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Sierra Leone in Chaos as Protests Over Election Rigging and Economic Crisis Turn Violent



FREETOWN, (iexclusivenews) – Sierra Leone is witnessing a series of protests across the country, as citizens voice their dissatisfaction with the 2023 general elections and the economic hardship.

The protesters assert that the ruling party cheated in the elections and killed opposition members, while also calling for a lower cost of living.

Protesters Face Military Repression in Moyamba and Freetown

One of the hubs of the protests is Moyamba, a town in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone, where thousands of people have gathered to demand justice and accountability.

According to eyewitnesses, the protesters were faced with aggression from the security forces, who used live bullets and tear gas to disperse them.

Another hotspot is Black Hall Road, a major road in Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone.

A witness told iexclusivenews that one person was shot by the military personnel on the road.

The witness also said that the protest was fueled by the election rigging during the 2023 general elections and the killing of opposition party members.


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Protesters Reject Election Fraud and Political Killings

The 2023 general elections in Sierra Leone were tainted by allegations of fraud and violence, as the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) secured a majority in the parliament and retained the presidency.

The main opposition party, All People’s Congress (APC), rejected the results and claimed that they were altered by the SLPP and the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

The APC also accused the SLPP of orchestrating a series of attacks on its members and supporters, resulting in deaths and injuries.

One of the most prominent victims was Ibrahim Samura, a journalist and APC candidate, who was allegedly beaten to death by SLPP supporters during the campaign.

The APC has called for an independent investigation into his death and other cases of political violence.

Protesters Lament High Cost of Fuel and Food

Sierra Leone in Chaos as Protests Over Election Rigging and Economic Crisis Turn Violent

Sierra Leone in Chaos as Protests Over Election Rigging and Economic Crisis Turn Violent

Another reason for the protests is the high cost of living in Sierra Leone, especially the prices of fuel and food commodities.

The protesters blame the government for failing to address the economic challenges facing the country, such as inflation, unemployment, corruption, and poor infrastructure.

The situation worsened when Karpowership, a Turkish company that provides electricity to Sierra Leone, cut off its supply due to an unpaid debt of around $40 million.

The energy minister of Sierra Leone, Kanja Sesay, said that the debt accumulated over time because the government subsidizes more than half of the cost that Karpowership charges per kilowatt hour.

He also said that the government had to spend more on the subsidy because it charges consumers in the weak local Leone currency.

One of worst performing against the dollar in which it pays Karpowership.

The power outage plunged Freetown into darkness and affected many businesses and households.

The government has set up a commission to review consumer electricity tariffs, which could double.

Karpowership, one of the world’s largest operators of floating power plants and part of the Karadeniz Energy Group, signed deals in 2018 and 2020 to provide electricity to Sierra Leone’s state power utility.

What You Should Know

Sierra Leone is facing a crisis of democracy and development, as its citizens protest against election rigging and rising cost of living.

The protesters are demanding fair and transparent elections, justice for political killings, and affordable prices for fuel and food.

The government has responded with force and repression, leading to more violence and unrest.

The international community should monitor the situation closely and urge all parties to respect human rights and dialogue.