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Sierra Leone charges ex-leader Koroma’s guard, 11 others over failed coup

Sierra Leone charges ex-leader Koroma’s guard, 11 others over failed coup

Those charged were part of 85 people arrested in connection with the attempted coup in Sierra Leone on November 26.

Sierra Leone authorities have charged 12 people including a member of former President Ernest Bai Koroma’s security detail, with treason in connection with a failed coup in November, the government said on Tuesday.

The accused were arraigned before a magistrate in Freetown on Tuesday, the Ministry of Information and Communication said in a statement, adding that they included ex-police and correctional officers.

“Other accused persons are expected to be charged in the coming days,” the ministry said.

One of those charged was Amadu Koita, a former soldier and bodyguard of former president Ernest Bai Koroma, Koita was widely followed on social networks where he criticised the government of current President Julius Maada Bio.

Koita was arrested on December 4, one of 85 people arrested in connection with the events of November 26 when gunmen attacked a military barracks, a prison and other locations in Freetown. They freed about 2,200 inmates and killed more than 20 people in what the authorities deemed a coup attempt by members of the armed forces.

The violence sparked fears of another coup in West Africa, where Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea have all experienced takeovers since 2020.

Neither Koita nor his legal representative have commented on the charges.

Koroma, who condemned the attacks in a statement shortly after they happened, was summoned for questioning in December as part of the police investigation.

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