Defence Minister, Palo Conteh has branded the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) as the ‘Peoples Army’.
Speaking to Awoko during a cleaning exercise by the Army at Lumley Beach over the weekend, the Minister said, “This Army is now the People’s Army. Over the years during war there was this bad relationship existing between civilians and the Armed Forces.”
He furthered that it is his initiative that the Armed Forces must be seen to be taking part in national development.
In this case, he said, “we are supporting the Ministry of Tourism and the Mayor of Freetown as they embark on the beautification of the city. Just last week after the flooding we went to Kroobay to help with the cleaning; this is going to be the theme, we would be helping out in our various communities all over the country where ever we have military locations,” he said.
Amongst the activities to be undertaken by the Army, the Defence Minister disclosed that a bridge would be reconstructed in the Western Area; adding that similar cleaning exercises would be conducted when the need arises. He said that it was coincidental as the Army had earlier planned to carry out a thorough cleaning along the beach prior to the demolition exercise by the Ministry of Tourism and the Police.
Two Hundred (200) soldiers from the other ranks and Twenty (20) senior officers participated in the cleaning exercise, to rid out the relics of once beach bars demolished by the Tourism Ministry.