A political disaster is unfolding in Sierra Leone following presidential and common elections in June this yr
FREETOWN – There was an assault on a military arsenal within the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown, on Sunday, the federal government introduced, because it instantly imposed a nationwide curfew.
The authorities mentioned those that tried to interrupt into the arsenal on the military barracks have been repelled, however the public was requested to remain at residence.
Witnesses advised AFP they heard gunshots and explosions within the Wilberforce space of town, the place the arsenal is positioned in addition to a number of embassies.
Other witnesses mentioned they heard exchanges of fireside close to a barracks within the Murraytown space, the place the navy is predicated, in addition to exterior one other military web site in Freetown.
Automatic weapons hearth and explosions might be heard on soundtracks posted on social networks.
The streets of the capital have been empty, the witnesses mentioned.
“The public is satisfied that the federal government and our state safety forces are in cost,” Information Minister Chernor Bah wrote in a “public discover”.
“To allow the safety forces to proceed the method of arresting suspects, a nationwide curfew is said with quick impact all through the nation,” the minister mentioned.
No particulars got concerning the individuals who allegedly carried out the assault, or their motives.
Sierra Leone, an English-speaking nation in West Africa, goes by a political disaster following presidential and common elections in June this yr.
– A collection of coups in West Africa –
West Africa has had a collection of military coups and coup makes an attempt since August 2020.
Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea, which share a border with Sierra Leone, are all beneath military management.
The President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, additionally provided assurances that calm had been restored to the capital, urging folks to remain indoors.
“Early this morning, there was a breach of safety on the Military Barracks at Wilberforce in Freetown, the place some unknown people attacked the military armory,” he beforehand posted on X, Twitter.
“Unknown people attacked the military armor. However, they have been repelled by our courageous Security Forces and calm was restored,” mentioned Bio.
“As the mixed workforce of our Security Forces continues to trace the exit of the fleeing remnants of the renegades, a nationwide curfew has been declared and residents are inspired to remain indoors,” Bio mentioned.
He added that the federal government would proceed to guard the peace and safety of Sierra Leone in opposition to the forces that need to undermine our much-cherished stability” and mentioned he was “enthusiastic in our willpower to guard democracy in Sierra Leone “.
Bio, who was first elected in 2018, was re-elected in June with 56.17 % of the vote – simply over the 55 % wanted to keep away from a runoff.
International observers criticized inconsistencies and a scarcity of transparency within the depend, in addition to acts of violence and intimidation.
The fundamental opposition occasion the All People’s Congress (APC) disputed the outcomes of the June 24 presidential, legislative and native elections and there’s a boycott in any respect ranges of presidency.
The APC and the federal government signed an settlement in October following talks by the Commonwealth, the African Union and the West African bloc ECOWAS.
The APC agreed to finish its boycott and start collaborating in authorities in trade for an finish to detentions and court docket instances it mentioned have been politically motivated.