The Director of Peacekeeping Operations at the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Colonel ABS Bah has confirmed that a total of 52 Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) personnel are currently serving as staff officers and military observers in ten different African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) missions around the world. Col. Bah said five personnel are deployed with United Nations-Africa Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), 20 with United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), 9 with African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISON), 4 with United Nations Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), 3 with United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), 3 with United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), 3 with United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central Africa Republic (MINUSCA), 2 with United Nations Mission to Support Hudayah Agreement (UNMHA), 1 with United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and 2 with United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO). Staff Officer Grade 2, Major Yayah Brima, Defence Public Relations and Information said “out of the 52 personnel on the AU and UN missions, 15 are female officers, which represent 26.3% of RSLAF female participation in the various peace support operations in the world.”
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Colonel Bah explained that “these female officers are working in eight different AU and UN missions, pointing out that the only two peacekeeping missions in which all the RSLAF personnel are women are MINUSCA and MONUSCO.” “In any future peace keeping operations involving the deployment of a battalion of 850 personnel, our female personnel will constitute 15%” Colonel Bah revealed. Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Brima Sesay mentioned that the strength of female personnel in the RSLAF has considerably increased with the completion of military training of the 59 newly commissioned female officers and 268 female soldiers. “These female officers and soldiers will play active roles in future peacekeeping operations”, he noted. The RSLAF disclosed this information recently in a press conference held at the MoD in Tower Hill which was attended by the senior management of the Army and members of the print and electronic media.
By David Thoronka
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