MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
could be recalled that a certain individual claiming to have called
from Somalia was captured live on the widely popular Saturday Monologue
Programme where he made some allegations bordering on the “Welfare of
RSLAF troops deployed on peacekeeping with the Africa Union Mission in
Somalia (AMISOM).” It could also be recalled that the Public Relations
Office of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) attempted to adequately clear
the air on issues raised by the caller.
some media houses including ‘The Voice Newspaper’ still continue to
publish the wrong information on the same issues without recource to
earlier clarifications and without cross-checking with us. We take this
matter very seriously because it has the tendency to unnecessarily
incite soldiers against their authorities. This office therefore wishes
to provide the final explanation to the public and fully hopes that this
matter will be finally laid to rest.
The following points will serve to enlighten the public more on the issues:
annual Defence Budget provided by the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL)
does not cover any funding for peacekeeping operations. Peacekeeping is
self-funding and self-sustaining. Savings made in one mission is used
to launch troops into the subsequent mission. The Somalia mission was
launched through the savings made in the Sudan mission.
our full deployment in Somalia 7 months ago, only five (5) months
reimbursement has been received from the AU, whilst the MoD has already
paid to the troops up to 9 months stipend (USD 100 per month) covering
up to December 2013.
the democratic dispensation, the military is no longer a sacred
institution but totally under democratic civilian control and therefore
very transparent and accountable. Infact, our current MoD structure is
so unique in Africa such that it is jointly staffed by both civilian and
military officials; with the Director General (DG) as the sole vote controller of the Defence Budget and not the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
are 2 signatories to the peacekeeping account: the Accountant General
or Director of Budget from the MoFED and the DG Defence or the CDS from
the MoD. Therefore, no withdrawal is possible without the knowledge of
the MoFED; and the account is audited quarterly by the Government
Central Audit Office.
5. Any expenditure from the peacekeeping account for purposes other than peacekeeping must be authorized by HE the President.
6. Article 6 (para 6.1) of the MoU between the AU and the GoSL states: “the AU shall reimburse the GoSL in
respect of the personnel provided at the rate of USD 1,028 per
uniformed person per month, of which an amount to be determined shall be
retained by the Government.” Thus, the amount deducted from each
soldier is purely at the discretion of the Government and does not
require any agreement or negotiation.
soldiers on peacekeeping in Somalia, the GoSL decided to deduct USD 200
per soldier per month in order to reimburse previous savings earlier
utilized to fund their special peacekeeping training, conduct of medical
screening, purchase of vaccines, local foodstuff, medical and
communication equipment, payment of stipend to troops in advance,
monthly running cost for the battalion in theatre, purchase of 16
containers (40feet) , etc. Training expenditure includes: feeding,
purchase of training ammunition, fuel, lubricants and equipment,
rehabilitation of training sheds etc.
nobody in the MoD/RSLAF is extorting any money from soldiers going on
peacekeeping missions as claimed by ‘The Voice Newspaper of 7th November
2013. Our only means of screening is through medical/physical fitness
and training proficiency. We have no such arrangement whereby
peacekeepers salaries or allowances are being deducted illegally: and
nobody from this newspaper made any effort to cross-check with us.
Director of Public Relations and Information