From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone Gives 18 Acres to ECOWAS!
By Awareness Times News
Jul 16, 2010, 17:10

Shortly before President  Ernest Koroma flew out of Sierra Leone past Wednesday July 14th 2010, he officially handed over 18 acres of prime land at Lungi to the regional body of the Economic Community of West African States-ECOWAS. The land was received by Head of ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho at an auspicious ceremony held at the Lungi International Airport.

The land in question is to be used to develop a modern Peace Support Operations Facility at Lungi that would serve as an established rapid response depot to assist ECOWAS operations geared towards sustaining peace, democracy and good governance in the West Africa subregion.

President Koroma during the ceremony, spoke of his desire to have the entire ECOWAS region achieve the dream of peace and tranquillity so as to enable citizens to be able to move freely without fear of conflict or fear for their lives or safety as they did so.

Ambassador Gbeho recalled those dark days past in the early nineties when the subregion was engulfed in strife and informed a desire to combat a return to those days was the catalyst for Heads of States in the region to decide to have an operational depot that was eventually chosen to be located within Sierra Leone.

Speaking also, Sierra Leoneís Finance Minister Dr. Samura Kamara described the Depot as not a Military Base per se but a reservoir for logistic requirements needed for any emergency humanitarian interventions as well as support governance processes in ECOWAS countries.

Traditional rulers, Chiefs and a cross-section of the locals in the Lungi environs graced the event.

Meanwhile, President Koroma and wife, First Lady Sia Koroma both flew out of Sierra Leone immediately following the official Handing-Over ceremony at the airport in order to be present at the graduation ceremony of the First Coupleís Eldest daughter, Alice Koroma, who is graduating this week, with an Honours degree in Law, from Law School in UK.

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