Sierra Leone Government (Freetown)

22 April 2014

Sierra Leone: Key Note Address Delivered By His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma On the Occasion of the Launch of the Report of the Second Security Sector Review (ssr) for Sierra Leone 2012 Tuesday 22 April 2014 Miatta Conference Centre

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Since the last Security Sector Review in 2005, the security services have experienced tremendous transformation that has increased their capacity to secure the lives, property and achievements of the people of Sierra Leone.

Today we are not only amongst the most peaceful of nations in the world, we are also exporting peace and security to other countries through their participation in peacekeeping operations in Somalia, Darfur and other parts of the world. This is a remarkable transformation that every Sierra Leonean must applaud. May I therefore, in the name of the people and government of this country, and in my own name, request that we all rise up to give a rousing applause for our security sector.

But even as we applaud, we must remain vigilant, we must continue to work harder to face up to the remaining and emerging threats to the peace and security of our country. That is the major reason for my government's organization of this Second Security Sector Review; we need to map out the new wave of security threats and continue to make our national security architecture much more responsive to the needs of our people in the next decade and beyond.

This report, the Second Security Sector Review For Sierra Leone 2012, is the outcome of a National Security Council (NSC) endorsement, which I commissioned in 2011 and directed the National Security Coordinator, Office of National Security (ONS) to lead the process of conducting a comprehensive review of the security sector. The report identified major threats to the internal and external security of Sierra Leone and established a framework for the development of suitable security policies, programs and structures to deal with the threats.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, all over the world today, we have seen the threats posed by terrorism to peace-loving people. Because we are a peace-loving people; because we decided to contribute to peace-building in the world, because we want to support peacemaking efforts in other lands, just as other countries supported us to attain peace in our nation, we now have to face threats by terrorists who hate our stance on peace in the world. But we cannot turn our backs to peacemaking; we must not abandon our aspirations for peace in the world; we will not run away from our commitments and obligations. That was why I directed the security sector under the auspices of the ONS to develop a counter-terrorism strategy as a response to the threats posed to our country by the Al-shabaab terrorist group consequent upon our participation in peacekeeping operations in Somalia.

I want to inform you and assure you that the Sierra Leone Counter-Terrorism Strategy was endorsed by the NSC on 23rd March, 2013 clearing the way for its implementation by the security sector.

I applaud the ONS, the SSR-Technical Working Group and the Strategic Situation Group (SSG) for developing both the SSR Report and the Sierra Leone Counter-Terrorism Strategy respectively. I want to assure you of my Government's staunch commitment to the implementation of both documents.

I want to further express my profound gratitude to our international friends and partners particularly the Department for International Development (DfID) for their remarkable support to the security sector. That the professionalism of our security forces is today globally acclaimed is a testimony of your monumental support to the security sector since the end of the war. We look forward to sustaining this great cooperation in implementing the SSR Report and the Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Security all over the world is best assured when nations cooperate; it is strengthened when people are vigilant; and it is better sustained by a security establishment that is confident, loyal to the democratic leadership and true to their professional ideals. Our international friends have proven their support to this partnership for security; our people have proven their commitment to eternal vigilance and our security forces have showed their remarkable professionalism in ensuring peace not only in our country but in other countries. With firm belief that we will all stay committed to these wonderful actions; it is now my singular honor to officially launch the Report of the Second Security Sector Review (SSR) for Sierra Leone - 2012.

Thank you for your attention and God bless us all.

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