May 22, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Armed robbers at around 3am on Monday 20th May, 2019 in Moyamba, attacked staff of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) and severely wounding one, with mobile phones, lap tops, iPad and cash carted away.
The staff, who were from the commission’s Southern Regional office, had gone to Moyamba in preparation for their Commissioners’ tour and outreach activities on human rights in the district.
The team was lodged within the reservation area when about 11 men with machetes and other offensive weapons broke into their place.
The commission’s Principal Public Information Officer, Ishmael Bayoh described the attack as ‘horrifying’.
He said his colleagues, a pregnant woman, a volunteer, the head of the Southern Region office and their driver had retired to bed after a night work plan for the outreach activities when they had a bang on the door.
“My colleagues told us that they had the dog barking continuously and suddenly heard footsteps in the compound. They said the armed robbers broke their way into where they were and began demanding for their phones and money. They hit the volunteer on the head thereby wounding him severely and also hit him with the same machetes on his right foot. They held the driver and beat him up on the leg with the machetes,” he said.
According to him, the pregnant staff told them that her own room had a bar compartment, which prevented the armed robbers from entering into her place but were displaying their machetes against her whilst threatening her to give them her phone and money.
The armed robbers did not only torch where the HRCSL staff were, but they also terrorized other apartments that housed some CSE construction workers and similarly beat them up, while also carting away their phones and money.
They did so to several houses, as well as the Nuns at the Convent putting them under terror and also carting away their valuables.
When the Commissioners and staff engaged the Local Unit Commander for Moyamba, Kruschev Kargbo, he told them that the nine (9) armed robbers arrested are said to be the ones responsible for the robberies on Catholic nuns in Bumbuna and Tonkolili.
He informed the Commissioners that the armed robbers have a WhatsApp group, where they coordinate their robbery activities. He said those arrested came from other districts. Some of the mobile phones and ipads were retrieved.