Three dead in Freetown as Sierra Leone is shutdown by protesters calling for the resignation of President Bio

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 August 2022:

Three people, including two civilians and one state security personnel have been killed in Freetown today, as the city is brought to a standstill by angry protesters, calling for the resignation of President Julius Maada Bio who is on holiday in London with his family.

The government in the last hour has shut down the country’s internet service to prevent the sharing of images of the protests taking place in the northern cities and towns, as well as the capital Freetown – opposition APC strongholds.

President Bio is accused of rampant corruption, human rights abuses, the killing of unarmed civilians and prisoners, abuse of State power, poor leadership and the acute economic hardship that people in the country are experiencing.

On Monday, the streets of Freetown, shops and markets were deserted as people heeded calls from organisers of the protests to stay at home. Schools and offices were also shut.

Today’s protests have brought bloodshed, with the police accused of shooting two people dead. A security officer could also be seen in a video to be lying dead in a pool of blood.

Vice President Juldeh has announced a curfew , and called on the military to assist the police force in enforcing law and order in the country.

There are calls for the President to return to Sierra Leone and deliver a public broadcast to calm political tensions.

But critics say that President Bio may well use the violent protests as an opportunity to declare a state of emergency to extend his stay in office, with presidential and general elections less than a year away.

It is also being rumoured that sections of the military may stage a coup as the government appears to have lost control.

The videos below show some of the latest images of what has been happening in Freetown, Makeni and Binkolo. Some of the images are gruesome and require viewer discretion. Some readers may find the videos disturbing:

 

15 Comments

  1. KABS KANU
    I apologize to forumites and readers for straying away from issues in order to keep the record straight, I am ALUSINE FALAY who is just a COMMON MAN and has NEVER joined and hopefully will NEVER join any political party in Sierra Leone. Unfortunately, some people in this forum have even misconstrued me that I work at the Statehouse and a PAOPA. I can categorically state that I don’t even have the qualifications for that job. I am supporting the policies of President Bio which I believe has transformed our nation. I’m just a PATRIOTIC CITIZEN leaving in the USA for decades , and once on a while trying to EXPRESS MY PERSONAL OPINION after reading some articles on this credible and balanced Telegraph Newspaper. Thank to Mr. Thomas for the opportunity. I belong to the baby boomer generation and was raised under the APC one party dictatorship until I migrated in the late 80’s. Fortunately, for decades I have been visiting my country to celebrate my 86 years old mom birthdays and also celebrate Christmas and New Years .
    My late father is a Mende Muslim from the Pujehum District and my mom is a Creole Christian from Freetown (the paternal Davis and Maternal Cole families) who was raised in Westmoreland Street (Siaka Stevens st,) few meters away from the Cotton tree. That’s why I always preach against tribal and religious hatred based on the fact that my parents taught me to be tolerant and respectful during their 50 years of marriage.
    Although I was born and raised in Freetown, but during my teenage years, I attended St. Francis secondary school in Makeni City and Boy secondary school in Magburuka. That’s the reason why I’m concerned about the current situation in my country.
    Finally, I really hope and pray that your APC party will be transformed to a Democratic Party, because some of my friends and relatives are currently running Makeni City. Even in 1985 when late President Siaka Stevens handpicked late President Joseph Momoh, I danced with him at the Gresham Valley Hall to his favorite Dr. Oloh music ( Wata wae na for you) and Zangalaywa , together with the family of your former lifetime leader who were my school mates.

  2. You could see it coming. I certainly did once the former NPRC man won that election. I just believed then that having him in power again is tantamount to revisiting our dark past and waking up our demons. Monkey never … The shadow of alleged human rights abuses and misuse of state funds keeps following him. And things could get worse. I believe violence breeds violence. It is certainly true in West Africa with most of the countries sitting uneasily on a powder keg with a grenade in both hands.

    We all know the heavy price the other former soldier J S Momoh and the country at large paid for his heavy-handedness and recklessness. You don’t need a crystall ball to see that things are not looking up. It took exactly four years for majority of Sierra Leoneans to realise that the NPRC were impostors and were up to no good. The former NPRC man has now been misruling for a similar period. The question is will he suffer the same fate and destiny. I certainly believe his days are numbered.

