From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Army Chief of Defence Staff Commends Troops
By Aruna Turay
Mar 26, 2009, 17:11

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Major General A.C. Nelson-Williams, over the weekend, congratulated the gallant men and women of the RSLAF, in an assessment address to the Troops held at the Wilberforce Barracks Hockey Pitch in Freetown.

Addressing the gallant men and women, the CDS informed that Sierra Leone is the only country in the region that has been relatively peaceful and stable for the past couple of years. He said the RSLAF is no longer seen as a threat to democracy, and therefore largely trusted by the government and people of Sierra Leone.

"Today, the RSLAF is working to achieve its mission and tasks in a responsible manner. As a disciplined force, the RSLAF is a friendly and law abiding institution sharing a common desire with the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and the local population to move the country forward. I say congratulations for the professional way you have been conducting yourselves during the period under review", the CDS said.

He furthered that the military has gradually rebuilt its reputation as a disciplined force that is responsible for protecting the territorial integrity of the nation and subject to the constitutional authority with civilian oversight.

In this regard, he noted that the RSLAF now enjoys the respect and esteem of the civil populace and the international community to the extent that they are now considered once more as worthy ambassadors of Sierra Leone to participate in Peace Support Operations (PSO), which he noted is a laudable achievement.

He said "The new legislation on the payment of Disability Pension to members of the RSLAF which was laid on the table and ratified by parliament, is one of the important steps we have taken in this regard", adding that "In the military, we handle our indiscipline matters administratively, so let us allow politicians to make and correct themselves without the military meddling in politics".

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