Sierra Leone: The Pademba Putsch

On 26 November, armed men launched a series of attacks against prison and military infrastructure in a failed coup attempt. While plotters failed to overthrow the government, they did spring 1,890 inmates from the Pademba prison in central Freetown. While security forces quickly intervened and stifled armed dissidents, a politics of fear has since coalesced around Sierra Leone’s perceived fragility and the maintenance of its democratic credentials as it is the second coup since Sierra Leone’s election in June.

Key Judgement 1: It is highly likely that the contested 2023 election will lead to further protest and dissent.

Key Judgement 2: Regional instability and democratic backsliding will likely downplay the severity of attempts to overthrow the government of Sierra Leone.

Key Judgement 3: President Julius Maada Bio will likely rely on external partners to safeguard Sierra Leone’s Government over the next 24 months.

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