Sierra Leone: Govt Arrests Attackers of Military Barracks

    Photo: Hannah McKay - Pool/Getty Images News via Getty Images (Nov. 2, 2021)

    The Facts

    • Most of the people behind an assault on a military barracks in the capital Freetown have been arrested, and an investigation has been launched to bring the perpetrators to justice, Sierra Leone's Pres. Julius Maada Bio announced Sunday.

    • Unknown assailants had attempted to storm a military armory in Freetown's Wilberforce district, leading to armed clashes with security forces. The country's Information Minister, Chernor Bah, said the attack has been repelled, and the "government is in firm control of the security situation."

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This attempted coup comes as no great surprise and is one of several recent attempts to overthrow the Bio government. Sierra Leone is in the middle of a severe economic crisis, with frustration growing among its people. The government rigged the 2023 elections to stay in power, further deepening political division and instability. Moreover, Bio refuses to implement the peace accord with the opposition, which provides for the release of all political prisoners. Sierra Leone will not find peace if the people's democratic will is ignored.

    Narrative B

    While investigations into the events are ongoing, whoever is responsible for these attacks is seeking to disrupt constitutional order. The people of Sierra Leone have fought hard to achieve stability after the civil war, and any attempt to undermine the country's efforts to deepen democracy and consolidate peace and security to promote economic development must be met with zero tolerance. There have been eight military coups in West and Central Africa in recent years, and every effort must be made to ensure that Sierra Leone doesn't suffer the same fate.

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