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SIERRA LEONE – Authorities denounce coup attempt on Sunday

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Senior Sierra Leonean officials estimated on Tuesday that the unrest that killed 21 people on Sunday, November 26, 2023 in Freetown was the result of a new coup attempt in West Africa, involving soldiers and guards from former President Ernest Bai Koroma.

The instigators of the coup that shook the capital on Sunday and also brought out hundreds of detainees are however not identified and no link is established at this stage with Mr. Koroma, between 2007 and 2018 of the current Head of State Julius Maada Bio, they said.

These officials delivered to the press the most detailed account to date of the troubles that occurred on Sunday, which the authorities had hitherto refrained from qualifying nature.

They also reaffirmed that the authorities were in control of the situation, while gunshots, fired during the arrest of a suspect, again caused fear in the capital on Tuesday.

“We opened an investigation into a failed coup attempt,” said police chief William Fayia Sellu. “A group of people tried to overthrow the ruling power using force,” he said.

In the early hours of Sunday, men attacked a military armory, two other barracks, two prisons and two police stations, confronting the security forces with weapons in hand.

The fighting killed 21 people, including 14 soldiers, a policeman, a prison guard, a security guard, a woman and three assailants, said Information Minister Chernor Bah.

– “Nice Reward” –
More than 2,200 detainees have been released, of whom 124 have since returned, said Colonel Sheikh Sulaiman Massaquoi, head of the prison services.

Thirteen military and one civilian suspected of involvement in the coup are in detention, the Information Minister said. The authorities said they were conducting a “manhunt” to find other suspects.

The police published on Tuesday the photos and names of 32 men and 2 women wanted as “fugitives”, including soldiers and policemen active or retired. And promised a “nice reward” to anyone who provides information leading to their capture.

A significant number of rebels are former guards of former president Ernest Bai Koroma, said Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Peter Lavahun. He invoked the ongoing investigations to guard against deciding on Mr. Koroma’s involvement.

He also acknowledged that the leaders remained to be identified.

Officials said, as suggested by photos circulating on social media, a former member of Mr. Koroma’s inner circle was among those killed.

– ECOWAS “ready” –
Mr. Koroma, who lives in the capital, condemned the violence on Sunday in a statement, and reported that a corporal assigned to his guard had been shot dead in the perimeter of his residence.

Officials acknowledged that, contrary to early government statements, the rebels managed to get their hands on weapons.

Security services recovered two vehicles with rocket launchers and automatic rifles on the outskirts of Freetown, he added. But they admitted to ignoring what was still out there.

These events immediately awakened the spectre of a new coup d’état in a West Africa that, since 2020, has seen in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea, all among the 15 member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), like Sierra Leone.

The Sierra Leonean head of state received on Monday a high-level delegation from ECOWAS and Nigeria, heavyweight of the region that currently holds the presidency of the organization, according to images broadcast by its services on Tuesday.

ECOWAS is ready to deploy to Sierra Leone “regional elements if necessary,” said West African Bloc Commission Chair Omar Alieu Touray, without specifying what “elements” he was talking about.

The Sierra Leonean Minister of Information, however, assured that at this stage Freetown was not asking for such a deployment.

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POLITICS

SENEGAL – Harassment, food tampering, communication ban: the Diomaye Coalition President alert on the conditions of detention of his candidate

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Bassirou Diomay Faye

The Diomaye Coalition President warns about the conditions of detention of candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye. The members of the said coalition inform that his visiting days have been changed and he can only receive visits on Tuesdays and Wednesdays within the Court. He is also prohibited from telephone communications. The Diomaye Président coalition denounces this relentlessness against its candidate and holds the regime responsible for any attack on the physical or moral integrity of their candidate.

“Following the official launch of the Diomaye President Coalition and the massive adhesions of opposition leaders, it was expected that the government in power would reinstate the candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye in his rights, particularly in the context of a presidential election of which he is undoubtedly the favourite,” reads a statement.

However, the Coalition announces that the Prison Administration, under the responsibility of the Minister of Justice, has decided to unilaterally and without justification tighten the conditions of detention of candidate Bassirou Diomaye FAYE by:

“A unilateral modification of his visiting days now, the candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye can only receive visits on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and this within the Court itself. A ban on telephone communications under the pretext that the favorite candidate in the presidential election whose campaign begins in two days has conversations whose purpose is political. A continuous harassment of the room of the candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye is now searched at every turn.”

Moreover, she notes a «lack of security measures despite her status as a candidate in the presidential election of February 25, 2024 and multiple alerts on probable alterations of the food served to her. Candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye no longer has breakfast.”
The Diomaye President coalition denounces this relentlessness against its candidate. “We strongly denounce this umpteenth violation of the principle of equality between candidates in the presidential election of February 25, 2024. We call for the immediate release of Bassirou Diomaye Faye to actively participate in the election campaign.”

In any case, she stresses, «the State of Senegal has the responsibility to ensure its protection if it unjustly decides to maintain it in the bonds of detention».

In short, the Diomaye Coalition President indicates that «Macky Sall, Aissata Tall Sall and Amadou Ba will be held responsible for any attack on the physical or moral integrity of the candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye».

Source : PressAfrik

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POLITICS

SENEGAL – 100.000 Housing: Ismaila Madior Fall á Bambilor for the inauguration

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This Friday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese from outside, Ismaila Madior Fall, accompanied by Minister Annette Ndiaye Seck, will inaugurate the “City of the Diaspora” in Bambilor. This project aims to prevent the creation of new slums and encourage the mass production of accessible housing.

According to the Observer, the aim is to boost and diversify the supply of housing for low-income and/or irregular households, while facilitating access to adapted bank financing. With a clear vision of strengthening the construction ecosystem, this initiative demonstrates the commitment of the Senegalese government to its diaspora.

The 100,000 units planned in this project were developed in partnership with the Senegalese government and its collaborators, seeking to meet the specific housing needs and concerns of Senegalese living abroad.

Source: PressAfrik

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POLITICS

SENEGAL – Thione Niang “I have no program, I have a vision”

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Thione Niang ©Ze-Africanews

Social entrepreneur Thione Niang is a candidate in the February 2024 election. In this exclusive interview, he reveals his vision, his projects in particular, “Give One project”, “JeufZone” which includes an agricultural component, training but also women’s empowerment. 

It was an opportunity for the social entrepreneur to look back on his beginnings, on the process of returning to his country of origin, Senegal. He addressed the political question: his involvement in the political ring while giving his opinion on the Senegalese political landscape. 

African politics is another aspect of this interview. The urgency of the industrialization of the continent, the urgency of helping African youth so that they have the same opportunities for development as other young people in the world, is close to his heart. 

On the question of the African school, Thione Niang proposes a redesign of it, starting with a paradigm shift and especially the content of the teachings. According to him, we must return to our fundamentals, namely our own models of identity representations, notably Cheikh Anta Diop or Nkrumah. 

Thione Niang, also told us about vision, his vision and not a program, to give each Senegalese what he deserves both in terms of education, health, but also on the development of infrastructure, which, according to him, necessarily passes first and foremost through food self-sufficiency, hence his return to the land for an assertive agricultural progress.

He ended up sending a strong message to all Senegalese.

The rest of the interview on this link:

Thione Niang ©Ze-Africanews
Thione Niang ©Ze-Africanews
Thione Niang ©Ze-Africanews
Thione Niang ©Ze-Africanews
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