Sierra Leone’s security stakeholders convened in Jendema and Zimmi to devise a strategic plan for enhanced vigilance along the border, as Liberia prepares for its forthcoming multi-tier elections.
Paramount Chief Massaquoi, representing the Sorogbema district, extended a warm welcome to the high-ranking delegation in Jendema. He underscored the porous nature of the border and praised the dedication of the security personnel in the chiefdom.
Abdulai Avayama Caulker, National Security Coordinator of the Office of National Security (ONS), conveyed greetings from President Julius Maada Bio to the people of Sorogbema.
He stressed the critical importance of strengthening security along the border to prevent any exploitation by individuals with malicious intent.
Caulker urged residents to promptly report any unfamiliar individuals to the Paramount Chief for further investigation.
Caulker emphasised the necessity of heightened vigilance at border crossings, citing Sierra Leone’s successful and peaceful elections as an example of the triumph of security over potential chaos.
He also called on the community to combat the reported spate of drug trade in Jendema while expressing the expectation of non-interference in Liberia’s upcoming elections.
Ambassador Sidikie Massally highlighted the vulnerability of the border, especially at the Kangama crossing point.
He commended the diligent efforts of security personnel in maintaining peace in Jendema and cautioned motorcycle riders and drivers to exercise caution when transporting passengers across the border due to concerns about the proliferation of illegal substances.
Inspector General William Fayai Sellu expressed gratitude to the people of Sorogbema for their cooperation with his officers and commended the conduct of his personnel. He urged the community to reject the drug trade and report anyone involved in its sale or purchase.
IG Sellu emphasised the importance of community support for government initiatives, highlighting Sierra Leone’s ranking as the third most peaceful country in Africa. He also announced his intention to donate two motorbikes to officers stationed in Zimmi and mentioned ongoing public community outreach efforts in Freetown.
The meeting featured statements from Brigadier General David Tejan Kanu, 5th Brigade Commander in Bo, and Brigadier General Idara Bangura, ACDS Operations/Plan, both of whom emphasized the significance of community security and information sharing.
The Director General for the Central Intelligence Security Agency, Ansumana Idriss, stressed the importance of information sharing and the need for increased vigilance and security awareness.
Lieutenant Colonel Matturi, Commanding Officer of the 14th Battalion in Pujehun district, CSP Alphanso A. Fambulleh, Local Unit Commander for the Mano River Union Division, and Festus Gbani, District Security Coordinator, ONS, Pujehun, all commended the people of Sorogbema for their support.
They emphasised the demand for logistics and manpower to effectively address security threats at the 40 crossing points.