Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Curfew Partially Lifted In Sierra Leone After Coup Attempt

Daily life began to resume amid a heavy security presence in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown on Monday, as the government partially lifted a curfew imposed after armed clashes erupted in the city.

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Early on Sunday, armed assailants stormed a military armoury and several prisons, sparking battles with security forces that lasted for hours in the capital.

Sierra Leone is an English-speaking West African country that has been going through a political crisis following elections in June.

On Monday, the government lifted the daytime curfew that it had imposed and urged people to resume their daily lives while remaining vigilant.

It said a curfew would remain in place between 9:00 pm (2100 GMT) and 6:00 am.

“While we encourage citizens to return to their normal activities… we continue to urge everyone to remain calm but vigilant, and to report any suspicious or unusual activity to the nearest police station”, the information ministry said in a statement overnight.

In Freetown, some stores and banks opened and traffic had restarted on Monday, but schools remained shut, according to an AFP correspondent in the city.

Checkpoints had been set up on the main roads, where members of the security forces were searching vehicles.

Meanwhile many questions remained over what happened in the country, amid fears of another coup in West Africa, where Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea have all experienced putsches since 2020.

The current president, President Julius Maada Bio, himself led a coup in the 1990s before handing over power and returning to politics as a civilian years later.

Early on Sunday, armed assailants tried to break into a military armoury in Freetown, sparking clashes with security forces.

Several prisons were also stormed, with some prisoners reportedly escaping.

Meanwhile many questions remained over what happened in the country, amid fears of another coup in West Africa, where Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea have all experienced putsches since 2020.

The current president, President Julius Maada Bio, himself led a coup in the 1990s before handing over power and returning to politics as a civilian years later.

Early on Sunday, armed assailants tried to break into a military armoury in Freetown, sparking clashes with security forces.

Several prisons were also stormed, with some prisoners reportedly escaping.

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