By Allieu S. Tunkara
Sierra Leone Police has lost one of its personnel taking part in the African Union peace keepers in the North African country of Somalia.
The body of the deceased will be flown home in coming days.
The officer, Inspector Bangura belongs to the Formed Police Unit, a composition of police officers from different units in the force.
He left Sierra Leone in sound health to contribute to global peace and security.
Reason for the death of Bangura while in the mission remains unclear.
Deputy Head of police Media, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Samuel Saio Conteh told Nightwatch that the officer died as a result of an illness medics are yet to identify.
Plans, the Media Officer say, are in place to offer the deceased a befitting state burial.
The officer, Inspector Bangura was part of a contingent of 160 police personnel that left Sierra Leone in April, 2019 for North African country.
The SLP mandate in the country is to help stabilise a country whose security Situation was deteriorating.
The 160 strong force would have returned in April this year had it not been an outbreak of Covid-19. Personnel who are to replace the SLP contingent in Somalia are being trained and will soon leave for the North African country.
However, no definite time for the return of SLP officers currently deployed in the mission has been announced.
Owing to the Prevalence rate of Covid-19, the remaining 159 SLP officers would stay indefinitely in Somalia until a stand down order is issued by the SLP high command.
Late Inspector Bangura was not the first casualty the force has lost in its peace keeping assignment.
A number of police officers have lost their lives in various parts of the world in their effort to ensure that peace reigns in the world.
One of the latest casualties was a police officer from Bo division who passed away while on peace keeping assignment in Darfur, South Sudan.
He was also flown home and accorded state funeral.
The notion of peace keeping was introduced to the Sierra Leone police out of the desire of the Sierra Leone Government to contribute to global peace and security.
It was also part of the objectives of the Commonwealth Community Safety and Security Project to train and prepare police officers for peace keeping assignments.
CCSSP completion of its restructuring programme was followed by the handing over of state security to the SLP.
As a force with internationally trained police officers, they were deployed in various countries such including Haiti on UN peace keeping assignment.
Deaths of police personnel have not been ruled out in such missions.