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Law Makers Demand Inquest into Makeni Senseless Killings

Law Makers Demand Inquest into Makeni Senseless Killings

The murder of eleven innocent protesters in Makeni by State Security has forced parliamentarians to demand an immediate probe into the massacre.

Eleven youths were gunned down by joint police and military personnel and many others seriously injured over the weekend for protesting against the SLPP government’s plan to uproot a generator from Makeni to be relocated to the Lungi International Airport where there is a shortage of electricity. The mishandling of the relocation of the generator by government officials amicably has baffled the public. Now, the MPs have intervened. They want an investigation.

In a press statement yesterday, the parliamentarians wrote: “We the Members of Parliament (MPs) from Bombali district condemn, in the strongest of terms, the violence that took place in Makeni city from Friday 17th to Saturday 18th July 2020, which has led to the needless loss of lives and destruction of properties.

“We are particularly disturbed by, and we expressly deplore the (unprovoked) use of excessive and disproportionate lethal force by police and military personnel against unarmed protesters exercising their civic rights. Noting with grave concern the allegation that the police made certain arrests of individuals from their houses, we hereby caution the police to be humane and respectful of the rights of individuals in their custody and not to subject them to torture and ill-treatment.

“We also hereby remind Security Personnel that as per their statutory responsibility in any democratic state, they are bound to defend and protect the lives and properties of citizens.

“Regarding the critical prior public engagement, we believe that if there was a proper and adequate dialogue with and sensitisation of the community, there would have been full understanding of the rationale for the government to relocate the city’s backup generator to another region. Such critical engagement would have ensured everybody’s participation in Makeni, a city which has always been peaceful.

“In view of this, we the MPs from Bombali further express disappointment with what we believe was the Ministry of Energy’s insensitivity to the situation regarding the rush and odd time (late night of 17th July 2020) that the officials (from EDSA) went to remove the 1.65 Mega Watts back up a generator from the electricity station in Makeni. Such rush and odd timing only fed into the suspicion created by the lack of adequate stakeholders’ and community engagement on the issue.

“While calling on our people in Makeni to continue maintaining the peace for which are well known for; we implore the full attention of National and International human rights organisations to this most unacceptable loss of lives and maiming of protesters. (Photo: Sierra Leone Parliament).

 “Meanwhile, we urge the SLPP government of President Julius Maada Bio to promptly institute an independent, impartial and effective inquiry into that violent siege on Makeni city and to ensure that perpetrators face the full force of the law.

“While we await justice, fairness and accountability, we extend our profound condolences to the bereaved families for the loss of their loved ones and wish a speedy recovery to those with bullets injuries,” the press release ends. It was signed by the following MPs:

Names and Constituencies

  1. Hon Sallieu O Sesay Constituency 038
  2. Hon Dr Mark Mahmoud Kalokoh Constituency 032
  3. Hon Catherine Zainab Tarawally Constituency 037
  4. Hon Peter Yamba Koroma Constituency 033
  5. Hon Ibrahim Ben Kargbo Constituency 034
  6. Hon Manuel Alieu Koroma Constituency 036
  7. Hon Paul Samba Conteh Constituency 035
  8. Hon John Charles Conteh Constituency 031

EDITOR’S NOTE

Makeni is Sitting on a Time Bomb in Sierra Leone Because of Mistrusts Between SLPP Government and Makeni People!

It is no secret that Makeni is sitting on a time bomb, and this is because of the massive distrust that exists between the SLPP led Government and the people of Makeni. This has been heightened over the past few months due to the propagation of fake news which is the order of the day nowadays, and also the unfortunate utterance of the Resident Minister, North, Abu Abu Koroma in a video that got him suspended for some time after it was leaked.

In fact, one might be tempted to go back and revisit the threatening statement of the Resident Minister, North, who boasted that he had ordered the police and army to shoot and kill rioters. True to his words, everything he said in that video has now seemingly been executed allegedly by the Sierra Leone Police and Army. Is this a coincidence? No. Is it planned? Not sure. Either way, this distrust and tension are unfortunately expected to continue unless addressed.

 Makeni over the weekend, Friday and Saturday, was described as a war zone, by reliable eyewitnesses. This is because of protests by its residents against the move of a standby generator from their town to elsewhere, leading to clashes between them and law enforcement officers. It is alleged that both the

Sierra Leone Police and Army fired live bullets at mostly unarmed protesters whose only crime was protecting their township standby generator.

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