Religious Leaders Say Sunday Security Breach in Sierra Leone’s Capital a Threat to Peace

Logo of the Interreligious Council of Sierra Leone (IRCSL). Credit: IRCSL

Members of the Interreligious Council of Sierra Leone (IRCSL) have condemned the Sunday, November 26 security breach at a military barracks in the country’s capital Freetown, saying that the attack threatens the country’s peace efforts.

Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio confirmed in a televised national address that “some individuals” attacked the Wilberforce military armory and released some prisoners at a male correctional center in the early hours of Sunday, November 26.

In a statement that was signed by the IRCSL President Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles, the religious leaders said that the Sunday events were “of grave concern” to the religious body and a blow to the country’s peace initiatives.

The religious leaders said that the events “are a direct challenge to our ongoing national peacebuilding efforts with potential to derail our democratic process.”

“The Inter-Religious Council Sierra Leone condemns such acts of violence and the usual ensuing loss of life, including that of innocent citizens,” they said.


ACI Africa received reports of sporadic gunfire and the general atmosphere of unrest in Freetown, even as the government said it had arrested the Sunday morning security breach in the city.

Media reports indicate that the Sunday attack in the military barracks left 13 dead in the ranks of the army loyal to the government.

Moments after the Sunday attack, the Sierra Leonean government declared a nationwide curfew, advising the citizens to stay at home.

The Sierra Leonean government updated its directive on an indefinite curfew on Monday, advising the citizens to instead adhere to 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew hours.

The new curfew hours, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor Bah said, “will be in effect until further notice.”

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However, the curfew has reportedly been lifted partially in some parts of Freetown as daily life began to resume on Monday amid heavy security presence.

In the November 27 IRCSL statement, the religious leaders in Sierra Leone expressed optimism that the masterminds of the Sunday security breach in the country’s capital would brought to book.

“In the meantime, the Inter-Religious Council assures the Government and people of Sierra Leone of their fervent prayers for peace and stability in our country,” they said.

There has been a reported rise in military coups in West Africa, with the latest incidents having been reported in Burkina Faso, in Niger, and in Sierra Leone’s neighbor Guinea.

In August, a number of soldiers in Sierra Leone were arrested and accused of plotting to overthrow President Bio.


Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.