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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Parliament ratifies Defence Agreements

HomeNewsParliament ratifies Defence Agreements

Parliament ratifies Defence Agreements

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The Parliament of Sierra Leone has debated and ratified two military defense agreements to enhance the security architecture of Sierra Leone.

The ratified Agreements include ‘The Military Framework Agreement between the government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of the Republic of Turkiye and a Military Cooperation protocol between the Ministry of Defence of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Sierra Leone’.

Presenting the Agreements before ratification the Deputy Defence Minister, Colonel Rtd. Muana Brima Massaquoi said these agreements are military cooperation that strengthens cooperation between Sierra Leone, Turkey, and Egypt.

He said the agreements focus on training and other logistic materials. The Deputy Defense Minister assured that the agreements would add value for the security sector to match international military standards. He said if the agreements ratified by Parliament would alleviate RSLAF be a better place in terms of military equipment and training in Africa.

Parliamentary Chairperson of the Defence, Hon. Alex Rogers said the security diplomacy of these agreements is commendable for the nation, while informing colleague MPs that the Agreements were non-controversial and went on to underscore the benchmark of agreements in tandem with the United Nations military agreements.

He also praised the Agreements and highlighted the benefits the Sierra Leone Military would gain.

In his contribution to the Agreements. Hon. Unpha Sorie Koroma said both Agreements are non-controversial and welcomed the ratification of the agreements. He said Article 10 of both Agreements was geared toward improving the training of the military.

He appreciated the agreements and requested similar intervention for technical and technological training “It is a better agreement for the country and we should continue on such,” he concluded.

Hon. Captain Retired Sylvester Arnold Maxwell Boima from Moyamba district commended the military for such good agreements for the nation. He also applauded the military men and officers for serving the nation diligently. On the Agreements, he reassured that both agreements would enable the Sierra Leone Military to achieve its objectives.

Hon. Hindolo M. Gevao from Kailahun district commended the military for standing by the government on the recent failed coup d’etat.

He praised both agreements and spoke well on expected benefits for the nation. On security issues, he said at Yenga in Kailahun district, the military in Guinea has permanently erected structures on the side of Sierra Leone. He urged the Government to continue diplomacy in engaging the Guineans to resolve the border issues. He concluded by saying that the agreements were not contentious and pleaded for speedy ratification.

Hon. Bernadette W. Songa from Kailahun district added her voice to the debate and called for a unanimous decision on the Yenga Military Issue. On his part. Hon. PC Prince Lansana Bio from Bonthe district appreciated the agreements and requested the House for speedy ratification.

Hon. Emilia Lolloh Tongi from Kailahun district commended the agreements and spoke well of the benefits of the Sierra Leone Military.

Parliamentary Chairman of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Mohamed Bangura from Karene district said the agreements are good for the nation. On the Yenga saga, he said Yenga belongs to Sierra Leone and noted that they should inform the Guinean Government about the issue.

Leader of Opposition Hon. Abdul Kargbo shared his experience of having been raised in the military barracks. About the Yenga saga, the Opposition Leader informed the House that war is not good for any nation and advised that more engagement and diplomacy be connected by both governments to address the dispute.

The Opposition Leader echoed the powerfulness of the infant military of the RSLAF and urged officials of the same to empower and maintain existing military structures.

He said the agreements spelled out the independence and sovereignty of both nations. “The military training and education are very important” he affirmed. He pleaded for subsequent agreements to be brought for the air wing of the military to be equipped and also for the navy wing. “I want the military to make use of all military agreements that have been ratified by Parliament,” he said.

He urged the military to implement all that was spelled out in the agreements.

In concluding the debate the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business, Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma said the framework agreements should be ratified by both Parliaments. He said ratifying the agreements brings several positive things for the Sierra Leone Military.

He said the fundamental principle of these agreements brings about education and training that binds the UN Charter on Military agreements. Hon. Nyuma explained the ingredients of the agreements towards the development of the Sierra Leone Military. The Leader emphasised the process of engagement in border conflict resolution. “You can fight using diplomacy” he said.

The Leader of the House also went further to highlight classified information in the agreements. He referred to the agreements as good and requested the proper implementation of the same.

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