The Sierra Leonean government has imposed a nationwide curfew on its citizens over a suspicion of a coup d’etat following gunfire in Freetown, the country’s capital.
Sierra Leone’s minister of information and civic education, Chernor A. Bah made this known in a statement released on Sunday, November 26, 2023.
The government said in the statement that the security forces were in control of the situation.
“In the early hours of Sunday, November 26th 2023, some unidentified individuals attempted to break into the military armory at Wilberforce barracks. They have all been rebuffed,” the statement read in part.
“The public is assured that the government and our state security forces are in control. To enable the security forces to continue the process of apprehending the suspects, a nationwide curfew is declared with immediate effect across the country.
BREAKING: Military Breach In Sierra Leone As Govt Declares Nationwide Curfew— Intel Region (@IntelRegion) November 26, 2023
The Sierra Leonean government has confirmed the arrest of individuals attempting to break into the country's military armory at Wilberforce barracks.
The Ministry of Information and Civic Education… pic.twitter.com/7jn38d6Aqu
“We strongly advise citizens to stay indoors.Please follow the official Ministry of Information and Civic Education channels and our official handles for accurate information and updates on the situation,” the statement reads.
This response followed widespread fears that an armed group was about to overthrow the Sierra Leonean government.
In July 2023, the government announced the arrest of some individuals after an attempted coup attempt.
Military takeovers have become an annual occurrence in African countries, with Niger and Burkina Faso being the latest West African nations to experience a coup in the past year.
Some commentators have pointed at the ability of coups to weaken democratic processes in Africa. Others observe that coup plotters often cite maladministration and political corruption as a justification for their actions.