Sierra Leone president reshuffles military commanders after protests
Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has replaced the top leadership of the country’s military, two days after a deadly protest rocked the West African country.
On Friday, Peter K. Lavahun was promoted from Major General to Lt General and appointed new Chief of Defence Staff, replacing Lt General Sullay Sesay.
Seven soldiers were promoted and appointed to strategic positions in the army, including the positions of Assistant Chief of Defense Staff of the army and Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Defense.
The announcement comes shortly after the President gave a nationwide address in which he vowed to bring to justice all those who participated in Wednesday’s violent protest that claimed the lives of several people and left others injured.
The unknown organizers of the protest say they wanted to express dissatisfaction over the high cost of living in the country. They blame the administration for its failure to act to lessen the suffering of the masses.
But President Bio, in his statement, said the incident was nothing close to a protest for cost of living, rather it was an attempt to forcefully effect a change of his government. He called it an insurrection sponsored by unnamed politicians, promising to mount a full investigation into the incident and bring all those found culpable to justice.
“The full force of the law will be brought to bear on all those persons who attacked and killed police officers. They, their sponsors, and their collaborators will not go unpunished,” he said in the address aired live on state broadcaster SLBC.
The President also said that a full investigation will be mounted into the death of ordinary citizens.