Thursday, February 29, 2024

ECOWAS backs Sierra Leone’s government after failed coup attempt

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

The West African regional body, ECOWAS has expressed support for the government of Sierra Leone following a failed coup attempt over the weekend.

Sierra Leone’s government said on Tuesday that attacks on several locations in the capital Freetown on Sunday were an attempt to overthrow the government.

Gunmen attacked a military barracks, a prison and other locations on Sunday, freeing about 2,200 inmates and killing more than 20 people.

Those accused of masterminding this failed attempt were mostly bodyguards of former President Ernest Bai Koroma, the government said.

The country’s information minister Chernor Bah, and the chief of defence staff Lt. General Patrick Lavahun, told reporters that investigations were ongoing.

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“The incident was a failed attempted coup. The intention was to illegally subvert and overthrow a democratically elected government,” said Bah.

“The attempt failed, and plenty of the leaders are either in police custody or on the run. We will try to capture them and bring them to the full force of the laws of Sierra Leone.”

The two high level officials said that the former president, Koroma could not be directly linked to the plot.

Thirteen military officers and a civilian have been arrested following the incident, with over two dozen people, including five army majors and two captains, said to be on a wanted list following the attacks.

“Some of these guys were police officers, or they were dismissed or retired. And some were military officers, either retired or serving,” army chief of defence staff Lavahun told the news conference. “Most of these guys were guards of the former president.”

ECOWAS said in a statement that a delegation has met with President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone on Monday to re-assure of its support.

The delegation was led by President of the ECOWAS Commission Dr. Omar Alieu Touray.

President Bio meeting the delegation from ECOWAS

“The envoys reiterated the Commitment of ECOWAS towards preserving democracy and good governance across the sub-region while assuring President Bio of their readiness to support the Government and people of Sierra Leone to deepen democracy and good governance, consolidate peace and security as well as foster socio-economic development, the statement said.

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