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Ex-Sierra Leone President Under House Arrest Amid Coup Investigation



Former Sierra Leone president Ernest Bai Koroma has been confined to his home, the government said Saturday, after he was questioned over what it calls an attempted coup at the end of November.

The office of the former president, who led the West African nation from 2007 to 2018, has said he was not placed under house arrest.

Information Minister Chernor Bah said Koroma, who was first brought in for questioning by police Friday, was questioned again on Saturday before being released “with the condition that he stays in the confines of his property”.

“He can’t step out of the house without the expressed permission of the inspector general of police,” Bah said on X, formerly Twitter.

Koroma has been allowed visits by just three family members and three party members, Bah added — terms which will be in place until he meets with the police inspector again Monday.

In a statement by Koroma’s office, one of his lawyers denied that he was under house arrest but said the “security beef up around his residence and the extra caution on traffic into his home are state security determination”.

Koroma had on Thursday been summoned to appear before police in the capital Freetown within 24 hours, as part of an ongoing investigation into clashes that took place at the end of last month.

Armed attackers stormed a military armoury, two barracks, two prisons and two police stations, clashing with security forces during the early hours of November 26.

The fighting left 21 people dead, according to Bah. Since then, 71 people have been arrested.

West Africa has been hit by a series of coups since 2020 with the military taking power in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea. (Vangiard).