Friday, March 1, 2024

Sierra Leone lifts curfew after Pademba Road Prison breakout

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

A nationwide curfew imposed on Sierra Leone has now been lifted after armed men broke into a prison to free inmates.

Many detainees from some prisons were released on Sunday morning and President Julius Maada Bio later said most of the leaders behind the attack had been arrested.

The curfew has been lifted for now but it grounded flights leaving some passengers stranded in the West African country.

Sierra Leone’s government imposed the curfew following what it called an attempt by “some unidentified individuals to break into the military armoury at the Wilberforce Barracks” in the nation’s capital Freetown on Sunday morning.

The barracks is near the Presidential Lodge. The Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority has asked all airlines to reschedule flights after the curfew is lifted.

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It urged all person to respect the curfew and comply with the directives of the state security.

Details of attack

Residents in the capital spoke of sporadic gunfire Saturday night/Sunday morning, with the capital enveloped by uncertainties on Sunday morning.

No casualty has been reported in the second exchange of gunfire in Sierra Leone. It follows a similar incident in September after the June controversial presidential and legislative elections in the country.

A statement by the Minister of Information and Civic Education Chernor Bah said the individuals “have all been repelled.”

From his social media X handle, President Bio has confirmed the alleged attack and the blanket curfew on the country, saying: “As the combined team of our security forces continue to (root) out the remnant of the fleeing renegades.”

“I bring you greetings from the Presidential Lodge, in Freetown,” the president said, adding: “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.”

Controversial elections 

The Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) declared sitting President Julius Maada Bio of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) re-elected with 56.17% in the presidential vote.

His opponent Samura Kamara and his main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) rejected the results citing alleged irregularities in the electoral process.

Civil society organizations as well as local and international election observers Missions in their separate reports said the electoral process, especially the result management lacked transparency.

There have been some behind the scenes efforts to douse the political tension generated by the disputed elections to prevent Sierra Leone from sliding back to instability after its 10-year devastating civil war from 1991.


ECOWAS condemns Sierra Leone violence as curfew is imposed


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