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Sierra Leone Coup: Early Closing in Port of Freetown

The Sierra Leone government claims to have arrested the majority of the gunmen who launched attacks on the armoury of military barracks and prisons in Freetown on Sunday, 26 November in the morning.

A total of 1890 inmates escaped from prison and at least 19 people were killed, including thirteen soldiers. Eight soldiers were injured.  Witnesses claim that the attackers were wearing military uniforms and balaclavas.  It is said that they attempted to launch an attack on the president’s security guards.

The attacks spread fear among the local population and the government brought in an all-day curfew on Sunday, encouraged citizens to stay at home during working hours on Monday and introduced a nighttime curfew from 21:00 to 06:00.

Calm has now returned to the streets of Freetown.

After interrogating the gunmen who they describe as well prepared and organised, the government announced that the attacks were an attempted coup d’état.

According to Budd’s Sierra Leone office, another coup failed last August and we understand that allegations of foul play in the current President’s narrow victory last June along with the continuing economic decline of the country, fuel instability and discontent.

Throughout the coup, the port of Freetown has remained open but with reduced working hours.  In view of the ongoing nighttime curfew, the port currently closes from 20:00 to 06:00.

Information provided by Budd Sierra Leone (budd.sierra-leone@budd-pni.com)

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