    In as much as a change in the status quo is looming large on the horizon, any vissicitudes that do not have an outcome tyat discards both SLPP and APC into the archives or garbage of History is an exercise in utter futility. It is then, and only then, will we be off the perrenial bottom eight of the human development index and off a cliffhanger or precpice of a bloody tribal war.

  3. Why this senseless, pointless spilling of blood? Of the blood of our brothers who have had their lives snuffed out in their prime? That chilling, bloodcurdling sight in one of the videos of corpses lying in rivulets of their blood will stay with me forever. So, in the final analysis, Conrad was right when he called our continent the heart of darkness in a novel of the same name.

    Does the right to govern bestowed by election results necessarily mean the right to decide who lives and who dies? Is that right not given in trust by voters in any democratic state worth that name? When that right is perverted and weaponized to coercively and indeed murderously control those same voters, does it not cease to be legitimate? The person who bears ultimate responsibility for the warped exercise of the entrusted right must pay for the blood spilled.

  4. This video of Binkolo which is the home of late President Joseph Momoh during the one party APC , is not only shameful but despicable .How can the APC party use innocent children to protest?
    My only guess will be to use them as human shields.

  5. My only comment here is about the heading, THREE DEAD! Are you kidding me? A total of seven police officers were killed including a female police officer. In Freetown alone 3 officers were killed, three killed at Kamakwie and one at Makeni while 12 civilians were killed, two in Kamakwei, four in Makeni and six in Freetown Unfortunately, when you read papers like this, and you come across articles written by one of the founders of the PPP Mr. Kabs Kanu celebrating about what happened yesterday in our beloved country, you become dumbfounded. Mr. Kabs Kanu and one ABU Bakarr Shaw in London have been serially fanning the flame of violence on social media and in their online newspapers. It is therefore not surprising that he is seen rejoicing on the further loss of lives in our country that he can write that SIERRA LEONENAS ARE HAPPY! Who is Happy? Only his likes who think that lives should be lost as long as it is not the lives of his close relatives in a bid for him and his ilk to gain power.

    What has happened has just given credence to the excuses the police have been giving as to why they have not been granting permit for people to demonstrate? This is a continuous trend starting from when Acha Kamara was IGP to IGP MUNU who actually banned street jogging in Freetown to IGP Moigbe who banned the popular Paddle dance to Sovula and now IGP Sellu who took power less than 10 days ago. They police had always stated as their reasons that people in Sierra Leone will always take advantage to cause mayhem if they are granted permission to demonstrate. Yesterday’s images and videos seen by the international community saw police officers been attacked by PPP members some of whom are captured on Cameras branding guns, swords and knives.

    With the exception of the three officers including ASP Alex Tucker killed in Kamakwei because of their ethnic background, the rest killed in Freetown and Makeni are our northern brothers and sister including the female officer Bethan Turay, and Kabs Kanu and his ilk think we should be happy. I am a northerner myself. Loss of lives is unacceptable to me and I feel at loss when I lose my brethren senselessly. I hope the owner Mr. ART would not view my response as an attack on his paper but I like many other Sierra Leoneans are fed up with this “We would make the country ungovernable” attitude. Sometimes you would want to know the mind set of people who rejoice happily when the country they call their country is in turmoil whilst they are far removed in the West from the quagmire that they help set up, plan and support and coordinate.

    • Aminata, you said: “My only comment here is about the heading, THREE DEAD! Are you kidding me? A total of seven police officers were killed including a female police officer. In Freetown alone 3 officers were killed, three killed at Kamakwie and one at Makeni while 12 civilians were killed, two in Kamakwei, four in Makeni and six in Freetown.” Please note that we were one of the first newspapers to publish this story as those tragic events were unfolding. Our headline was based on the facts we had at the time, the video evidence we had. Hope that explains it. By the way, it is now more than 24 hours since those killings. We have not seen any statement from the government offcially confirming the number of people dead and those injured.

