A military armoury in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown came under attack on Sunday, the government announced, as it imposed an immediate national curfew.
The government said those attempting to break into the armoury had been repelled. Witnesses told AFP they heard gunshots and explosions in the city’s Wilberforce district.
The information ministry assured the public 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,” the ministry said.
No further details were given on the alleged perpetrators of the attack or their motives.
Sierra Leone, an English-speaking country in West Africa, has been going through a political crisis following presidential and general elections in June this year.
ECOWAS, U.S react
Meanwhile, the regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has condemned the disturbances at Freetown.
In a statement released Sunday morning, it said: “The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has learnt with utter disgust a plot by certain individuals to acquire arms and disturb the peace and constitutional order in Sierra Leone.
“ECOWAS condemns this act and calls for the arrest and prosecution of all participants in this illegal act.”
ECOWAS reiterated its zero-tolerance for unconstitutional change of government, underscoring its commitment to supporting the government and people of Sierra Leone to deepen democracy and good governance, consolidate peace and security as well and foster socio-economic development.
Similarly, in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the US embassy in Freetown “condemn in the strongest possible terms the attempted overnight forceful seizure of Wilberforce Barracks and armoury.
“Such actions have no justification. We urge full cooperation with the government security forces’ ongoing operation to detain those
responsible and strongly encourage all to adhere to government guidance regarding the ongoing curfew for their own safety.
“The United States continues to stand with all those working for a peaceful, democratic, healthy, and prosperous Sierra Leone.”