S Leone investigating soldiers, police officers for ‘subversion’

The inspector general stated on Tuesday that fourteen Sierra Leonean soldiers, including three current and former police officers, as well as two civilians, have been apprehended and are currently being investigated for “subversion,” as a search is in progress for eight other individuals.

In the previous week, law enforcement announced the detention of several individuals who were allegedly plotting violent assaults on the anniversary of deadly riots in August 2022, which resulted in over 30 fatalities.

Their alleged intentions were to “working to undermine the peace and tranquillity of the state” and exploit upcoming peaceful protests as a cover for launching violent assaults against governmental establishments and innocent citizens, authorities stated.

Among the 14 detained armed forces personnel, eight hold ranks ranging from lieutenant to major, while the remaining six are non-commissioned officers positioned between private and sergeant, as highlighted by Inspector General William Fayia Sellu during a press briefing on Tuesday.

He mentioned that an active search is ongoing for an additional five military personnel and three police officers.

“We are in full control and security has been beefed up,” Fayia Sellu said.

“The police has stepped up security and intelligence across the country”.

The inspector general further stated that Sierra Leone had formally requested Interpol’s assistance in extraditing any of the suspects who might be located outside the country.

Liberia’s information minister, Ledgerhood Rennie, informed media on Monday that Mohammed Yaetey Turay, a former chief superintendent of police who was dismissed in 2020, had been apprehended in Liberia following the request of Sierra Leonean authorities.

Sierra Leone’s information minister, Chernor Bah, verified to media that Turay’s arrest was linked to “with plans the state security had unearthed by some individuals to undermine the peace of the state and unleash violence on our citizens.”

“He’s among those helping with the investigations”, the minister said.

On August 10 of the previous year, economic and political demonstrations in the capital Freetown and other cities escalated into violent clashes resulting in casualties.

Official records indicate that twenty-seven civilians and six police officers lost their lives during the incident.

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