  6. Ladies and gentlemen! Could everyone stand up or sit down still for one minute for all those who lost their lives yesterday? May their memories bless us all: Amen and Amen, father God.
    Adding to my heroes now are all those who lost their lives and all the personnel of the Republic of the Sierra Leone Armed forces involved in that extremely professional handling of the most volatile and chaotic situation ever in the history of Sierra Leone.
    As I said in my last comment, Regionalism is now playing in the political history of our country. From Freetown west to Freetown East, North to North West and South to South East. That is scary. I don’t want to use this word, but I would use it now. Regionalism always leads to “Ethnical Cleansing”, wiping tears from my eyes. “Ethnic Cleansing” is the product of Regionalism—worrying stuff.
    You may say whatever you want; like me or not, our Huge and Mighty Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces calmed and slowed down the protestors to put the situation under control. They should take credit and no one else. That’s the fact. Was there an intelligence failure on the part of the executive branch of government and the Police? The Police and the executive branch of government should have seen that coming. Why did the military get their intelligence right to put the situation under control and the Police and executive branch not? The government should establish an investigation. People died, wiping tears from my eyes.
    My advice for President Bio is this, please never stay silent when there is a problem of such magnitude in the country. It creates an information or even leadership void that makes the situation worse. I will urge President Bio to listen to how some people interpreted the Vice President’s statement on national TV. That was unfortunate and ridiculous. That so-called official must be sacked. These are the sort of people that can confuse any institution. For now, I pray that all of us will dial down the rhetoric and deal with this problem in the best interest of all the stakeholders involved. God bless Sierra Leone.

  7. Gloomy clouds continue to hang over our nation under the PAOPA regime. After nearly 2 decades of peaceful democratic regimes towards the end of a senseless 11yrs civil war that left thousands dead, with half of the country infrastructure destroy, no peace loving Sierra Leonean could ever imagine such instability and anarchy will resurface again in our nation.

    Yes, the opposition and critics of the sitting government could definitely be apportion some responsibility on the ugly events that have unfold and continue to besieged our nation over the past 4years, however, a majority of the blame can only be to the current regime method of governance. A regime whose despite our nation being a democracy, have adopted a military, tyrannical, dictatorship style of governance.

    When the space of civil discourse is close, opposition voices get hammered, the right to speak up, protests, or express any displeasure or grievances towards the government is shout down, with rampant arrests and intimidation of dissenting voices at records levels, the end results is a nonentity like Adebayor gaining prominence, a young man will despicable character, being looked a bacon of hope, albeit his many misguided pronouncement. What does that tell you about our political leaders? Rest in peace to every citizens who have lost their lives over this senseless disturbances, we pray for common sense rather than pride and arrogance, to touch the PAOPA cabal.

  8. This is a sad day in my beloved country Sierra Leone today, it is unfortunate this is an ugly images that no true Sierra Leonean will accepts or be happy for. But only the terror groups are the failures and would never prevail in their evil plans against this county. Our country’s respectable Vice President, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, has exercised the leadership and shown to H.E. President Bio and to the entire country that, indeed he has put the entire situations under control thank you Sir. The orchestrators are well known to the nation, and this terror acts will be fully investigate and these criminal perpetrators will brought to justice, in the eyes of the world. The life chairman, Samura Kamara and the others no doubt they knew about this ugly coup attempt. We will never allow ” Terror party” to rule this country never in the future. We are totally sick and tired of your behaviors.

    APCs have attempted the first coup d’ta, using the former Defense minister Mr. Paolo Conteh. The second one was the maximum Pademba road prisons incident, and this is third attempt, it won’t happens again. Thank you to the entire Sierra Leone Arm Forces for your loyalty to the President and your country,
    you are blessed.

  9. When you sow bad seeds , you will harvest bad seeds .No one in their right mind would be happy or will be celebrating the unfortunate events that took place in Freetown and the provinces. May the soul of the people that lost their lives rest in peace. Ultimate responsibility for this riots rest with Bio.Unfortunately, his government policies have brought us where we are today. Although his apologist will be crying foul.But let no one fool you, this is Bio’s handiwork put in full display for the world to see . Tragedies seemed to strike anytime Bio is out of the country .The tanker fuel disaster happened when Bio was attending the COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow.Once again he is in London when there is no UK government to speak of until the conservative party elect their own party leader .What a wasted trip .We have to work to restore law and order .The Bio government and his misguided economic policies have not only created an atmosphere of insecurity and desperatness for ordinary working people in the country , but a sense of hopeleness have set in and they can’t see any way out of the situation they found themselves. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.

