Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) has issued a resolute condemnation of the recent gun battle on Sunday, urging the government to prioritize the safety of its citizens.
In the early hours of November 26th, 2023, the serenity of Freetown was shattered by gunfire emanating from the Wilberforce military barracks, a result of an attack on the armoury by unidentified armed assailants.
While the attackers targeted multiple military barracks in Freetown, the military successfully repelled their advances.
The HRCSL emphasizes that such incidents significantly compromise the state’s security and the overall enjoyment of human rights by its citizens.
In an official press statement, the Commission commended the bravery and patriotism exhibited by the security personnel who thwarted the plans of what they termed “enemies of the State.” The Commission strongly urged the government to ensure that all perpetrators are brought to justice.
Furthermore, the HRCSL acknowledged President Bio’s commitment to due process in investigating and prosecuting those responsible, as articulated in his Presidential Address on November 26th, 2023.
However, the Commission reminded the government of its constitutional duty, citing Section 5(2)(b) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991, which mandates the protection of the security, peace, and welfare of the people. The HRCSL urged the government to take all necessary and legal steps to safeguard innocent citizens, emphasizing proactive measures to prevent similar incidents.
The Commission called on citizens and residents to cooperate with security forces and abide by the law, encouraging them to assist law enforcement agencies in restoring calm and maintaining order, in accordance with Section 13(a) & (j) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991.
Expressing condolences, the HRCSL extended sympathies to the families of the brave security personnel who lost their lives during the regrettable incident on Sunday. SKS/28/11/2023