SIERRA LEONE’S President Julius Maada Bio declared a nationwide curfew today after gunmen attacked the capital’s Wilberforce barracks, the army’s biggest.
“As the combined team of our security forces continue to root out the remnant of the fleeing renegades, a nationwide curfew has been declared and citizens are encouraged to stay indoors,” Mr Bio said.
The west African country has been on the alert for a possible coup since the military took over in Niger in July, following similar coups adopting anti-colonial rhetoric and opposing Western corporate control and French military presence in Mali and Burkina Faso. In August, Mr Bio had senior army officers arrested on suspicion of planning a coup.
Regional bloc Ecowas said today it reaffirmed “zero-tolerance for unconstitutional change of government.”
Sierra Leone was among Ecowas countries pledging troops to reverse the Niger coup in the summer, but no armed intervention took place. Mr Bio said last month that this was because the coup leaders there were open to dialogue and that “some coups can be considered good.”