By Abdulai Brima……
POLICE VIOLENCE AGAINST UNARMED PROTESTERS IN KABALA!
Fellow Sierra Leoneans!
Reports of police shootings and killing of unarmed protesters in Kabala, Koinadugu District, are another grim reminder that our national politics is still heavily chained to the crudest of dangerous miscalculations on the part of law enforcement officers.
Whatever the explanations for the brutal crackdown on unarmed youth protesters and its resultant spillage, the responsibility for upholding the peace should never be allowed to deteriorate into a full-scale shooting spree.
The shooting of peaceful civilian protesters is definitely unacceptable, and it constitutes a grave threat to national peace and security.
Citizens, in the exercise of their civic responsibilities, have the right to express their views and hold government accountable. The police, on the other hand, have a duty to maintain law and order, but it is not an unrestrained license by trigger-happy officers to intimidate or use deadly force against unarmed protesters.
I am calling on the government to immediately rein in the forces it has at its disposal, and to speedily launch a credible, transparent and independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragic events in Koinadugu District.
As we edge closer to national parliamentary and presidential elections, it is crucial that those in charge of state machinery act to assure the public that “power” and “force” would not be used to coerce people or thwart their will.
The current political climate in the country appears to be getting very cloudy. Some defining clarity is needed here from the highest levels of the command chain! And it is needed fast in order to prevent further needless loss of life.
May the souls of all victims in Kabala rest in perfect peace! And may peace reign supreme, everywhere, in our beloved nation!
Your Humble Servant,