Sierra Leonean authorities have arrested high-ranking military officials following credible intelligence that they were working to undermine the nation’s democracy and plotting to unleash violence on its citizens.
“In that regard, several arrests have been made and the suspects are assisting the police with the investigations,” reads a statement released on Monday by the police headquarters in Freetown, Sierra Leone, located on George street.
The arrests were made by the police to prevent President Julius Maada Bio’s democratically elected government from being overthrown, as happened last week in the Republic of Niger when President Mohamed Bazoum was deposed by a military coup.
The suspects had intended to cause disruption across the country under the pretexts of upcoming protests, according to information uncovered by the police.
“Preliminary investigations have revealed that these individuals planned to use purported peaceful protests between 7th to 10th August 2023, as a guise to unleash violent attacks against state institutions and peaceful citizens,” the statement reads.
“Despite continued efforts to consolidate our hard won peace and democratic gains, there are individuals at home and abroad that continue to undertake actions meant to derail the peace and tranquility of the country,” the Sierra Leonean police asserted but assured the nation’s security sector had the situation under control.
Relations among member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have become sharply divided after Burkina Faso and Mali forged an alliance with Niger Republic and have turned to Russia for assistance in providing weapons to fend off attacks from the military intervention ECOWAS has planned in retaking Niger from the junta.