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  • Sunday, 02 October 2022
DEADLY ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS IN SIERRA LEONE LEAD TO IMPOSITION OF CURFEW

DEADLY ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS IN SIERRA LEONE LEAD TO IMPOSITION OF CURFEW

Two police officers and a civilian have been confirmed dead in the anti-government protests in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown.

 

This development was made known by members of staff of the city’s main mortuary where the dead bodies were brought.

 

In addition to that, another civilian body was seen on a street in eastern Freetown.

 

Videos on social media verified by Reuters showed large crowds of protesters and piles of burning tyres in parts of the capital, Freetown.

 

Other footage showed a group of young men throwing rocks on a street filled with whitish smoke out of frustration at worsening economic hardship and other issues.

 

AFRICUNIA TV gathered that in view of this protest, Sierra Leone, which has been struggling with rising inflation and a fuel crisis, imposed a nationwide curfew from 3 p.m. local time (1500 GMT) in a bid to stem the violence.

 

President of the West African country, Julius Maada Bio, on Twitter referred to the protest an unfortunate and assured Sierra Leoneans that proper investigation would be carried out.

 

He tweeted, “As a government, we have the responsibility to protect every citizen of Sierra Leone. What happened today was unfortunate and will be fully investigated.”

 

A university undergraduate who spoke with newsmen on the protest said, “People are upset about the country’s justice system which is sickening, daily price rises and economic hardship.

 

“The violence started at around 10:30 a.m. local time when I saw clouds of tear gas rising up outside my dormitory room.”

 

In a video address, the Vice President, Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, said, “These unscrupulous individuals have embarked on a violent and unauthorised protest which has led to the loss of lives of innocent Sierra Leoneans, including security personnel.

 

“The government hereby declares a nationwide curfew. The security sector has been authorised to fully enforce this directive.”

 

AFRICUNIA TV learnt that discontent has been boiling over for a number of reasons, including a perceived lack of government support for ordinary people who are struggling.

 

A constitutional lawyer and governance activist, Augustine Sorie-Sengbe Marrah, told newsmen that there had been little empathy from the central government to encourage folks in this tough economic times.

 

According to the World Bank, long-standing frustration has also been inflamed by rising prices for basic goods in Sierra Leone where more than half the population of around 8 million lives below the poverty line.

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