DEFENCE ATTACHÉS OF THE REPUBLICS OF ZAMBIA AND IVORY COAST MADE A MAIDEN COURTESIES VISIT TO THE CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE ARMED FORCES...........
Deputy Defence Minister, the Ivorian Ambassador, Sierra Leone Defence Attaché to Liberia (left) & Ivorian Defence Attaché (Right to Liberia & Sierra Leone at MoD
On Tuesday 21st March 2023, the Defence Attaché of the Republic of Zambia currently residing in Ghana, Colonel Darek Mbolela Mwedao visited the Chief of Defence of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Lieutenant General PK Lavahun at the Ministry of Defence. Similar visit was done by the newly appointed Defence Attaché of the Republic of Ivory Coast for Liberia and Sierra Leone, Colonel Brahima Fofana resident in the Republic of Liberia.
The Chief of Defence Staff of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Lieutenant General PK Lavahun welcomed the Defence Attachés in his office and appreciated their visit on behalf of Officers, men and women of the RSLAF. First to arrive at the Ministry of Defence was Colonel Derek Mbolela Mwedao, the Defence Attaché of Zambia to the Republics of Togo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ghana. He extended warm felicitation from the Chief of Defence Staff of the Zambia Defence Forces (ZDF) and further stated the purpose of his visit which was to explore and enhance military cooperation between the RSLAF and the Zambia Defence Forces in the areas of Training, Peace Support Operations and Defence involvement in national Development.
Deputy Minister of Defence- Colonel (rtd) MB Massaquoi presenting a gift to the Ivorian Ambassador-Dr Feni Kouakou on behalf the Senior Management of MoD/RSLAF
For training, he stressed that the Zambia Defence Forces offers Staff Courses up to Defence College level, the Air Force also train Pilots and Peace Support Training as they have involved in it for years now. Thus, they would like to share best practices on training relating to Peace Support Operations to the RSLAF. In Defence involvement in national development, the Zambia Defence Forces contributes to Food Security, construction of roads, houses of which they compete with the private sectors. Hence, they want to explore in similar areas with the RSLAF.
The Chief of Defence of the RSLAF welcomed the idea on what was presented by the Zambia Defence Attaché as it is key to their development. In the area of training, the Chief of Defence Staff said it is seriously taken into consideration as it is the only way to make the Armed Forces professional. At the moment, we are having a small Staff College that is presently running a Junior Staff Course with foreign students from the Republics of Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast with Foreign Directing Staff from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia. “We will appreciate the Zambia Defence Forces to offer us few slots for Staff Courses” he said. For Peacekeeping Operations, the CDS-RSLAF emphasized that it is the aspiration of the RSLAF as they are having Staff Officers in various Missions of UN, AU and ECOWAS but they are yet to get a formed troops as troops contributing country to those Missions but they are seriously working to achieve this.
Chiefs of Defence Staff presenting a gift to the Defence Attaché of Code d’ Ivorie in the presence of the Ivorian Ambassador-Dr Feni Kouakou
He was well impressed with the Zambia Defence Forces for their contribution in National Development of which they are competing with the private sectors. The RSLAF is also doing same through the Engineering Equipment recently acquired by the Government of Sierra Leone through His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the RSLAF Brigadier General (Rtd) Dr Julius Maada Bio and that they are trying to have an Engineering Corporation to compete with the private sector.
In another development, the Ivory Coast Ambassador to Liberia and Sierra Leon, His Excellency Dr Feni Kouakou was part of the maiden visit of the newly appointed Defence Attaché to Liberia and Sierra Leone, in the person of Colonel Brahima Fofana currently resident in Liberia. The Chief of Defence Staff of the RSLAF also welcomed the team on behalf of the RSLAF community to the Ministry of Defence. According to the Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General PK Lavahun, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast as members of the Mano River Union have a long-standing cordial relationship which has cemented mutual cooperation, respect and trust between the two countries. Colonel Brahima Fofana thanked the Ambassador for accompany him for his introduction to the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Chief of Defence Staff-RSLAF Lieutenant General PK Lavahun presenting a gift to the Defence Attaché of Zambia
The Chief of Defence Staff-RSLAF highlighted some of the common threats they have along their common boarders and thus, as an Armed Force he encouraged them to be effectively collaborating and coordinating by sharing intelligence to curb terrorism that is moving from the Sahel Region in order to maintain peace and security in the sub-region.
His Excellency the Ambassador also paid a courtesy visit to the Deputy Minister of Defence, Colonel (Rtd) MB Massaquoi and had fruitful discussions and pronounced the end of his tour of duty to Liberia and Sierra Leone. On behalf of the Senior Management of the Ministry of Defence and the RSLAF, the Deputy Minister thanked the Ambassador for ending his tour of duty and wished him well in his new assigned post.
Assistant Chief of Defence Staff for Training and Doctrine Brigadier General AB Conteh with the Defence Attaché of Zambia
Directorate of Public Relations and Information
Ministry of Defence