Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 August 2022:
President Bio needs to clampdown hard on his ministers and rein in his SLPP party operatives that are out fanning the flames of discord, retribution, and anarchy, in reaction to the bloody disturbance that took place last Wednesday, 10th of August 2022.
What the country needs now is moment of calm reflection and peaceful contemplation, not bellicose war chants.
Government ministers and ruling party operatives must allow the investigators of the deadly riot to do their work without the undue influence of politicians who are out to score points from this tragedy.
Sadly, the Mayor of Freetown – Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is being scapegoated by those trying to remove her from office. This is what she said in a statement: “Good day Freetonians. Immediately after His Excellency the President’s speech to the nation last night, the Minister of Information, members of the Strategic Communications Unit and the Presidential Press Secretary held a panel discussion in which they once again falsely accused me of inciting the recent protests.
“I am extremely troubled by this and utterly disappointed that government officials would use such a national broadcast to make baseless accusations.
“Let me emphatically state that I had no involvement in the incitement or organization of the protests on 10th August. I condemn all acts of violence that led to the unfortunate and tragic loss of lives and the destruction of property on that day.
“This deliberate and continued action of making false accusations publicly has already led to constant attacks of me on social media and attempts of physical attacks on FCC property. But this is not about me.
“In the past week, dozens of people have been killed, an unspecified and increasing number of people have been detained and it is my understanding that the detainees have been denied access to legal representation, and sadly thousands of traders (mainly women) have overnight lost their source of livelihood through the destruction of their market stalls.
“My heart goes out to all those who are suffering at this time. May the souls of the departed rest in peace. I believe that in challenging times we must nurture a spirit of unity and foster platforms for peaceful engagement. I call for calm in the city and for all to avoid violence.
“Finally, let me use this medium to reaffirm my commitment to peace and justice in Sierra Leone. I will continue to do everything I can to diligently serve the residents of Freetown. Thank you.”
You can watch Mayor Aki-Sawyerr speaking here:
In another related development, the head of the police force – William Fayia Sellu, has announced the lifting of the curfew. This is what his statement says: “The public will recall that following the violent insurrection on Wednesday August 10, 2022, the Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone declared a nationwide curfew which was revised on Thursday 11th August, 2022, to only apply and be enforced in places that were seriously affected by the violent insurrection i.e. Western Area (urban and rural), Makeni, Magburaka, and Kamakwie).
“Be informed that the security situation has drastically improved nationwide; and in particular, the places that were seriously affected, owing to the invocation and subsistence of Military Aid to Civil Power (MAC-P). In view of this, the curfew in the affected places (Western Area, Makeni, Magburaka, and Kamakwie) is hereby revoked, with immediate effect.”
Dr Samura Kamara, the 2018 Presidential Candidate of the APC party has also been speaking today about the deadly riots. This is what he said:
This is Dr Samura speaking: