Sierra Leone Soldiers get $828 while Djibouti Soldiers receive $728
The Minister of Defense, Retired Major Alfred Palo Conteh (in photo) has told members of the public through the media during the usual weekly Government press briefing in Freetown that Sierra Leone is paying their peace keeping mission soldiers in Somalia $828 as monthly salary for each soldier while Djibouti soldiers receive $728.
He also stated that Kenya which he described as the richest country in Africa apart from South Africa is paying each peace keeping soldier $1,028.
Major Conteh argued that if Sierra Leone pays the same amount to its soldiers as the Kenyans then they have to quit the Mission because they cannot afford the expenses of such high salaries.
“It was the savings we made during our deployment in Sudan that we used to buy ammunition and train one thousand Soldiers for the Somalia peace keeping mission,” he revealed.
He admonished Journalists to stop presenting irrelevant and unfounded stories against the Ministry and any other public entities as such false reports will discourage the Soldiers in the Mission zone.
He stated that if those soldiers in the war area feel aggrieved, the will definitely take up arms and go on the rampage, stressing that if the Army collapses the whole country will collapse.
He described the Auditor General’s Report that Ministry of Defense has squandered Le 500 million as baseless. He said he is not a signatory to any account of the Ministry of Defense. He reiterated that they as an entity they are open to scrutiny and are accountable like any other Ministry.
He pointed out that the Military is so organized as a Government within the Government because any activity of the Government is replicated in the Army.
The Minister emphasized that his men have been performing exemplary in the peace keeping mission in Somalia.
“I am very grateful to be their Leader,‘’ he mused.
He noted that Sierra Leone is one of the countries in the world that is strongly fighting against terrorism especially presently in Somalia.
When asked on the issue of the alleged mutiny he replied that the mutineers are still incarcerated at the Pademba Road Prison and that charges have been filed against them to face a Court Martial soon.
He explained that the alleged offences brought against them are against the State and could therefore only be handled by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice or the Law Officers Department.
He observed that the country is relatively peaceful now as the moral of the Soldiers keeps rising.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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