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.