Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 November 2019:
There are reports of an outbreak of serious violence this morning at the local council bye-election which is taking place in Kasirie in the Kambia Distrcit, northern Sierra Leone.
Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella – the parliamentary leader and 2018 presidential candidate of the National Grand Coalition Party (NGC) and the party’s chairman – Dr Dennis Bright are believed to have narrowly escaped the violence, though Dr Yumkella confirmed to the Sierra Leone Telegraph editor this afternoon that he sustained injury to his arm. (Photo below).
The violence is said to have been caused by several armed men believed to be supporters of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), brought into Kambia from the border across Guinea by Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Guinea in unmarked vehicles.
Kasirie is an NGC stronghold. Yesterday, Dr Yumkella was on AYV TV (see video below) where he expressed serious alarm concerning report of government backed thugs planning to commit election violence this morning in Kasirie.
According to Awareness Times Newspaper reporters covering the election this morning, “a sudden and unprovoked hail of stones rained down on the vehicle of the two men and left NGC members wounded and bleeding. Both Yumkella and Bright have fled for their lives.”
“An attempt by Awareness Times reporters to cover the attack was met by violent threats from the attackers – with our cameras almost snatched from us. Over 7 phones were snatched in our presence to prevent recording of the VIOLENT ATTACK.
“We barely saved our cameras from being snatched by using special Ninja tactics. However, we have now run for cover. (Photo: Yumkella’s security guard wounded).
“As we fled, we left Sierra Leone Police officers actively trying to calm the situation down. We must caution that as of now, there is no way of identifying who the attackers were. It was all very sudden and very, very VIOLENT. What we can confirm is that right in our presence, NGC party members were physically attacked and have blood running from their bodies.
“There are senior government officials present inside Kasirie and they are using what seems to be government issued vehicles but with license plates covered with black cloths,” Awareness Times reports.
Speaking on the phone to Dr Kandeh Yumkella this afternoon, this is what he told the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph – Abdul Rashid Thomas:
Head of Communication for the NGC in the UK – Mr Alan Luke also spoke to the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph, and he said this: