By: Thaimu Bai Sesay

In a session held on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, the Sixth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone deliberated and subsequently ratified two significant military defence agreements aimed at bolstering the nation’s security infrastructure. The agreements, namely “The Military Framework Agreement” between Sierra Leone and Turkey, and “The Military Cooperation Protocol” between Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Defence and Egypt’s Ministry of Defence, were presented to Parliament for approval by Deputy Defence Minister, Colonel Rtd. Muana Brima Massaquoi.

Colonel Massaquoi underscored the importance of these agreements, highlighting their focus on enhancing cooperation in training and logistics between Sierra Leone, Turkey, and Egypt. He emphasized that the ratified agreements would elevate Sierra Leone’s security sector to meet international military standards, ultimately leading to improved military equipment and training for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).

Hon. Alex Rogers, the Parliamentary Chairperson of Defence, lauded the diplomatic significance of these agreements, asserting their alignment with United Nations military standards. He stressed that the agreements were non-controversial and emphasized the substantial benefits they would bring to the Sierra Leone Military.

During the debate, various members of Parliament expressed unanimous support for the ratification of the agreements, echoing their non-controversial nature and highlighting their potential to enhance military training and capacity building within Sierra Leone.

Furthermore, concerns were raised regarding border security, particularly the ongoing issue at Yenga in Kailahun District, where Guinean military structures have been erected. Members urged the government to pursue diplomatic channels to address these border disputes.

In closing the debate, Leader of Opposition Hon. Abdul Kargbo emphasized the importance of military education and training, urging for the equitable distribution of resources across all branches of the military, including the air and navy wings.

In a final address, Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma emphasized the positive impact of ratifying the agreements, emphasizing their alignment with the UN Charter on Military Agreements and their potential for fostering development within the Sierra Leone Military.

The ratification of these military defence agreements signifies a significant step towards enhancing Sierra Leone’s security infrastructure and furthering diplomatic relations with Turkey and Egypt.

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