STORY: SIERRA LEONE - SOMALIA TROOPS PREPARATIONS

TRT: 02:07
SOURCE: AU/UN IST

RESTRICTIONS: This media asset is free for editorial broadcast, print, online and radio use. It is not to be sold on and is restricted for other purposes. All enquiries to news@auunist.org
CREDIT REQUIRED: AU/UN IST
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/NATS

DATELINE: March 31, 2013

SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot of Sierra Leonean soldiers with Leo Battalion 1 packing up their gear
2. Medium shot of Sierra Leonean soldier walking past with backpack
3. Wide shot of Sierra Leonean soldiers loading gear onto a truck
5. Medium shot of luggage being loaded onto a truck
6. Lt. Colonel Abubakar Conteh chatting with other officers
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Lt. Colonel Abubakar Conteh, Sierra Leone Contingent, AMISOM:
“We will be joining in the rest of the other contingents in AMISOM to ensure that we will be able to implement the African Union mandate in Somalia. The peace process is currently on enforcement, however the news is telling people that Somalia is getting back to where it was, so our main focus now is to assist in the stabilization of Somalia.”
8. Wide shot of military vehicles parked
9. Medium shot of military vehicles
10. Medium shot of soldiers packing their bags
11. Medium shot of soldiers packing up supplies
12. Wide shot of soldiers packing their rucksacks
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Lt. Salieu Sankoh, Sierra Leone Contingent, AMISOM:
“We are now partakers of global peace enhancement, and of course during our own ten years of civil war, people came from different countries to support our peace achievement, and now that we have the opportunity to reciprocate that particular aspect, we are very happy. ”
14. Wide shot of pedestrians on the streets of Freetown
15. Wide shot of pedestrians and motorists
16. SOUNDBITE (Creole) Ansu Kamara, Freetown Resident:
“I’m happy because this shows that our country is improving, we are now members of the international community, our soldiers are being called up for peacekeeping missions, it makes me really happy.”
17. Wide shot of Freetown street scene

STORY:
It’s a busy day at the barracks of ‘Leo Battalion 1’ who serve with the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).

Soldiers here have been packing gear and conducting last-minute checks on equipment for several days now, in preparation for their deployment to Somalia, where they will become the latest contingent to join the ranks of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

An advance team from the Sierra Leonean contingent will leave for Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya today (April 2, 2013) from where they will make their way to their posts in southern Somalia, operating alongside AMISOM’s Kenyan contingent.

“We will be joining in the rest of the other contingents in AMISOM to ensure that we will be able to implement the African Union mandate in Somalia. The peace process is currently on enforcement, however the news is telling people that Somalia is getting back to where it was, so our main focus now is to assist in the stabilization of Somalia,” said the RSLAF’s Lt. Colonel Abubakar Conteh.

The West African troops will form AMISOM’s fifth national contingent, after Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda.

“We are now partakers of global peace enhancement, and of course during our own ten years of civil war, people came from different countries to support our peace achievement, and now that we have the opportunity to reciprocate that particular aspect, we are very happy,” said Lt. Salieu Sankoh, referring to the international peacekeeping troops that helped end Sierra Leone’s civil conflict that lasted from 1991-2002.

“I’m happy because this shows that our country is improving, we are now members of the international community, our soldiers are being called up for peacekeeping missions, it makes me really happy,” added Ansu Kamara, who lives in the capital Freetown.

The AU Peace and Security Council authorized the integration of a contingent of RSLAF into AMISOM early last year. Since then AMISOM troops in support of the Federal Government of Somalia have pushed Al Qaeda affiliated al Shabaab terrorists from much of south-central Somalia.

Connect with AMISOM:
Web: bit.ly/Z4MgCs
Email: newsroom@auunist.org
Facebook: on.fb.me/QqTSeN
Twitter: bit.ly/TZ3PjR
Vimeo: bit.ly/ZxBdza

Loading more stuff…

Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?

Loading videos…