Sierra Leone government arrests armed men 'who attacked barracks' in alleged coup attempt

Sierra Leone government arrests armed men ‘who attacked barracks’ in alleged coup attempt

Sierra Leone says its security forces have restored calm to the West African country after gunmen attacked its military barracks on Sunday.

Chernor Bah, the country’s Minister of Information and Civic Education, said that “unidentified individuals” attacked barracks housing several foreign embassies, including those of China, Germany, Austria, Gambia, Lebanon and Syria, resulting in a nationwide curfew. .

Inmates also escaped from a detention center after a coordinated escape orchestrated by unknown gunmen.

In a speech on Sunday night, Julius Bio, president of Sierra Leone, said most of the leaders of the attack had been arrested.

Although Bio refrained from describing the attack as a coup d’état, he labeled it an attempt to undermine the stability that the country has worked hard to achieve.

“The attackers were repelled by a combined team of brave security forces and calm was restored,” said the president.

“Most of the leaders have been arrested and security operations and investigations are ongoing. We will ensure those responsible are held accountable through due process.

“I recognize the bravery and dedication of our armed forces, police and all those who played a role in defeating this attempt to undermine the peace and stability we worked so hard to achieve.”

Bio called for citizens to be reminded of national unity and advised that “everyone remains vigilant and cooperates with security forces.”

In another statement, the Minister of Information and Civic Education said a new curfew would be imposed from 9pm to 6am local time until further notice.

Sierra Leone has been gripped by a tense political climate since Bio was re-elected in June.

The election result was rejected by the opposition candidate and questioned by international partners, including the USA and the European Union, who considered that the polls lacked transparency.

The unrest in Sierra Leone follows a series of military coups in West and Central Africa since 2021.


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