Sierra Leone


CrisisWatch Sierra Leone

Deteriorated Situation

Armed men attacked main military barracks and prison in capital Freetown; govt denounced coup attempt.

Unidentified gunmen 26 Nov launched assault on main military barracks in capital Freetown, seemingly attempting to access key armoury. During ensuing battle with security forces, assailants attacked detention centres, including Freetown Central Prison, from which 1,890 inmates were freed or abducted. Govt same day imposed nationwide curfew, said security forces repelled attack by “renegade soldiers”, while President Bio that evening announced most leaders of attack had been detained. As fragile calm returned to Freetown, govt 27 Nov said attack had left 20 people dead, including a dozen soldiers, and most inmates remained missing. Delegation of West African regional bloc ECOWAS same day arrived in country, expressed solidarity with govt and readiness to “deploy elements” upon request. Information Minister Chernoh Bah 28 Nov described incident as “attempted coup” and announced 13 military officers had been arrested. As night-time curfew remained in place, police same day published list of 34 people wanted in connection with incident, including current and former security forces members.

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