CSO Coalition Opposes Violent Assault on Freetown, Demand Peace & Justice

A coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including Human Rights Defenders Network, Institute for Governance Reform, Center for Accountability and The Rule of Law,50/50 Group,Women’s Forum ,Amnesty International, Fambul Tok International, Center for Coordination of Youth Activities and the Society for Democratic Initiatives has on the 28th November, 2023 expressed profound sorrow over the distressing assault that shook Sierra Leone’s peace on November 26, 2023. The CSOs are particularly dismayed by the violent breach at the Wilberforce Military Barracks’ armory and the infiltration of the maximum-security correctional center, resulting in the escape of numerous prisoners.

They mourn the loss of both uniformed personnel and civilians who valiantly defended the State against this senseless aggression.

While clarity remains elusive regarding the perpetrators and their motives, the CSOs highlighted a distressing trend of violence in recent years. They referenced previous incidents, including attempted prison breaks and violent protests, suggesting a worrisome embrace of violence as a means to achieve unclear objectives.

In a strong condemnation, the CSOs unequivocally denounced such acts of violence, emphasizing that these senseless attacks severely undermine the nation’s peace and development aspirations.

Labeling these violent episodes as assaults on civic space and a regression from the country’s progress since the end of the civil war in 2002, the Coalition urged fellow Sierra Leoneans not to remain indifferent when peace and civic rights are under threat. They reaffirmed their commitment to upholding democratic principles despite imperfections.

The joint statement implored all citizens to uphold the tenets of democracy and the rule of law, urging peaceful resolutions for grievances against the Government or any interest group.

As the nation mourns the fallen heroes, the CSOs urged the Government to swiftly investigate these violent incidents, utilizing available resources to secure justice and ensure lasting peace. They called upon citizens to maintain peace and support ongoing measures to apprehend those attempting to destabilize the country.


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