Sierra Leone suspends Minister for making death threats

A video circulating on social media, which could not be independently verified, appears to show Koroma telling a crowd that rioters will be shot.
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Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has suspended Abu Abu Koroma, a minister for the country’s northern province, indefinitely for “unacceptable conduct and public remarks that misrepresents the government”, an official statement said.

Koroma who supervises the opposition stronghold had on Sunday allegedly threatened to kill troublemakers, after a recent spate of violent incidents in the West African state.

A video circulating on social media, which could not be independently verified, appears to show Koroma telling a crowd that rioters will be shot.

“We will kill you if death is what you prefer,” Koroma appears to say in the video, speaking in a mixture of Temne and Krio, an AFP report said.

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“Any  youth who misbehaves, we will break your legs and go after your mother and father,” he appears to add.

The move comes after the president accused the political opposition of inciting the recent violence that has left over a dozen people dead, and which in some cases has been linked to coronavirus restrictions. 

On Saturday, Bio gave a televised address accusing members of the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party of being behind Sierra Leone’s recent violent flare-ups.

Eleven people died in one such incident last month, in an attempted jail break in the capital Freetown which occurred after an inmate tested positive for coronavirus.

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The APC was not immediately available for comment.

Authorities in the former British colony have recorded 307 coronavirus cases to date, with 18 fatalities.

Bio — who briefly led a military junta more than two decades ago — took office in 2018 after a tumultuous election campaign which ended a decade-long spell in power by the APC.


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