ALL PEOPLES CONGRESS (APC) PARTY CONDEMNS EXCESSIVE USE OF LETHAL FORCE BY THE SIERRA LEONE POLICE AND THE REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE ARMED FORCES AGAINST HARMLESS CITIZENS OF MAKENI AND SIERRA LEONE AT LARGE.
We are saddened by the fact that the All Peoples Congress (APC) Party has to express, yet, another round of condolences to victims of excessive use of lethal force by the Sierra Leone Police and the RSLAF against harmless citizens in Sierra Leone.
As we categorically condemn all forms of violence, we hereby express our deepest condolences to the bereaved families of all those whose lives have been cut short and also wish speedy recoveries for the many more who sustained gunshot injuries in Makeni in the process of exercising their rights of protestation on Friday, 17th and Saturday, 18th July, 2020.
The Party is particularly concerned about the highhandedness displayed by security forces against innocent civilians who came out to protest against the suspicious relocation of a standby generator by the Government to another locality, late at night and under the cover of darkness.
We are dismayed and concerned by the way and manner in which the security forces generally respond to peaceful demonstrations staged by harmless citizens and at the resultant killings and injuries from such reckless use of lethal force against citizens.
And in this recent shooting occasioning deaths and injuries to innocent civilians in Makeni City, Bombali District, it is now clear that there is a serious threat to democracy, constitutionality and the rule of law in Sierra Leone.
In respect of the above, we wish to draw the attention of all civilized communities of the world to the incessant incidents of gross human rights abuses that are being perpetrated by the Government of Sierra Leone, which may tantamount to “crimes against humanity”, and to the unabated violation of the 1991 Constitution.
To be specific, chapter three (3), article 15 (a),(b),(c) & (d) and article 16 (1) of the Constitution, in respect of the “Recognition and Protection of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms of the Individual”, an entrenched proviso of the Constitution, was grossly violated by the level of lethal force employed by the joint Police and RSLAF forces in response to citizens’ protest in Makeni that resulted in the loss of many lives and injuries to many more innocent Sierra Leoneans.
The APC Party also wishes to call the attention of the international community, local and international opinion leaders and the public at large to the deafening silence by the Government of Sierra Leone to the ominous and looming spate of deaths and injuries to many more persons from gunshot wounds by law enforcement operatives.
With hindsight, the APC believes that proper communication between Government and Local Council authorities and a joint sensitization exercise, or better yet, a proper handling of the protestation by the security forces could have yielded a desired outcome and averted the unnecessary loss of lives and bloodletting.
Once more, we are calling on the Government and the international community to institute an independent inquest into all the deaths of innocent citizens caused by the Sierra Leone security forces in past and present incidents referred to below and to bring to book, all those responsible for the killings of and injuries to innocent civilians.
The APC Party strongly believes that the Government’s failure to investigate previous killings of innocent civilians in Tonko Limba, Mile 91, Lumley, Tonkolili, Tombo, Lunsar, the Pademba Road Correctional Centre etc., and then this one, is giving rise to impunity, cavalier attitude and reckless use of lethal weapons against unarmed civilians.
So far, scores of Sierra Leonean lives, and still counting, have been lost and scores more have sustained gunshot injuries perpetrated by security forces and still counting since 2018 when H.E. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio took over the mantle of leadership in Sierra Leone and no question has been asked for any of those killings.
Amb. Dr. Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh National Secretary General – APC
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