President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, Commander-in–Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), bade farewell to the first Sierra Leone battalion that departed the shores for peacekeeping in Somalia. (President Ernest Bai Koroma with the countrys troops who are due to join the peacekeeping mission in Somalia / Photo credit: Kemo Cham Nation Media Group)
The battalion, comprising 850 well-trained soldiers is tasked to support the operations of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Sierra Leone will join other soldiers from Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti and Burundi.
The President, the Defense Minister, and other senior military officers were among the emotionally-stricken relatives bidding farewell as they were about to depart. The Hastings Airfield became a scene of emotions as many wept seeing their loved-ones depart. The departing soldiers were well-attired in their military fatigues marching in a battle-ready mood.