Breaking News – Angry youths rioting in the East of Freetown Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 September 2016

rioting-in-wellington1

There are unofficial reports this afternoon of rioting in the capital’s eastern suburb – Rokupr.

It is not clear what sparked the social upheaval, but eyewitnesses say that groups of youths have blocked the main road leading to Rokupr.

It is understood that riot police are trying to bring the trouble under control, and that angry youths are burning tyres in the middle of the road to prevent police vehicles from entering the community.

This social disturbance comes just weeks after police shot and killed three youths in the northern district of Kabala, after a peaceful protest about the relocation of a proposed community project to another district.

Some reports from Rokupr say that today’s riot was started after police demolished properties in the community without any advance warning.

But the government has always made it known that the illegal construction of property on government land and environmentally protected areas will not be tolerated, and that they will be destroyed.

rioting-in-wellington2The police in Sierra Leone are having an unhappy relationship with young people across the country, amid rising crime and hooliganism.

And there are calls for better community policing helped by local community policing boards.

But the police have been accused of heavy policing tactics, especially the use of live bullets which often lead to fatalities.

Youth unemployment has remained stubbornly high in Sierra Leone, with few people – especially graduates and school drop-outs, unable to find meaningful work.

The Sierra Leone Telegraph is trying to obtain government confirmation of today’s disturbances in Rokupr, and we will update readers as and when this becomes available.

7 Comments

  1. Why is it that any slightest incident involving the state our youths will take it as an opportunity to behave lawlessly?

    Our youth problems in Sierra Leone can not be solely attributed to unemployment, because when we talk of unemployed it means people that are well trained and actively seeking employment.

    The problem of unemployment is a global issue so we have to be careful in holding our Government out-rightly responsible, or even so as citizens we have to be seen taking matters to the Government in a responsible way rather than targeting government properties and disrupting business.

    I believe our Government needs to do more to create employment for our compatriots by continuing to create an enabling environment for the private sector.

    The government must fast-track the proposed youth service schemes or even prioritise more and more on agriculture.

    Government should create big farms to cultivate mostly our staple food (rice) and employ youths to work on these farms. If it is planned and managed well it will help us to attain food sustainability.

    It is interesting to see people wishing bad for their country just because of politics, but remember whatever happens one way on the other it will affect all of us.

  2. This is just a prelude as to the determination of the people to defend their rights and demand for good governance, responsible leadership, honest and devoted civil servants in the service of the people.

    This government mustn’t take the people for granted. They have had enough. The APC government is solely responsible to avert social upheaval in the country, from now on to the forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in 2018.

    For God sake, Why should the people be evicted from their makeshift homes without provision for their dwellings. This is a flagrant abuse of power.

  3. Flagging Youth employment is like putting the cart before the horse. I think youth EMPOWERMENT in the form of appropriate training and youth ENABLEMENT through START UPS after training are both crucial.

    However, the politicians who are preparing to DEPLOY unemployed youths during elections in 2018 must be prepared to face the full weight of JUSTICE for ‘EXPOSING YOUTHS TO HARM’S WAY AND GIVING THEM DRUGS OF ALL SORTS’.

    Youths want progression and independence not exposure to THUGGERY. They are the sons and daughters of Sierra Leoneans too.

    LET US TREAT OUR YOUTHS AS OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS OR FACE THE CURSE OF DESTROYING OUR OWN CHILDREN.

  4. APC must by now know that totalitarian tactics will not be tolerated by the citizens of Sierra Leone. Some of these youths are battle hardened from the previous war and thus are not afraid of conflict.

    I implore Koroma and his administration to be tactful and diplomatic when dealing with people’s properties. The “order from above” rule will not intimidate a single Sierra Leonean. These youths have the potential for developing a dangerous mindset that can bring another decade of destruction, because the government has been unable to better their lot and give them a bright future,

  5. This government make things tough for the country. They cant even get direct flight to UK to help the economy grow with the influx of tourists. They charge extortionate fee for visa when nearby countries are visa free.

  6. Its just the beginning. This had been long coming. This government will ultimately fall harder than the Momoh government. Just watch as the election draws closer. He is shameless and unapologetic about bringing into his government the most undignified personalities that we have ever had.

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