An attempted coup took place in Sierra Leone’s capital, marked by intense gunfire and widespread disorder in the early hours of Sunday.
The military Arsenal base was breached and looted, leading to a fierce exchange of gunfire between the coup plotters and government forces.
President Julius Maada Bio confirmed the incident in an official statement from the Presidential Lodge in Freetown. He announced a nationwide curfew as the military pursues the culprits.
“In the early hours of this morning, a security breach occurred at the Military Barracks in Wilberforce, Freetown. Unidentified individuals attacked the military armory but were repelled by our Security Forces. Calm has been restored. As our Security Forces continue to track down those involved, a nationwide curfew has been imposed, urging citizens to stay indoors.
“The preservation of our nation’s peace is invaluable, and we are committed to safeguarding Sierra Leone’s stability against disruptive forces. We stand firm in protecting democracy and urge unity among Sierra Leoneans for this shared responsibility.”
Chernor Bah, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Civic Education, also addressed the incident, stating that unidentified individuals attempted to breach the military armory but were unsuccessful. He emphasized the need for citizens to abide by the imposed curfew for safety reasons.
Simultaneously, the United States Embassy in Sierra Leone condemned the attempted coup in a tweet, expressing strong disapproval and urging cooperation with government security forces. The embassy emphasized adherence to the government’s curfew directives for personal safety.
The United States, via its embassy, reiterated its support for a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous Sierra Leone.