Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 January 2017
Police in Freetown are investigating the alleged beating to death of a teenage school boy in the village of Gloucester in the capital Freetown, on the 10th of January, 2017.
According to reports, three teenage school boys believed to be known to the deceased are suspected of the brutal murder of the school boy in cold blood.
The beating is said to have taken place over an alleged stolen item, valued at less than five dollars ($5).
Two of the suspected teenage murderers, Daniel aged 14 years and Senesie aged 16 years, have been arrested and are in police custody. The third school boy named Abdulai, also aged 16 years, is now on the run.
Unofficial report says that the boy was forcibly taken to a woodland area near Leicester, where he was tied and beaten, and his lifeless body was then dumped in his Gloucester neighborhood.
Social workers at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender & Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA) under the leadership of Minister Dr. Sylvia Blyden (Photo), have visited the murdered teenager’s family.
Sources close to the Minister say that although the two boys now detained by Police are alleged to have killed an innocent child, the Ministry is working with the Police to ensure that their rights and welfare are being respected.
There are serious concerns in the country that this killing comes after recent attempts by a few teenagers to forcefully take over the ministry’s conference room by alleged violent means.
Juvenile delinquency and youth criminality has now become a major problem for the authorities in Freetown. And so too is the spate of unsolved murders in Sierra Leone rising.
Law and order is declining very sharply in Freetown, especially among juveniles; and many are now accusing certain people in high places for the increasing use of young people in scoring political scores.
In a press statement issued on the 6th of January 2017, Minister Blyden warned against those that are molly cuddling young people that are turning to violence.
She said: “The Ministry wishes to use this opportunity to urge civil society organizations to be issuing Press Releases in a manner that will ensure children know what is acceptable in a civilized society and what is frowned upon.
“For example, the incident of November 16th 2016 which saw school children in uniforms run riot through streets of Freetown, after their school sports, violently smashing properties and robbing citizens, should have seen Civil Society actors come out with strongly-worded press releases that will make the culprits, though children, know their actions are heavily frowned upon.
“We all owe a duty to regularly let our children know what is right and what is wrong. Our children are the Future and the Future should hold responsible citizens.”
The politicisation and criminalisation of young people, cannot be morally right nor can it be good for the peace and stability of the country. Young criminals of today can only become rebels of tomorrow.