By Amin Kef Sesay
On May 6, 2020, the United States Ambassador, Maria Brewer, met with the Sierra Leone Deputy Minister of Defence and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) Commander, Joint Forces to deliver two newly refurbished four-person Mercedes Benz Unimog ambulances.
During the handing over ceremony it was stated that as part of a bigger program of logistics improvement for the RSLAF, the ambulances were prioritized in order to assist with the Sierra Leonean response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
It must be noted that over the past two years, the United States, United Kingdom and Sierra Leone have embarked on a comprehensive security cooperation strategy aimed at returning the RSLAF to the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.
In addition, it was also understood that one critical component of that plan has focused on the vital improvement of both RSLAF vehicles and equipment. Whether used on peacekeeping operations or for internal crisis response, two refurbished ambulances are an essential addition to the RSLAF inventory.
It was highlighted that the United States is both proud and honoured to work side-by-side with the RSLAF in the continued development of Sierra Leone’s military and security capacity.
Ambassador Maria Brewer said, “these vehicles will not only be helpful during our present challenge but will also be key instruments to enable the RSLAF to more effectively respond to crises within Sierra Leone. I am proud to be handing over larger vehicles that will be able to handle even extremely challenging situations like flooding and could carry up to four people each.”