Sierra Leone barrack attacks part of failed coup bid, 13 arrested, says minister

Majority of those arrested were military officers

Sierra Leone barrack attacks Sierra Leone's Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh visits the central Pademba Road prison after unidentified gunmen attacked a military barracks and the prison, following which inmates escaped, in Freetown | Reuters

The recent attacks on Sierra Leone’s military barracks and prisons were a “failed coup”, said authorities. Information Minister Chernor Bah on Tuesday said that the attackers attempted to overthrow the elected government but failed. In connection with the attacks, 13 military officers and one civilian was arrested.

The attack that occurred on Sunday morning took security forces and residents by surprise in the capital city of Freetown. Gunmen attacks on the main prison had set free about 2,200 prisoners and killing over 20 people, said authorities.

“Thirteen military officers are currently in custody and one other civilian in this incident we are now calling a failed coup,” said Bah.

Following the incidnent, a nationwide curfew was declared on Sunday by President Julius Maada Bio. Sierra Leone's civil aviation authority had urged airlines to reschedule flights after the curfew was imposed.

Tensions intensified in Sierra Leone when was Bio was reelected for a second term in June. He was reelected amid opposition party's accusation of the nation's electoral commission of conspiring with his party.

Since the end of the 11-year brutal civil war, it was the fifth presidential election held in the nation.

Since 2020, there have been eight military coups in West and Central Africa. Bio has been facing criticism because of weakening economic conditions. The nation is battling severe poverty, youth unemployment among other issues.


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