Sierra Leone Violence Attacks Were Coup Attempt – Minister

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
4 Min Read

The government of Sierra Leone has declared the events that took place on Sunday as an attempted coup. Armed men attacked various institutions in the capital city in an effort to overthrow the government.

The information minister stated that the gunmen aimed to subvert the government.

The attackers targeted a military barracks and prisons, resulting in the release of approximately 2,000 inmates.

Tragically, the violence led to the deaths of at least 19 individuals, including security forces and one civilian.

“The incident was a failed attempted coup. The intention was to illegally subvert and overthrow a democratically elected government,” Information Minister Chernoh Bah said on Tuesday.

“The attempt failed, and plenty of the leaders are either in police custody or on the run. We will try to capture them and bring them to the full force of the laws of Sierra Leone.”

Thirteen military officers and one civilian have been arrested in connection with the unrest, according to Mr. Bah. While calm was mostly restored in Freetown on Monday, gunshots were heard in the Murray Town neighborhood on Tuesday.

The police explained that this was part of an operation to apprehend those responsible for the attack on Sunday.

Fortunately, no one was injured in this incident, and a person of interest has been taken into custody.

Since Sunday morning, the entire country has been subjected to several curfews due to the presence of armed men on the streets of Freetown.

According to the BBC, some soldiers chanting their intention to restore order in Sierra Leone. The men stormed a military barracks near the presidential residence and unsuccessfully attempted to seize weapons from the armory. They also broke into a major prison in the capital, as reported by the information minister.

Videos posted on social media showed multiple individuals fleeing from Freetown’s Central Pademba Road prison on Sunday.

According to a report shared by prison officials with news agency Reuters, twenty-three prisoners have been recaptured.

Military rule has been imposed in various countries in West and Central Africa due to a series of recent coups, including Guinea, Mali, Niger, and Chad, which are neighboring Sierra Leone.

The political situation in Sierra Leone has been tense since June when President Julius Maada Bio was narrowly re-elected, falling just short of the requirement for a run-off. The main opposition candidate rejected the result, and international partners, such as the United States and the European Union, raised concerns. In August, several soldiers were arrested and accused of plotting a coup against the president. The West African bloc Ecowas announced on Tuesday that it was prepared to provide regional support to enhance national security in Sierra Leone.

Similarly, Nigerian national security adviser Malam Nuhu Ribadu warned that “anything that will interfere with democracy, peace, security and stability of Sierra Leone will not be accepted by Ecowas and by Nigeria”.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.