Sierra Leone information minister, Chernor Bah, has said that weekend attacks on several locations in the capital, Freetown, were a failed attempt to overthrow the government.
Reuters reports that 13 military officers and one civilian have been arrested following the incident, he told a press conference.
“The incident was a failed attempted coup. The intention was to illegally subvert and overthrow a democratically elected government,” Bah said.
“The attempt failed, and plenty of the leaders are either in police custody or on the run, and we will try to capture them and bring them to the full force of the laws of Sierra Leone.”
The United States government had condemned the military breach and unrest in the West African country of Sierra Leone while pledging its support for democracy and peace.
The US Embassy in Sierra Leone made the statement in a tweet on Sunday while expressing strong disapproval of the jailbreak as it called for cooperation with government security forces.
The United States said it affirmed its support for “a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous Sierra Leone.”
SaharaReporters earlier reported that the Pademba Road Prison authorities in Freetown, Sierra Leone, confirmed that the Central Prison was breached and the inmates set free.
The Sierra Leonean government had also in an update by the Ministry of Information and Civic Education, earlier imposed a nationwide curfew, saying some individuals had been identified and arrested.
It was also gathered that the government of Sierra Leone on Sunday morning confirmed that some “unidentified individuals” attempted to break into the country’s armory and had all been arrested.
Freetown Central Prison, commonly known as Pademba Road Prison, is a prison facility on Pademba Road in Freetown.
It has also been reported that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has condemned the ongoing unrest in Sierra Leone, a member of the regional community.
The regional bloc had said it is committed to “supporting the government and people of Sierra Leone to deepen democracy and good governance, consolidate peace and security.”
ECOWAS in a statement dated Sunday, November 26, 2023, said it “has learned 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.”
The West African bloc reiterated its zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government.