June 2, 2015
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone will today engage stakeholders in Bumbuna on its recommendations following an inquiry into alleged human rights violations.
It could be recalled that the Commission in June 2012 conducted a Public Inquiry in Bumbuna in relation to events of 16th, 17th and 18th April 2012 in that part of the country which left people fleeing their homes for safety while others sustained bodily injuries.
The Commission found in their report that the uncoordinated and unsupervised Police intervention culminated into a riot involving workers of the then Africa Minerals Limited (AML), the Bumbuna community and the Paramount Chief.
However, the report also revealed that some members of the Bumbuna community, especially youth, perpetuated violence against the police, which left three officers wounded. They were subsequently treated at the Makeni Police Clinic. The youth reportedly erected road blocks and hurled stones and sticks at the police.
The misconduct by the police was attributed to a structural problem that was evident in the relationship between Operations Support Division (OSD) and the General Duty Police.
The report also states that though the SLP have an accountability mechanism in the use of ammunition, that accountability mechanism was not adhered to as two (2) injured OSD police officers, W24 and W25 looked timid, underaged and not appropriately educated to interpret and follow their Rules of Engagement and were also not likely to refuse orders that are manifestly illegal.
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone is mandated by law to investigate such events and recommend action that can prevent their recurrence and where possible provide redress to the victims as a means of promoting and protecting human rights in Sierra Leone.