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On Tuesday 15th November this year, the Ministry of Defence and the Office of the Accountant General's Department started payment for 755 Wounded In Action (WIA) retirees at the Armed Forces Training Center (AFTC), Benguema, Waterloo. The exercise was also witnessed by members of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Civil Society Groups and also the Fourth Estate.

It could be recalled that the issue of the WIA had raised so many concerns over the years. This group has been accusing the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) for not taking their issues seriously. For them, the RSLAF had deviated from their initial agreement between them and the Government of Sierra Leone. After finding ways of tackling it, the Ministry of Defence and other key Government Ministries finally reached a conclusion of dealing with the protracted issue of claims for enhanced pension for 755 WIA retirees. These 755 retirees were those whose pension falls below Leones Two Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand (Le 275,000).

On the 4th November 2016, the Ministry of Defence invited representatives of the WIAs, the Legal Aid Board of Sierra Leone and other key stakeholders in finding ways to conduct a transparent payment exercise. The Chairman of the WIAs was advised to call on his members to maintain the peace during the payment exercise. He was also informed that the amount provided is only a small beginning to take care of their health and children's school welfare. The exercise which started on Tuesday 14th November will end on Tuesday 22nd November 2016.

Credit: Office of the Defence Spokesman, Public Relations & Information

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