Authorities in Sierra Leone have detained thirteen members of the country’s armed forces on suspicion of involvement in what they call a failed coup attempt.
Information Minister Chernor Bah said that the suspects intended to overthrow the democratically elected government of Sierra Leone. The country’s primary jails and military barracks were the targets of the assaults, which are unfortunately typical in West Africa. Niger and Gabon are among the eight military coups that have occurred in the area since 2020.
Gunmen stormed the country’s main military barracks, which is situated near the presidential palace in a tightly guarded area of Freetown, and stormed into the important armory, waking up residents of the city. In addition to the city’s two prisons, the assailants struck the central jail, the site of the emancipation of almost 2,000 convicts. In addition to the two civilians apprehended in connection with the incident, over a hundred of the previously released prisoners have been returned to the jails as authorities search for more possible perpetrators.
On Tuesday, the capital was rocked by gunfire as the police attempted to apprehend fugitives. According to Lt. Gen. Peter Lavahun, chief of defense staff, many of the assailants were either hidden or were still on the run throughout the nation. On Tuesday, after more than 24 hours under a 24-hour curfew, the authorities eased the restriction to a night lockdown.
Tensions in Sierra Leone’s political system have been building since President Julius Maada Bio’s disputed reelection in June. Authorities claimed to have detained many individuals, including high-ranking military officials, two months after his reelection on charges of plotting to use demonstrations “to disrupt peace.”
A team was dispatched by the West African economic group ECOWAS to the nation’s president to “offer their support and solidarity” after the assaults, which they condemned.
The president, Julius Maada Bio, announced the arrest of “most of the leaders” of the assault and promised to keep going after the others.
There is still a curfew from sunset to sunrise in Freetown, and schools and banks are also closed. Checkpoints have also been set up.