Foreign

August 1, 2023

Coup in West Africa: Police arrest military officers ‘planning’ to topple Sierra Leonean govt

Coup in West Africa: Police arrest military officers ‘planning’ to topple Sierra Leonean govt

Police officers have arrested several people including high-ranking soldiers in Sierra Leone, suspected to be planning violent attacks on citizens.

This was disclosed by the police in a statement that, “The security sector has been following intelligence regarding the activities of certain individuals, including senior military officers, working to undermine the peace and tranquillity of the state.” 

“In that regard, several arrests have been made and the suspects are assisting the police with the investigations.”

It said the suspects planned to use peaceful protests scheduled for next week “as a guise to unleash violent attacks against state institutions and peaceful citizens.”

On August 10, 2022, economic and political protests in the capital Freetown and other cities spiralled into deadly clashes, according to Barron’s.

Twenty-seven civilians and six police officers died that day and in the several days that followed, according to official figures.

Amnesty International said it had gathered testimonies alleging excessive use of force, and condemned internet restrictions.

The West African nation held general elections on June 24.

President Julius Maada Bio was re-elected for a second term, according to official results, which the opposition disputes.

International observers noted “statistical inconsistencies” and condemned a “lack of transparency” in the ballot count following the vote.

The opposition has refused to participate in local or national government, with all but one MP boycotting parliament.

Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted in a military coup and General Abdourahmane Tchiani, also known as Omar Tchiani, took over the affairs of the country.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) led by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has given the coup leaders to reinstate Bazoum in one week.

While foreign nations like the United States and France have thrown their weight behind the ECOWAS, Mali and Burkina Faso pledged their support to the military regime in Niger.