The government of Sierra Leone issued a nationwide curfew on Sunday, November 26 after gunmen attacked the country’s main military barracks in the capital city of Freetown and then overran detention centers, including the major Pademba Road Prisons, CBS News reported.
According to a statement from Information Minister Chernor Bah, a group of “unidentified individuals” attempted to raid the military armory at Wilberforce Military Barracks in Freetown but were “rebuffed.”
In his statement, Bah assured the public that the state security forces and the government remained in control of the country but announced that a nationwide curfew was declared to “enable security forces to continue the process of apprehending the suspects.”
Sierra Leone citizens were advised to remain indoors and follow the government’s official channels and social media accounts to receive “accurate information” and updates.
In a lengthy statement posted on X, President Julius Maada Bio confirmed that attackers attempted to breach the Wilberforce Military Barracks in Freetown but were driven back by the state security forces and calm had been restored.
He said that while the state security forces continued to “root out the remnant of the fleeing renegades,” he was declaring a nationwide curfew and urging all citizens to remain indoors.
A reporter with the Associated Press said hours after the Bio government assured residents that calm was restored, gunfire could still be heard in Freetown. However, the reporter could not confirm which side was doing the shooting or if any arrests had been made.
In his statement, Information Minister Bah said the security forces had been “making progress” in apprehending those responsible for the attacks and assured the public that the government was “on top of the situation” and remained “in control.”
In recent years there have been a string of coups in central and west African countries. In 2023 alone, the governments of Gabon and Niger were overthrown in military coups while there were attempted military coups in Sudan and Burkina Faso.