Armed robbery is the latest menace in Sierra Leone and victims are distressed and uncertain about the direction life is going for the ordinary man in the street .Many reports reaching COCORIOKO during the Christmas season spoke of an alarming increase in armed break-ins at private dwellings.
Our reporter , Chernor Ojuku Sesay , who also fell victim to armed robbers, describes the situation as so serious that urgent action is required from the Sierra Leone Police and other security agencies in the country.
The robbers come in hooded and armed to the teeth with AK-47s or M-I6s or shotguns and their modus operandi include ordering everybody on the floor and threatening to kill victims if they put up any resistance.The robbers would then cart everything out of the home, including electronic instruments like computers , radios and TV .They also terrorize victims to surrender jewelries and money.
The robberies seem to be well-coordinated with the hoodlums able to get away without any of them being caught. Criminal Investigation Department ( CID ) officials told our reporters that they have a heavy backlog of robbery cases and Police officers were on the lookout for armed robbers.
Some residents of Freetown have attributed the rise in armed robbberies to the prevalence of guns in today’s post-war Sierra Leone and the high rate of unemployment both in the urban and rural areas.During the 11-year civil war in the country, lots of guns entered the country and residents believe that the authorities have still not recovered all from the society . They also told our reporters that unless the government did something about unemployment and the frustration within the ranks of the youth, crimes will escalate in the country.
Armed robbery is usually an unfortunate consequence of civil wars in Africa. Whenever war comes to an end in an African country, armed robbery becomes the next problem. It happened in Nigeria, Congo DR, Rwanda, Burundi and Liberia.