Guard Room and a Borehole at the Peace Mission Training Centre, at Hastings, Freetown.
According to the Vice President, after Sierra Leone’s civil war in 2002, there was the urgent need to “reform, restructure and transform the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces” with the aim of capacitating them to be able to respond timely and efficiently to challenges that would require their interventions.
This transformation, he went on, was to happen through the efforts of successive Governments and with the support of the country’s International Development Partners like the United Kingdom, United States of America, the PR China, Ghana and Nigeria as well as Regional and International Organizations Like ECOWAS, AU, and the UN who gave to RSLAF, support in the form of providing logistics, equipments and training “which had, and continue to enhance the professional standard of the
The handing over ceremony of newly constructed Billets, Guard Room and Borehole, the Vice President said, was a remarkable gesture from the United Kingdom through the International Security and Advisory Team (ISAT).
The Vice President expressed optimism, that the 6 Billets for trainees, a Guard Room, and a Bore Hole will “not only minimize the existing infrastructural challenges, but also, enhance professionalism in the RSLAF.” With these additional facilities, he said, the RSLAF will continue to excel both at home and at the International Peace Support and Enforcement Operations.
On behalf of the President and People of Sierra Leone, VP Foh thanked all those who in diverse ways contributed to the execution of the project whilst giving special thanks to the Government of the United Kingdom adding that , as a country, Sierra Leone looks forward to “taking our relationship with the United Kingdom and all our Partners to another productive level in the coming years”
On existing challenges facing the RSLAF, Vice President Foh said, “Government is aware of these challenges and along the lines of those challenges and beyond, a number of projects and programmes have been outlined, and the Road Maps to implementing them are clearly defined”
“Some of these projects include the on-going construction of the family accommodation in Gondama Barracks in the Southern Region; the provision of new fleet of vehicles currently in the RSLAF inventory and reconstruction work at Wilberforce Barracks”.
These works, he said, were halted as a result of the Ebola outbreak in the country, but that they however “remain at the heart of Government” and shall recommence on the eradication of the Ebola Virus Disease.
The Vice President used the occasion to extend heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the RSLAF for their contribution in containing the Ebola Virus Disease in the country.
Present at the handing over ceremony were the Chief of Defense Staff, Samuel O Williams, the British High Commissioner Peter West, Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President, Member of Parliament for the Hastings Constituency, Senior Military and Local Government Officials, Headmen of the Hastings Community,