The president of Sierra Leone blamed lethal protests this week on opposition events, claiming Friday evening that his political rivals had tried to overthrow his authorities in a “premeditated” rebellion.
On Wednesday, an indication organised by girls to attract consideration to inflation and the rising value of residing descended into clashes between safety forces and younger males demanding President Julius Maada Bio resign.
Violence erupted in a number of components of the nation, with the authorities imposing an web blackout in response.
Six protesters and 4 cops have been killed, in keeping with police and hospital sources, however no official toll has been given.
Whereas outlets and companies within the capital Freetown have reopened, the federal government has imposed a curfew between 7:00 pm and seven:00 am and troops patrol the streets.
In an handle to the nation on Friday night, Bio, a common turned politician who was elected in 2018, stated the opposition had been stoking tensions “for a while”.
“This was not a protest towards the excessive value of residing occasioned by the continuing international financial disaster,” he stated. “The mantra of the insurrectionists was for a violent overthrow of the democratically elected authorities.”
He particularly cited members of the All Peoples Congress, his get together’s major political rival and the nation’s former ruling get together, in addition to the Individuals’s Progressive Occasion (PPP).
“The peace, safety and stability of this nation have been shattered by individuals whose rebellion was pre-meditated, well-planned, financed and executed with surprising brutality,” he stated.
Shortly after the president’s handle, the APC launched its personal assertion calling for adherence to rule of legislation, although it didn’t immediately reply to the allegations.
“We urge all stakeholders to de-escalate tensions and keep away from inflammatory rhetoric (or) unfounded pronouncements,” it stated.
“As a celebration, we proceed reaffirming and reinforcing our dedication to sustainable peace and nationwide cohesion.”
Bio promised an investigation into the unrest and state funerals for the safety officers who have been killed.
Sierra Leone has had a popularity for relative stability for the reason that finish of a civil conflict that ran from 1991 to 2002 and left about 120,000 lifeless.
However the economic system, closely depending on minerals, has struggled to rebound, and the inhabitants of eight million lives in one of many poorest nations on the planet.
The UN’s Human Growth Index ranks Sierra Leone 182 out of 189 international locations.
Efforts at rebuilding have been set again by an Ebola epidemic in 2014-2016, a fall in world commodity costs and the coronavirus pandemic — all of which have disrupted commerce and funding and hit exports.
In July, the nation slashed three zeros off its forex hoping to revive confidence within the inflation-hit leone.