Sierra Leone arrests suspects over planning to carry out violent acts

Sierra Leonean police have disclosed that they arrested “several” individuals, possibly including soldiers, who were plotting violent attacks on the anniversary of last August’s fatal riots, which resulted in over 30 deaths.

“The security sector has been following intelligence regarding the activities of certain individuals, including senior military officers, working to undermine the peace and tranquility of the state,” the police said in a statement to the media on late Monday.

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

Authorities stated that the apprehended suspects intended to exploit the peaceful protests scheduled for next week as a cover to carry out violent attacks against state institutions and peaceful citizens.

Deadly clashes erupted on August 10, 2022, during economic and political protests in the capital city of Freetown and other cities.

According to official figures, on that day and in the subsequent days, twenty-seven civilians and six police officers lost their lives.

Amnesty International stated that it collected testimonies accusing authorities of excessive use of force and strongly criticized the imposition of internet restrictions.

The West African nation held general elections on June 24.

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

International observers highlighted “statistical inconsistencies” and criticized the “lack of transparency” in the ballot count that took place after the election.

The opposition has declined to engage in local or national government activities, with all but one MP boycotting parliament.

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