Sierra Leone: Ex-Sierra Leone President Questioned By Police Over Attempted Coup

Ernest Koroma, former president of Sierra Leone (file photo).
8 December 2023

Former Sierra Leone president Ernest Bai Koroma reported to police in Freetown on Friday to be questioned over what the government has called an attempted coup at the end of November, an AFP journalist saw.

Koroma, who led the West African nation for 11 years until 2018, arrived at around 10:00 am local time (1000 GMT) at the criminal investigations department under a heavy police and military escort.

A few dozen of his supporters were waiting for his arrival.

The duration of his questioning has not been specified.

Koroma had on Thursday been summoned to appear before police in the capital Freetown within 24 hours, as part of an ongoing investigation into clashes that took place at the end of last month.

Armed attackers stormed a military armoury, two barracks, two prisons and two police stations, clashing with security forces during the early hours of November 26.

The fighting left 21 people dead, according to Information Minister Chernor Bah. Since then, 71 people have been arrested.

''I maintain an open mind and stand ready to support the police investigations to the fullest,'' Koroma said in a statement on Thursday.

''Let the rule of law reign supreme in our democracy.''

He called for calm and asked his followers to assist the police in their investigations.

Authorities say former guards of Koroma are suspected of involvement in the November 26 incidents.

West Africa has been hit by a series of coups since 2020 with the military taking power in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea.

On Saturday, Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo claimed to have survived an attempted coup after fighting between the army and parts of the security services.

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