Chaos in Sierra Leone over attempted coup as government declares countrywide curfew (videos)

A military arsenal in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, was attacked on Sunday morning in an alleged coup attempt, the government announced, as it imposed an immediate nationwide curfew.

The government said those who tried to break into the armory of a key army barracks were repelled, but the public was asked to stay at home.

Witnesses say they heard gunshots and explosions in the Wilberforce district, where the arsenal is located, as well as several embassies in the capital.

Other witnesses said they heard gunfire near a barracks in the Navy’s Murray Town district, as well as outside another military installation in Freetown.

“The public is assured that the government and our state security forces are in control,” Information Minister Chernor Bah wrote in a “public notice.”

“To allow security forces to continue the process of detaining suspects, a nationwide curfew is declared with immediate effect throughout the country,” said the minister.

Sierra Leone has been going through a political crisis following the presidential and general elections in June this year.

The coup attempt follows a series of coups d’état in West African countries since August 2020.

Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea, which borders Sierra Leone, have all fallen under military control.

Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio also assured that calm had returned to the capital, urging people to stay at home.

“In the early hours of this morning, there was a security breach at the Wilberforce Military Barracks in Freetown when some unidentified individuals attacked the military arsenal,” he posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“Unidentified individuals attacked the military arsenal. However, they were repelled by our valiant Security Forces and calm was restored,” Bio said.

“As the combined team of our Security Forces continues to expel the remaining fugitive renegades, a nationwide curfew has been declared and citizens are encouraged to remain at home,” Bio said.

He added that the government would “continue to protect the peace and security of Sierra Leone against the forces that wish to truncate our cherished stability” and said he was “resolute in our determination to protect democracy in Sierra Leone”.

Bio, elected for the first time in 2018, was re-elected in June with 56.17% of the votes – just over the 55% needed to avoid a second round.

In Sierra Leone

A coup is underway; Pademba prison was breached and prisoners are leaving of their own free will
To attend #Sierra Leone
Raila Odinga Kalonzo Musyoka ndii knec ruto

– Sholla 🇰🇪 (@Haaland_sholla) November 26, 2023


Pademba prison in Sierra Leone was destroyed.
The videos show inmates escaping from the penitentiary area.
Sierra Leone is experiencing major unrest that is rumored to be a coup.

– Lawrence I. Okoro (Mister Law) (@LawrenceOkoroPG) November 26, 2023


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