Is Sierra Leone Back to the Days of Extrajudicial Killings?


The disappearance of Captain Patrick Kamara should remind Sierra Leoneans about a troubling past in our history. Coincidentally, it was a time when Julius Maada Bio and his NPRC henchmen forcefully assumed the reins of government. Leading on to that NPRC era nearly three decades ago, the fear of the bush devil phenomena (N’dorgbowusu), gripped Sierra Leone. In the rural areas of the southeast, strangers and unsuspecting individuals would suddenly disappear especially at night; they vanished without a trace as the civil war slowly engulfed the entire nation. The clandestine activities of the NPRC between 1992-1996, later exposed the individuals who were behind those designed disappearances-the Sobels. They are the very ones who are at the helm of country’s leadership today.


Roughly 7-months into the NPRC’s reign, some individuals were arrested on suspicion of an attempted coup. A couple of months into President Bio’s leadership, a few military officers were arrested on charges relating to missing arms. Like those arrested in 1992, the 2018 arrests were very close to the previous government and the then ruling APC party. As the government initially claimed last year, several others who were targeted for imprisonment oddly disappeared. To accept as gospel truth every news put out by the military under Bio’s command would be a regrettable mistake knowing fully well what he is capable of. It could very well be that Leather boot and others were intentionally annihilated while putting out the false news that they escaped.

This leads to Captain Kamara. When the Republic of Sierra Leone Military acting on orders from above put out the news that Captain Patrick Edwin Kamara “escaped” from custody, the report was very disbelieving. They did so through Umaru Fofana. The news came across as a hasty propaganda as a way of covering-up something. Fortunately, there were some brave individuals who immediately countered their misinformation by revealing to the world that the captain did not escape but was “assassinated” in prison. They referred to a corpse at the military hospital’s mortuary as the remains of Captain Patrick Edwin Kamara. Although it has not been confirmed, they claimed the government is misinforming the public by saying corpse is that of the captain’s twin brother. Realizing that their original tale was unravelling, they again put out another press release using “coincidence” to explain the matter.

Between 29th and 30st December 1992, 29 individuals were killed in cold blood by members of the NPRC government. Among those who were savagely killed that they are IG of Police Bambay Kamara, Lieutenant-colonel James Yaya Kanu and other who were already in prison. Salami Coker, a pregnant woman, a juju man, about 6 new police recruits, a palm wine tapper and several others. They were heartlessly murdered without trial for what Bio and others later alleged was an “attempted coup.” The current President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio was the last top ranking NPRC officials to see them alive. Shifting the blame solely on SAJ Musa, Bio said “when I went there at night, he had actually tortured them very seriously-their ears were cut off and they were practically dead. It was better to do away with them, than to keep them in such terrible state.” Their summary execution was then ordered.

Why is it that whenever Bio is in power alleged “enemies” begin to come up missing in wariest ways? In his testimony to the TRC Bio said that, “SAJ was somebody who liked power and could do anything to retain it.” Interestingly, long after the death of SAJ Musa, it was Bio who said on AYV National TV during his campaign that he will “betray” anyone for power in Sierra Leone. So, it is within reason to believe that it is Bio who would do anything to retain power including the execution of key opponents with access to arms and ammunition. Are Sierra Leoneans waiting until dozens begin to vanish without a trace before opening our eyes to see the lurking dangers currently unfolding in the country?

Is Sierra Leone back to the days of extrajudicial killings? Like the NPRC days, the press release from the government is misleading. After heinously murdering the 29 individuals, the spokesperson for the NPRC, Karefa Kargbo told the BBC that a military tribune had tried and found the suspects guilty of treason. Within a span of hours, the executions were ordered. He also said that the NPRC had written and other evidences. They never publicized these evidences to the world. To get to the truth, Sierra Leoneans should probe deeper instead of accepting the government’s propaganda at face value. Based on past misinformation, the spokespersons for Bio are possibly engaging in an elaborate cover-up in what looks like a crime against humanity, desecration of human rights, prisoner cruelty, and other gross violations the world must know about.

The escape of Captain Kamara is highly doubtful.

(Expect Part II)

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