    The protesters call for action to alleviate their suffering due to the cost of living crisis and the effects of the Covid19 pandemic on our economy,mirrors similar actions by protecting Pepe women not long ago in the streets of Freetown that were met by police brutality , which was the last brutal act committed by the former inspector general of police Dr Soluva on ordinary people that were just out protesting peacefully to draw the Bio government attention to their plight.I say it here the military is not the solution to our problems .Otherwise , both Major General Joseph Saidu Momoh or our present leader Rt Brigadier General Maada Bio would have created the economic miracle we are all waiting for sixty years after independence .This is not the time for hot heads tq decide the fate of our country. The Republic of Sierra Leone armed forces should help restore law and order only as a measure of last resort and leave the heavy lifting to the specially trained Sierra Leone riot police to bring the situation under control. When it comes to the international arena and saying all the right things to his western audience and gullible supporters , no one can beat Bio the orator on any of the international topics that are making headlines.

    But when it comes to issues that directly endangered the security of the state or affect the people of Sierra Leone , he always have his useful idiot in the form of Juldeh Jalloh his Vice President to put out the fires he started .Former President Stevens used to put former vice president S .I Koromo in similar predicament.The 1977 students riots was a case in point .Bio needs to cut his holiday short and return to Sierra Leone and explain to the nation what his government intend to do to address the issues affecting us .This zombie government he leds can’t carry on like business as usual as the cost of living crises spiral out of control .The opportunity to kick his government out of power is just around the corner .We don’t need anymore bloodshed in our country .Every Sierra leonean lives matter .

    • The man in power or the one in opposition, who is raging war? Let me tell you, we the majority likes discipline and law. If you don’t want to be controlled by someone just because you hate them for no reason, then we the soba ones are electing him again, because he is the right one. Your propaganda will not stop us from voting Maada Bio again 2023.

      • So, you see, this is the problem haunting our nation today. Nobody wants to be honest. Everybody has taken sides. President Maada Bio is a disaster and has committed lots of human rights abuses and shed precious blood . What Amadu Jalloh is saying is very true. Why are you refusing to see it ? Because you are blinded by the green shades of SLPP partisanship. If an APC President was committing these same atrocities, would you have said the same thing, Mr. Blango ? No way. So, you see, even you pontificating on this forum are very dishonest and deceptive and you have no moral authority to call anybody to account. Our nation is now deeply divided between the SLPP and the APC. Everybody is holding firmly to his position. So, who has the right to moralize ? We are all guilty of political partisanship and bias.

  10. The reality is, majority of Sierra Leoneans understand that the Terrorist group (The APC party) through their disgruntled and disgraced former lifetime leader Earnest Koroma is behind this TERROR in their own strongholds.
    Most of the Northern Districts, including the Southern and Eastern provinces which are the bread baskets of our nation remains peaceful and people are going about their regular businesses. . “President Bio must go” is not a new WISH THINKING of the APC, based on the fact that they have tried several times since 2018. This episode of using their gullible youths as political pawns will also fail miserably and President Bio will be re-elected for another 5 years in 2023. I wish President Talk and Do Bio and his beautiful wife are resting on their vacation, because his trusted Vice President Juldeh Jalloh have everything under control.

    • AUGUSTINE FALLAY, be honest to your conscience. With such biased and wrong-headed views, do you have any moral authority to call out anybody else for biased and partisan views ? Be honest with yourself. Everything you have said lacks any iota of truth but I give you that. It is your viewpoint and you are entitled to it. Let us stop the hypocrisy -pontificating and climbing the high tower of political correctness. We are not. We have all taken sides. You are SLPP. You see nothing wrong with the SLPP. Everything else about the APC is wrong, meanwhile. Who is to judge the other when you are so biased yourselves ? You people being so incurably biased in favour of your SLPP must allow others to exercise their rights too by exposing what is wrong with the SLPP. I will not stop attacking and opposing the SLPP. Some of you can say because of that you will not read my newspaper, but for every one of you that stays away ( If you do. I know you don’t ), thousands more people come to read. Sierra Leone does not belong only to the SLPP. You guys arr crybabies and want journalists to agree with everything you do, however evil. KABS KANU will never kowtow to you. KABS KANU will continue condemning the SLPP until we get rid of you. And when the APC comes back, KABS KANU will condemn them the same way if they replicate what the SLPP are doing now.

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