Four people were killed on Saturday in Sierra Leone during a protest over the relocation of a standby generator in the town of Lungi.
Local media reported that those killed died from gunshot wounds during protests by the youth.
The youngest among the dead was a 15-year-old schoolboy.
The protest took place in Makeni, northern part of Sierra Leone. It was over the relocation of the city’s standby generator to the airport town of Lungi.
The protesters had attempted to block the movement of the power generator as they were concerned it will jeopardise the area’s electricity supply.
According to eyewitnesses when protesters began throwing rocks, security forces opened fire on them.
“They began by firing into the sky and people started running away … but after that, when people kept throwing stones, they started shooting into the people,” a witness told Reuters.
Video Received: from Makeni, Sierra Leone, where security forces y’day fired at protestors who were demonstrating over a power generator being relocated from Makeni to Lungi.
Acc to media reports 4 ppl were killed incl a teenage boy.
No word from Govt on death toll pic.twitter.com/fugW19Swz5
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) July 19, 2020
According to the country’s Energy minister there was an agreement with local authorities for the temporary relocation.
Four people have died from gunshot wounds in Makeni, northern #SierraLeone during protests by youths opposed to the relocation of the city’s standby generator to the airport town of Lungi. Energy minister says they’d agreed with local authorities for the temporary measure.
— Umaru Fofana (@UmaruFofana) July 18, 2020
In a statement the government said it was aware of a “potential loss of life”, without providing details. It said that any attempt to undermine public peace would be met with “the fullest force of the law.”
Sierra Leone has power generation capacity challenge, falling far short of the needs of its 7 million citizens.