According to the nation’s youth minister, eight police officers were slain during violent anti-government rallies in Sierra Leone on Wednesday.
According to the youth minister Mohamed Orman Bangura, the officers—six men and two women—were “brutalized” and slain in the vicinity of the protests on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, hundreds of protestors took to the streets of Freetown, the nation’s capital, to voice their opposition to inflation and the country’s rising standard of life.
At times, the protests turned violent. On social media, there were graphic depictions of beaten and critically hurt demonstrators as well as some security personnel. Additionally, security personnel were spotted shooting at civilians.
Bangura stated that he was unable to quickly ascertain how many citizens were killed or hurt during the violent protests.
“I can confirm that eight police officers were killed, but we do not yet know how many people were injured.”
To put an end to the demonstrations, vice president Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh issued a curfew on Wednesday.
The protests were referred to as a “act of terrorism” by youth minister Bangura.
They’re not protesters, I’m sorry. There is a distinction to be made between a demonstration, a riot, and terrorist acts. Acting like a terrorist is not the same thing as protesting… killing young police officers and acting outside the law,” he stated.
The minister told CNN that “the police have made some arrests” and charged that the nation’s opposition was funding the demonstrations.
This was carefully thought out, plotted, and funded by opposition All People’s Congress members. Bangura, a member of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party, claimed that opposition members had hired youths to march to the streets and seize power.
“If the cost of living is the cause of the protest, why isn’t it occurring in all the centers of the current government? Why is the opposition’s headquarters located in Makeni specifically? Why isn’t there a global strike? Why do they (the opposition) believe that only three of the 16 districts are their stronghold? he questioned.
The opposition party APC has been contacted by CNN for comment, but has not yet responded.
The violence has been condemned by Freetown Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, one of the top figures in the main opposition APC party.
Aki Sawyerr begged for an end to the violence in a moving video that was posted on Wednesday, saying, “This is not about party, but about people.”
The mayor continued by saying that she and the steering committee of religious leaders had been praying for peace and racial harmony in Sierra Leone.
My heart goes out to everyone who lost their lives and loved ones today in our city, as well as to those who lost property all throughout the city. We are all kin to one another… Speaking in the local creole, she declared, “I firmly believe in peace and oppose violence.