The Police Assistant Inspector General (AIG), East, Sorie Kargbo, has confirmed to the press that his office has received report of some dissidents from Liberia crossing into Sierra Leone with arms and ammunition and engaging in hunting and some illegal activities in the Gola Forest Reserves.
He said this act is very common in Malema Chiefdom in the Kailahun District and Makpele Chiefdom in the Pujehun District.
The AIG described the act as a violation of the Laws of Sierra Leone and stressed that Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea are member countries of ECOWAS and Mano River Union which allows dissidents to move freely into any of these countries, but not with arms and ammunition.
AIG Kargbo said “no one has the right to come into Sierra Leone with any kind of weapon, adding that anyone caught with a weapon in Sierra Leone will be charged to court and face the full penalty of the laws of the country”.
He warned all those engaged in such acts to desist forthwith as there is no room for compromise, saying that the law is no respecter of anyone.
AIG Kargbo also stated that the Gola Forest Programme has its own security forces manning the Gola Forest reserve, adding that Sierra Leone will maintain the diplomatic way of solving any problem between the two countries amicably.
Sorie Kargbo said the only people in Sierra Leone that are permitted and mandated to carry arms and ammunition in the country are the military and OSD.
He said people have been caught with arms before in Kailahun, Kenema and Pujehun districts and they were charged to court and jailed.
He appealed to all to report anyone suspected to be in possession of arms and ammunition to the Police and other authorities in their communities.
By Saffa Moriba