Sierra Leone declares nationwide curfew after attack on military armoury

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Sierra Leonean troops
Sierra Leonean troops

The Sierra Leone government has declared a nationwide curfew after “unidentified individuals” attempted to break into a military armoury.

The Ministry of Information and Civic Education said the individuals, in the early hours of Sunday, tried to break into the armoury at Wilberforce barracks in the capital, Freetown.

“They have all been rebuffed,” the ministry said, and the government and security forces are in control.

It indicated that the suspects involved in the incident have not been apprehended.

“To enable the security forces to continue the process of apprehending the suspects, a nationwide curfew is declared with immediate effect across the country,” Chernor Bah, the information minister, wrote in the Sunday morning statement.

A government official, however, told Reuters, that there was a prison break at the central prison in Freetown. Many inmates escaped.

The security breach in Sierra Leone is occurring during a period of political uncertainty in many West and Central African countries with the resurgence of military coups. Coups have taken place in countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Gabon in recent years.

In Sierra Leone, in August, two months after its disputed presidential election, the government announced the arrest of senior military officials who, according to the government, were working to undermine the peace and tranquility of the state and unleash violence on peaceful citizens of Sierra Leone.

On Sunday, President Julius Bio in a post on X acknowledged the latest development and said “the peace of our beloved nation is priceless and we shall continue to protect the peace and security of Sierra Leone against the forces that wish to truncate our much-cherished stability.”

He added that his government remains resolute in its determination to protect democracy in Sierra Leone and urged all Sierra Leoneans to unite towards this collective responsibility.

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