Sierra Leone Telegraph: 11 August 2022:
Sierra Leone Police headquarters today published its interim report into yesterday’s street protests which saw four police officers and several civilians killed, as President Bio returns home from his holiday to face a nation ripped apart by hate and political discord.
Tonight, as the dust begin to settle, the people of Sierra Leone are looking for answers as to how the nation could have slept walk into the abyss.
Ruling SLPP supporters and some government ministers have already found the main opposition APC party guilty of instigating – if not planning the protest, in the court of public opinion.
This is the statement published by the ruling SLPP chairman – Prince Harding today, which many regard as pouring kerosine into a flame:
“Violent Protests, Insurgency and Coup by Terrorists.
“The Sierra Leone Peoples Party is appalled at the ugly events of Monday August 8 which reached its crescendo yesterday August 10, 2022 when a section of malcontents attempted to violently take over the reigns of government. The SLPP unequivocally condemns this unholy act of attempting to hijack power from the democratically elected government.
“Since April 2018, when the people of Sierra Leone gave the mantle of state authority to President Julius Maada Bio and the SLPP, some rejected and dejected people have vowed to obstruct the peace and security of the country. The activities of the main opposition APC have been consistently directed at rocking the smooth sail of the ship of Sierra Leone under the astute leadership of President Bio. It started with an unfortunate statement made by their vanquished presidential candidate after his defeat in the polls in March 2018, that he will make the country ungovernable.
“Since then, there have been several attempts at actualising that statement. It started with a pattern of arson in which some buildings were targeted and condescended to calls for resistance to state security which has now degenerated to an attempted take over of government.
“It’s now abundantly clear that the whole process was sponsored, engineered & implemented by the APC & its apparatchiks. In addition to d audios & videos made by their leaders & supporters, the so-called protests took place in selected areas perceived to be their strongholds, buildings & structures identified as SLPP owned were vandalized and in some cases gutted down and SLPP leader/members were beaten-up & properties looted or damaged.
“Police representing governance & by implication, the SLPP, were molested, beaten & murdered in broad daylight. Unfortunately the comment by the UN rappatoire prior to the insurgency gave succor to these terrorists.
“As the ruling party, and the one that brought peace to the country after 11 years of brutal civil war we cannot allow mischievous losers to scuttle the hard won peace and democratic credentials of our country to slide. We will do everything possible to nip in the bud the evil plans of anyone. The events of yesterday August 11 are the evidence of the desperation of people who are bent in creating chaos and derailing the peace of ordinary citizens.
“We urge the security forces to be more robust and vigilant in the execution of their sacred duty of protecting the lives of the people of Sierra Leone. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to those fallen officers who were brutally killed in the line of duty. They didn’t deserve to die that way. Our hearts are with the families of the officers and the party will reach out to them.
“We call on the international community and the moral guarantors of Sierra Leone’s peace accord to take necessary steps to engage all actors. We urge citizens and our supporters to be law abiding and carry on with their normal duties. Signed: Dr. Prince Alex Harding, Chairman.”
Sadly, feelings are getting out of control; political tension is rising once again. There are calls for the APC party to be officially proscribed and banned from politics. But is this a logical and viable solution? The answer quite simply, is no. This will only lead to more bloodshed, if not another civil war.
What is certain though, is that the people of Sierra Leone and politicians must now keep a cool head and look for a better way of doing politics in the country, as it is obvious the current model is not working, after sixty-one years of independence.
The police report makes for very grim reading as the total number of police officers killed by frenzied, psychotic youths is confirmed. This is what the report says:
As the people of Sierra Leone make sense of and digest this interim police report, questions must be asked as to whether it’s possible to be hopeful of a better future for Sierra Leone amid so much anger and hatred among some sections of society.
Many in Sierra Leone are calling for divine intervention, though this is not the first time such prophetic calls have been made.
This is what the country’s Inter-Religious Council said today in their published statement:
“The Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone (IRCSCL) is dismayed and concerned about the riot and violence across the country that led to the loss of innocent lives and property. We are also shocked because all of this has happened just after a one-week intensive interfaith prayer and fasting (from 25th to 31st July 2022) for peace, unity and national cohesion in our land.
“The IRCSL vehemently unequivocally condemn all forms of riot and violence, and therefore calls on the Government to investigate thoroughly the root cause(s) of this uprising and bring its perpetrators to book.
“Meanwhile, we appeal to all and sundry to maintain peace, law and order, and allow all Sierra Leoneans to go about their normal business.
“We express our sincere condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones and pray that their souls will rest in perfect peace.
“Finally, we call on all religious leaders in this country to continue in prayer and preaching messages of reconciliation, peace, and national cohesion to ensure political stability and development.”
Tonight, the country’s Cyber Security and Monitoring Unit has announced draconian measures to control and stop people sharing stories on social media that may be deemed subversive. This is a retorgrade step away from civil liberty towards a communist police state. This is what they said: