A protest in Makeni, Northern Sierra Leone that happened over the weekend left nine people dead from gunshot wounds. Several others were injured and over 40 were arrested.
According to news reports, locals were protesting the removal of a 1.65 Megawatts (MW) generator from their town.
“The generator in question will not disturb the power supply of the town, which is getting full electricity supply from the Bumbuna Hydro,” said the Ministry of Energy
The Local Unit Commander in Makeni, Chief Superintendent Joe Sungu, said the protesters burned tires and threatened to burn down the Ministry’s electricity office to stop the generator’s transfer. He said that while the police did use tear gas to disperse the crowd, they did not shoot at protesters.
The Independent Police Complaints Board has opened a preliminary investigation on the incident.
All injured and arrested individuals are currently in Freetown. The wounded are undergoing medical treatment, and those arrested for violence conduct await trial.
Makeni is currently under an indefinite curfew.
The generator has been transferred to Lungi to power the airport which reopens on July 22.