JUST IN: Coup attempt in Sierra Leone, US reacts

President Maada Bio of Sierra Leone

President Maada Bio

An attempted coup in the capital city of Sierra Leone was thwarted in the early hours of Sunday, resulting in heavy gunfire and widespread chaos.

The military Arsenal base was breached and looted, and a fierce exchange of gunfire ensued between the coup plotters and government forces.

Confirming the incident, President Julius Maada Bio, in a release declared a nationwide curfew as the military continues to search for the perpetrators.

“I bring you greetings from the Presidential Lodge in Freetown. In the early hours of this morning, there was a breach of security at the Military Barracks at Wilberforce in Freetown, as some unidentified individuals attacked the military armoury.

“However, they were repelled by our gallant Security Forces and calm has been restored. As the combined team of our Security Forces continue to root out the remnant of the fleeing renegades, a nationwide curfew has been declared and citizens are encouraged to stay indoors.

“The PEACE of our beloved NATION is PRICELESS and we shall continue to protect the peace and security of Sierra Leone against the forces that wish to truncate our much-cherished stability.

“We remain resolute in our determination to protect democracy in Sierra Leone and I urge all Sierra Leoneans to unite towards this collective responsibility,” he said.

Another statement by the Minister of Information and Civic Education of Sierra Leone, Chernor Bah, said some unidentified individuals carried out the attack.

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“In the early hours of Sunday, November 26th 2023, some unidentified individuals attempted to break into the military armoury at Wilberforce barracks. They have all been rebuffed.

“To enable the security forces to continue the process of apprehending the suspects, a nationwide curfew is declared with immediate effect across the country.

“We strongly advise citizens to stay indoors,” Bah stated.

Meanwhile, the United States Embassy in Sierra Leone has condemned the attempted putsch.

In a tweet on Sunday, the embassy expressed strong disapproval of the action and called for cooperation with government security forces.

The embassy also emphasized the importance of adhering to the government’s curfew guidelines for personal safety.

The United States, through its embassy in the country, affirmed its support for “a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous Sierra Leone.”

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