Sierra Leone President Confirms Arrest of ‘Majority of Leaders’ Behind Unrest

Sierra Leone President Confirms Arrest of 'Majority of Leaders' Behind Unrest

The government asserts its control following an armed assault in the capital and a nation-wide curfew.

Sierra Leone’s President revealed the arrest of key figures linked to the armed assault in the capital, leading to a country-wide curfew. President Julius Maada Bio announced the arrests on national television, stating that security operations and investigations are underway following the clashes in Freetown, triggered by what the government identified as an attack on a military facility.

Amidst months of post-election turbulence, the government stated it repelled the attack, regaining command. Information Minister Chernor Bah confirmed that security forces are stabilizing the situation in Freetown, with the attackers withdrawing.

Sierra Leone’s civil aviation authority recommended flight rescheduling, while checkpoints in the capital remained guarded but calm on Sunday evening.

The government pledged to pursue those accountable for the assault and stated they would face legal consequences. Social media footage depicted individuals in uniform detained beside or within a military vehicle.

Witnesses reported gunfire and explosions in Wilberforce, housing the armoury and embassies, alongside exchanges near a navy barracks and another military site. The ministry reported assaults on prisons, leading to the release of some detainees and abduction of others.

West Africa’s ECOWAS denounced the attempt to disrupt Sierra Leone’s constitutional order.

Tensions escalated post-President Bio’s re-election in June, triggering political turmoil and dissent. Critics highlight economic struggles and discontent, with a majority of the population living in poverty and high youth unemployment rates.

Sierra Leone’s upheaval joins a series of military coups affecting democratic stability in West and Central Africa since 2020, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Guinea.


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