FREETOWN – There appears to have been an attempted coup in Sierra Leone, with the country’s President Julius Bio on Sunday saying there was “a breach of security at the Military Barracks at Wilberforce in Freetown:”.
In the statement released on his official X account, formerly Twitter, President Bio said some unidentified individuals attacked the military armoury in the early hours of Sunday.
“However, they were repelled by our gallant Security Forces and calm has been restored. As the combined team of our Security Forces continue to root out the remnant of the fleeing renegades, a nationwide curfew has been declared and citizens are encouraged to stay indoors,” the statement said.
“The PEACE of our beloved NATION is PRICELESS and we shall continue to protect the peace and security of Sierra Leone against the forces that wish to truncate our much-cherished stability. We remain resolute in our determination to protect democracy in Sierra Leone and I urge all Sierra Leoneans to unite towards this collective responsibility,” the President added.
Earlier, the country’s Ministry of Information and Civic Education issued a similar statement, announcing a national wide curfew.
President Bio had just returned from Equatorial Guinea, where he on November 24 chaired the High-Level Summit of the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government on the UN Security Council Reform (C-10) in Oyala.
He was re-elected for the second term in June this year with 56.17% of the vote in a poll that the opposition led by Samura Kamara said was ‘not credible’. Kamara came second with 41.16%.
Bio himself is a retired brigadier in the Sierra Leone Army and was the military head of state of Sierra Leone from January 16, 1996 to March 29, 1996, in the National Provisional Ruling Council military junta government. He returned Sierra Leone to a democratically elected government, when he handed power to Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of the Sierra Leone People’s Party, after he won in the 1996 presidential election.