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RSLAF/MOD clears media doubt

RSLAF/MOD clears media doubt

The Ministry of Defence yesterday spoke on issues relating to peacekeeping operations, especially the recent reconnaissance visit to Somalia’s ongoing developments.

The Army and Ministry of Defence respectively reacted to recent misrepresentations reported by some media outlets in the country.

At a press meeting held at the conference room of the Ministry of Defence Thursday 15th clarifications relating to misrepresentations published online by the New People dated 18th August headlined ‘Sierra Leone Soldier Dies for charcoal in Sudan—Raid a Maagre US$ 450 and written by one Umaru Sitta Turay in the United States was respectfully debunked by the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff who happens to be the Defence spokesman, Brigadier Samuel Omar Williams.

He said allegation that the lives of Sierra Leonean troops deployed in Darfor/Sudan is untrue and completely baseless.

He however told the media that soldiers serving as peace keepers in the UN receive US$450 every month.

He said the sum of US$50 is deducted from the aforementioned amount and the rest paid in the local currency at the end of tour.

“Some contingents pay all the earrings whilst some pay 800 dollars to their troops,” he said.

“The contingent receives monthly reimbursement of 1,028 dollars for each personnel from the UN, and the disbursement as alleged by the media is paid as legally called for.”

He cited an article by the Standard Times in its 25th August 2011 edition titled “The Extension of Service and the Development.”

He said the newspaper claimed that extensions of service in the generals rank category has been selective, citing that the mandatory retirement age in the RSLAF is fifty-five years for all ranks. He however told the media that in the Army order (rule) No.1 makes clear of the retirement age various commissions and other ranks.

Notwithstanding, he further said that the retirement age for all ranks is 55 years excluding a situation where section II paragraph 25 (c) of the Army orders No. I of 1965, which states that, the forces council (Defence Council) may approve extension of the above aged individual case, where such are desirably in the interests of the service.

By Mary I. Kamara

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