Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In the aftermath of the attempted coup plot in Sierra Leone, 48 personnel of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) have been dismissed, with 27 set to face charges on Thursday, January 10th. Colonel Issa Bangura, the Director of Communication and Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Defence, provided details on the developments.
Referring to a joint press release issued last week, Colonel Bangura emphasized that the military personnel involved were ethically advised, and a code of conduct was established for them. He underscored the Ministry of Defence’s policies, prohibiting serving military officers from engaging in illegal military networks or political discourse that could disrupt peace and cohesion in the country.
Colonel Bangura highlighted the existence of an illegal WhatsApp group named “Joint Kalamera Peace and Security Network,” (KPSN) formed by some serving military personnel and activated by the attempted coup plotters for communication purposes on Sunday, November 26, 2023.
“The RSLAF is a unique institution covered by both civil and military laws,” stated Bangura, emphasizing the gravity of the situation. He recounted a July 2023 briefing where he informed journalists about a joint military force with the Sierra Leone Police investigating intelligence related to certain activities by serving military personnel.
During the investigation, a vehicle belonging to Corporal Koroma was discovered abandoned at the joint communication unit of Wilberforce Barracks. A subsequent search revealed a list of names serially arranged, belonging to RSLAF military personnel. Additionally, the illegal WhatsApp group owned by a civilian named Sheka Dumbuya contained a list of the attempted coup plotters. However, Sheka Dumbuya is currently on the run, according to Colonel Bangura.
Explaining the gravity of the situation, Colonel Bangura clarified that the intent of the serving military personnel, as evidenced by their list and WhatsApp group, was to engage in subversive activities towards carrying out an attempted coup on that fateful day. The dismissals and impending court martial proceedings mark a significant step in addressing the attempted coup and maintaining discipline within the military ranks. AJ/10/1/2024