US ambassador to Sierra Leone held talks with Inspector General of Police as public distrust of the police grows

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 October 2022:

Yesterday, the US Ambassador to Sierra Leone – Mr Rimmer, said on his Twitter feed, that he had “Good discussion this morning with IGP Sellu and his team on security issues in general and on the upcoming elections. US is providing election security training to the Sierra Leone Police.”

With general and presidential elections less than nine months away, amid growing political tension in the country, public trust and confidence in the security sector’s ability and capacity to ensure peaceful elections impartially and professionally are dwindling fast.

Thanks to support from the European Union’s Technical Assistance and Information Exchange (TAIEX), over 40 police officers last week completed training on tackling disinformation, especially on social media while respecting freedom of speech and civil liberty.

According to the European Delegation to Sierra Leone, a training mission from the Police and Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic concluded a three-day intensive training program, sharing European best practice in dealing with disinformation.

Security personnel from various units dealing with intelligence and investigation, including the Central Intelligence and Security Unit (CISU), Cyber Unit, Media and Public Relations Department, Integrated Intelligence Service (IIS), Forces Intelligence and Security Unit (FISU), and the Central Intelligence and Security Unit (CISU) took part in the training.

Speaking at the end of the training, the EU Deputy Head of Delegation, Juan Antonio Frutos, said that “the European Union is committed to continuing to support Sierra Leone’s peace and democracy. Respect for Human Rights and Freedom of Speech are shared values between the European Union and Sierra Leone.”

Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Sylverster Koroma, Director of Training, expressed gratitude to the European Union for supporting the training of the Sierra Leone Police at a very crucial time, noting that it will significantly help the Police to professionally perform their duties.

In another development, relating to boosting the capacity of the country’s security forces in maintaining law and order, and protecting the territorial integrity of Sierra Leone, US Africa Command Director General this week held talks with Sierra Leone’s Chief of Defence Staff.

The Deputy Director Strategy, Engagement and Programmes of the United States Africa Command from Stuttgart Mohringen Germany- Brigadier General Peter G Bailey on the 17th October,2022 met with the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces(RSLAF), Lieutenant General PK Lavahun at the Ministry of Defence in Freetown where they discussed the US Africa Command activities that are taking place in Sierra Leone, especially training support provided to the military.

The US is providing vital training for Junior and Senior officers of the RSLAF, equipment for counter terrorism and maritime surveillance.

The US Defence Attaché to Sierra Leone, Lieutenant Colonel H Hoffman said that the US will assist RSLAF with military intelligent training, public affairs (strategic communications) and security forces assistance training.

2 Comments

  1. Infants must be treated like infants , don’t they?Grownups with an inferiority complex should be treated as such, shouldn’t they? Leaders without any national pride are always going around begging, aren’t they? The Bio government, like that of its predecessor led by Earnest Koroma, has all these features.

    For heaven’s sake why do we constantly have to depend on foreigners to tell us what to do and claim to be an independent sovereign nation? Why do our leaders lack the ability to chart a course for the benefit of the nation?

    And we the voters? Our heads are not located on top of our shoulders, that’s why we are tied to the two major parties for over sixty years. Why don’t we try KKY as a different formula?

  2. This is not a meeting of minds between US Ambassador Rimmer and the inspector General of Sierra Leone police wliiam Fayia Sellu , but more like an expression of concern at the direction of travel that the Sierra Leone police service under the watch of IG Sellu ,and the leadership of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed forces that have abandoned all pretense of impartiality to inteprete the laws of the country, have now for all intense and purpose is lapping up to Bio because they feel they owe it to him rather than the State. If he ask them to jump , they ask “How High Mr President “And that is the greatest travasity of abuse of state power .What we’ve witnessed under Bio these highly respected institutions of States and through their actions have become a massive impediment or logjam to our democractic experience .We can not deepen and institutionalize our democracy and deal efficiently and fully with a government that created and protected an immunity culture , particularly that which is associated with the abuse of state power against ordinary citizens , and the violation of human rights by the security forces of the state , which left them open to all sort of accusations of being enforcers of state oppression. The divisions between the Governors and the Governed has never been so stark .The Sierra Leone police is seen as the enemy of the people .And should not be never should it be.The vast majority of rank and file police officers are not out to kill ordinary citizens .But Bio have condtioned them to behave in that fashion with immunity .

    Apart from the joint training , and the donation of pollice and military hardware by our international partners ,the best the US Ambassador and the European union and the Bristish government can do for our country , that will make these two institutions of State independent from government control is to create a national security funding mechanism in which members of the security services are paid their salaries and look after their interests and welfare directly from this fund .Which is completely out of government control regardless of which party is in power .And should be deducted from the aid budget we receive from our western partners .

    And a joint Parliamentary committee with the two major parties SLPP /APC and smaller parties each contributing one or two members in the running of that committee , including the Chief of Staff of the Sierra Leone Armed forces and Inspector General of police as members of this ways and means committee that only looks after the welfare of the security services .Because as it’s stands both members of the military and rank and file of police officers think Bio is paying them directly from his pocket .So they have to listen to him and obey his orders for better or worst .That is the only way we can strengthen their independence and make them accountable to the people of Sierra Leone .”Democracy is not a single approach but rather a commitment to certain institutions such as the rule of law , civil society and political accountability , through free and fair elections based on universal suffrage .It also includes in to a varying degree freedom of speech , the development of civic culture and the acceptance of the social contract .”

Tell us what you think

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.