Catholic Priest Urges Sierra Leoneans to Remain United Despite Peace Threats

Credit: Fr. Peter Konteh

The Executive Director of Caritas Freetown in Sierra Leone is calling on the people of God in the nation to remain united and promote peace despite tensions that arose following an attack on the military barracks in the country’s capital Freetown and the release of some prisoners on November 26.

In a reflection he shared with ACI Africa, Fr. Peter Konteh also urged Sierra Leoneans to acknowledge the value of seeking divine protection for the country.

“In light of recent unrest experienced in Sierra Leone, it is imperative that we come together as a nation to reaffirm our commitment to peace, unity, and progress,” Fr. Konteh said in his Wednesday, November 29 reflection, and added, “As we navigate the challenges that have arisen in our growing democracy, it is essential that we stand in solidarity against any forces seeking to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere we strive to maintain.”

He added that Sierra Leoneans need to “stand together as one, unwavering in our commitment to a peaceful and prosperous Sierra Leone.”

“Our actions today will shape the future for generations to come, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that our country continues to progress towards a brighter tomorrow. Together, we can overcome the challenges we face and build a nation that reflects the values of unity, peace, and progress,” he said.


The Caritas official, “We, the people of Sierra Leone, strongly condemn any attempts to sow discord and division among us. It is through unity and a shared sense of purpose that we can overcome adversity and build a brighter future for our nation.”

He appealed to Sierra Leoneans to develop “a deep sense of patriotism and love for our country, recognizing that our collective well-being is intrinsically tied to the prosperity of Sierra Leone as a whole.”

“We must prioritize the interests of our country above personal ambitions and individual gains. By embracing a mindset that places the welfare of our nation at the forefront, we can collectively work towards a future that embodies the principles set forth in our national pledge,” he 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 13 officers in the ranks of the army loyal to the government died in the military barracks attack.  

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

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.

On November 28, Minister Bah said the military barracks attack was a failed coup attempt whose intention was “to illegally subvert and overthrow a democratically elected government."

In his message, Fr. Konteh called on Sierra Leoneans to seek divine protection for their nation.


“Amidst these trying times, we must also acknowledge the importance of seeking divine protection for our beloved nation,” he said, adding that “it is often easy to overlook the significance of spiritual guidance in addressing the myriad challenges we face, whether they be economic, political, or social in nature.”

He said, “Let us put the security of our country in the hands of God and seek religious direction as we work towards solutions that benefit all citizens.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.