His Excellency President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma today attended the handing over ceremony of military items to the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and signing of Memorandum of Understanding for the upgrading of the 34 Military Hospital . The Charge D’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy Mr Wang Xinmin, represented the Chinese Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of Sierra Leone at the Joint Force Headquarters, Cockerill.
Immediately after the handing over ceremony, President Koroma will make a stop over at the Joint Logistics Unit at Murray Town to inspect gifted items, including medical supplies also donated by the People’s Republic of China.
STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT DURING THE HANDING OVER CEREMONY OF CHINESE MILITARY AID GRATIS TO THE REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE ARMED FORCES (RSLAF)JUNE 16, 2016
“We still have challenges but the RSLAF today is far from what people used to know of it ten years ago. Ten years ago, even the Government of the day was not proud of this noble institution; ten years ago, the RSLAF did not enjoy the recognition and dignity it deserved; ten years ago, the RSLAF was looked at as an institution for dropped – outs. But all of that was ten years ago. The dark days for our armed forces are no more. Today, we are at the threshold of transforming our military, of improving conditions of service; of raising the standards of service and of ensuring that you are good enough to serve your country, to serve Africa and the World at large.”
“Today, the story of our gallant women and men of the armed forces is a positive one; a story of pride; a story of hard work; a story of patriotism, and, above all, a story of perseverance. During the Ebola outbreak, our gallant women and men of the RSLAF risked their own lives to save the lives of their compatriots. After the great flood of last year, Sierra Leoneans were filled with pride for the role played by the military to help flood victims. Internationally, members of RSLAF have been making us proud. They have been excelling in peacekeeping operations, both with the United Nations and African Union Missions which is why today, there is a high demand for Sierra Leonean soldiers for international peacekeeping missions. I salute you for your service to the nation; I salute you for your bravery, for your professionalism and for your commitment to maintaining peace and stability, especially in the face of violent extremism plaguing our world.”
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Adapted from snippets of information provided by the State House Communications Unit