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Bo bloodshed – police blamed for shooting civilians

Bo bloodshed – police blamed for shooting civilians

The recent Bo violence which left one dead and nineteen seriously wounded appears to lay blame on the police for using live bullets against defenseless civilians.

Facts surrendered to this press reveal how armed police officers heedlessly opened fire at number of persons soon after supporters of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) actionably vented their disapproval over the wounding of their Presidential candidate, Julius Maada Bio, allegedly by youths of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC).

It is a fact that the elected SLPP flag bearer was in Bo past Friday on a ‘thank you’ tour to supporters in the southeastern regions – Bo, Kenema, Kailahun etc.

He was reportedly to have been warmly greeted by thousands of Bo SLPP supporters as he drove passed streets in the town.

Reports have it that Maada Bio ran into an attack by adversaries of his political party (SLPP), and as a result sustained multiple wounds on the head due to stoning.

That minutes after the wounding of Maada Bio, the once jubilant SLPP supporters eventually metamorphosed into a mob of individuals consequently setting fire at offices belonging to, and sharing the views of the ruling APC.

The incident also witnessesed where armed police officers shot unarmed civilians at close range point.

Disclosures are that the police ignored the ‘rules of engagement’ thereby using live bullets against vulnerable civilians.

It could be recalled that just about a week before the Bo violence, police officers in the eastern District of Kono were accused of shooting at unarmed Kono youths in the name of complying to orders given them by the Internal Affairs Minister Musa Tarawally.

The same police have been again blamed for shooting, killing and wounding of civilians in the Bo unrest.

The Bo shooting was reportedly the creation of the regional police commander, Assistant Inspector General David Sesay, who, as told to this press, is a politician in police uniform; an undercover supporter of the ruling APC government.

A senior police officer who spoke on grounds of anonymity told this press that as a trained riot police officer, it is compulsory of all to follow the unavoidable principles of ‘polite request,’ ‘minimum force’ and at extreme cases ‘maximum force.’

To him, and no matter the action of the rioters, the police should have first evoked the principles of polite request, or at a point use minimum force than to relatively shoot at civilians at close range point thus killing 1 and injuring of about 19 as reported.

He condemned the act of shooting by the police, and said there were options for the use of ‘polite request’ or ‘minimum force’ as a tactic to diffuse the unrest than ‘maximum force’ which eventually had resulted to something much more serious.

It has long been confirmed by the office of the President that a self-directed investigation has been set up to look into the Bo unrest which involves the wounding of the SLPP Presidential flag bearer, the burning of three houses, and the killing of one and wounding of nineteen respectively.

Even though the Kono shooting is reportedly still under investigation, the Konos have put out a release condemning the Minister of Internal Affairs for paying an unannounced visit to their District, all but, to campaign for running mate in the APC, and to stimulate uncalled for and unregulated shooting by police officers against armless Kono youths.

The release accused the Minister of surprisingly commanding his armed police guards to shoot at defenseless Kono youths.

It also urged the government of Sierra Leone to swiftly look into the conduct of the Minister of Internal Affairs and some members of police force in relation to the Kono shooting incident and unfailingly take action.

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