Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 September 2018:
There is disquiet in the community of Mile 91 and surrounding villages in Sierra Leone tonight, after a combined team of armed police and soldiers allegedly raided two villages in the area at 5am Sunday, 9th September, shooting a 29-year-old man dead.
According to report by Radio 98.1FM, the Local Unit Commander (LUC) of the police said that, the team of armed security personnel arrived in his area of operation without his knowledge, in contravention of standard police protocol.
The LUC said that the team claimed the operation was ordered by State House. “They came as if they were prepared for war,” he said.
There has been no confirmation of the incident by the interior ministry nor State House. But the opposition APC party are accusing the SLPP led government of murder and calling for an investigation, so that those responsible can be brought to justice.
Sierra Leone police have over the years been accused of being trigger happy, under an unwritten policy of ‘shoot first and ask questions later’.
Former president Koroma was accused of failing to control the country’s police force, after a series of fatal shootings by the police across the country, including the killing of unarmed students in Kabala and Kenema who were out protesting peacefully.
Since coming to power six months ago, there has been an increase in accusations of political killings made against president Bio’s SLPP party and government by the opposition APC.
It is not yet clear why the police mounted this deadly operation in the Mile 91 community, and what led to the killing of the young man.
The Consortium for Democracy and Human Rights says that the Citizens Advocacy Network yesterday visited Mile 91 to ascertain allegations being made by local people of rape, murder, looting and destruction of property of poor farmers by the Sierra Leone Police.
The police are yet to issue a statement on this operation, which many are now regarding as another example of police brutality and unprofessionalism in Sierra Leone. You can watch a video of the community’s reaction here:
This is the father of the dead young man speaking to reporters: