Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and Head of Mission to the European Union, Hon. Ibrahim Sorie is a trained and qualified teacher, but had abandoned the classroom almost four decades ago.
However, on Wednesday, 10th June, the envoy returned to his former profession to deliver lectures to a special set of students. These students are distinguished soldiers (one of whom is our own Sierra Leonean brother serving in the US Army, Santigi Kargbo, younger brother of Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Frank Kargbo) from 33 countries serving at the NATO Special Operation Force at their headquarters in Belgium.
Delivering a two-hour lecture on the topic, “Catalyst for Change”, Ambassador Sorie shared his experience on the security challenges facing the ECOWAS, sub-region in general and the Mano River Union countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Ivory Coast in particular. He dilated on the genesis of the Sierra Leone and Liberia armed conflicts and the enviable role played by the ECOWAS Military outfit, ECOMOG to bring these conflicts to a successful end.
Ambassador Sorie, however, admitted that though the ECOWAS sub-regional countries are enjoying some respite from armed conflicts, there are still many security challenges facing the region, ranging from constitutional manipulations, rampant corruption, drugs and human trafficking, sexual enslavement of women and other vices that have the propensity to revert the successes already achieved.
Ambassador Sorie further lectured on the conflicts in Mali and DR Congo, the latter of which he associated to the vast geographical and mineral deposit the country is endowed with and bordered by nine countries with less attractive minerals. He suggested a Federal system of government for DRC as a way of bringing lasting peace not only in DR Congo but the neighboring countries as well.
He further highlighted the role played by the International Community in reforming the Sierra Leone Military, Police and Judiciary which has significantly culminated to the level of confidence the citizens now have on these institutions as compared to the perception of the people for these vital institutions before and during the war.
The topic of the lecture, “Catalyst for Change” is a unique, multinational professional development course designed to prepare the special operatives Force soldiers and their civilian component in conflict resolutions to operate strategically within NATO’s comprehensive approach.
The course, according to the Commander of the Special Operations Force, USA Air Force, Lt General Marshall B Webb is geared to educate and broaden the SOF and partners to understand the increasingly complex, geostrategic environment and its challenges and examine the potential future of NATO.
By Chernor Ojuku Sesay
Sierra Leone Embassy,