It is now confirmed that five youths had died from gunshot wounds and several
injured after riots broke out in the city of Makeni over the relocation of a power plant
generator to Lungi as plans were underway to reopen the international airport. The
Ministry of Energy in a statement pointed out that consultations were made with
local authorities in Makeni. The office of the Mayor of Makeni in a similar statement
attested to the same. The Minister of Energy noted in an interview with African
Young Voices Television (AYV) that Makeni benefits from hydroelectric power and
has two standby generators and that the decision to relocate the power plant
a generator was an interim measure until engineers repair the faulty generator at the
Lungi International airport. The EGTC team it was reported arrived at night to
remove the power plant generator for relocation.
The protesters mostly youths attacked the SLPP Party Office and other public
facilities. Footages of Military and OSD officials were seen firing teargas and live
rounds at low range targeting the youths, Curfew was imposed on the Makeni
Township but now lifted as the team commences this Fact-Finding Exercise. The
incident under review occurred on the 17th and 18th of July, 2020.
The team will speak to key stakeholders in Makeni, hold a debriefing meeting; Issue
a Preliminary Press Statement at 5 pm in Makeni and finalize a comprehensive
Report in Freetown with plans for sustained advocacy and follow up on the
The Team will comprise of CSO leaders or their designated representatives who
have the authority and mandate to take immediate decisions on behalf of their
organizations. The team will incorporate like-minded CSOs as the process unfolds.
Leadership for this initiative is broad-based and each CSO leader takes
the responsibility of the inputs and outcome of this initiative.
The task is mainly fact-finding with an aim to put an end to ‘citizens’ brutality’
by security forces in Sierra Leone and make recommendations for critical
governance reform and co-existence.
Possible Areas of accountability to explore, investigate, and discuss:
1. Accountability of security forces: The Killing and wounding of unarmed
civilians by state security forces.
a. To understand the circumstance under which force was applied and the
proportion of force applied; reasons for the application of the force;
b. Explore what could be done differently to avoid loss of lives
c. Identify and profile key actors involved and explore any possibility of
2. Accountability of administrative personnel managing the process. The role of
key stakeholders in managing information
a. Who are the key actors involved – from Freetown to the districts
b. What are the expected and agreed roles of the stakeholders?
c. Was there are any negligence (deliberate or unintentional) that led to the
3. Accountability of youth leaders leading the protest must be explored?
a. How did the youth engage with authorities? (Constructive and peaceful
b. How did the situation escalate into violence? Were there any evidence or
forces of deliberate disinformation and misinformation to stoke grievances against
local and national authorities?
c. Suggest ways the young people could have handle such highly volatile
incidence to prevent violent confrontation and possible bloodshed
4. It is also important to understand the command structure. Who gave orders for
live ammunition to be used? (The police have a set of guidelines on the use of
firearms. We should explore whether the orders, if any, were consistent with the
5. Explore the relationship between the police and the Makeni community. Does the police
leadership enjoy the confidence and trust of the people? If no, why?