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Coup attempt in Sierra Leone?

There have been reports of a coup attempt in Sierra Leone. Gunmen attacked the military’s main Wilberforce barracks in the capital, Freetown, and attempted to break into the military armoury.

President Julius Maada Bio confirmed the breach of security and stated that security forces repelled the ‘unidentified’ individuals. 

In a message on the president’s X(formerly Twitter) social media account on Sunday, he said there had been a breach of security as some ‘unidentified’ individuals attacked the military armory.

“As the combined team of our security forces continue to route out the remnants of the fleeing renegades, a nationwide curfew has been declared, and citizens are encouraged to stay indoors,” the post noted.

Sierra Leone’s government also noted that they had repelled the attack at the military’s main Wilberforce barracks and were in control of the situation.

The government declared a nationwide curfew in response to the incident. However, reports have emerged that the nighttime curfew in Sierra Leone, imposed due to armed men freeing prison inmates, has been temporarily lifted. 

President Julius Maada Bio later said most of the leaders behind the attack had been arrested.

It must be noted that the situation had remained tense following the re-election of President Bio in a disputed election in June, which was rejected by the main opposition candidate. 

The unrest in Sierra Leone has been described as part of a surge of coups in the region, with eight military coups occurring in West and Central Africa since 2020, including in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Guinea.

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