During a press briefing on Tuesday, June 4, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brigadier General Amara Idara Bangura announced a significant development in Sierra Leone’s security infrastructure.

He revealed that $10 million has been invested in constructing a logistics military base at Lungi to prepare for the arrival of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) stabilization force, known as ECOMOG.

Brigadier General Bangura outlined the rationale behind deploying the ECOWAS stabilization force in Sierra Leone. The primary goal is to ensure robust military security to uphold constitutional democracy and prevent unconstitutional regimes. He noted that the decision to establish an ECOWAS military base in Sierra Leone was initially conceived during President Joseph Saidu Momoh’s regime between 1989 and 1990. This initiative has been revived due to the persistent governance conflicts, coups, and unconstitutional challenges in West Africa and other African countries.

With the consent of President Julius Maada Bio, ECOWAS has decided to establish a new logistics military base at Lungi, along with similar bases in Ghana, Togo, and Ivory Coast.

Detailing the financial aspects, Brigadier General Bangura stated that ECOWAS has allocated $10 million for the Lungi military base. This base aims to enable immediate responses to unconstitutional regimes and promote governance stabilization for peace and security, particularly in West African member states, in alignment with African continental treaties.

No specific date has been set for the arrival of the ECOWAS stabilization force, nor the total number of troops to be deployed. Brigadier General Bangura clarified that this deployment would be distinct from previous interventions during Sierra Leone’s civil war. The forces will operate under the Ministry of Defence and the Sierra Leone Police, focusing on stabilization rather than replacing military or security roles. They will work in coordination with Sierra Leonean security forces to maintain peace and security.

Additionally, training bases will be constructed in Ghana, with a counter-terrorism training base planned for Ivory Coast. Deputy Minister of Information Bockarie Abdel Aziz Bawoh emphasized that the arrival of the ECOWAS forces is unrelated to the outcomes of the tripartite committee speculated by social media users and the public.

Brigadier General Bangura also reported on the ECOWAS contingency team’s visit to Sierra Leone on February 24, 2024. Engagements were held with the Office of National Security (ONS), the Sierra Leone Police, and the Ministry of Defence to enhance governance and security architecture. He assured journalists that Sierra Leone’s security remains intact, with all individuals involved in the recent attempted coup arrested and facing military court martial and treason proceedings.