Internal Affairs Ministry debunks claims of hosting mercenaries’ at Sierra Rutile

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By Ishmael Dumbuya

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has in a presser explained that their attention has been drawn to several social media posts regarding the arrival and stay of certain individuals at Sierra Rutile whom the public alleged to be mercenaries from Burkina Faso.

Thereupon, the Ministry alongside state intelligence agencies mounted thorough investigations into the said allegations.

According to the presser, the investigations proved that the Burkinabe drivers at Sierra Rutile mines are experts’ heavy duty truck drivers contracted by SIBAO Group Limited. It went on to explain that the said Burkinabes went through security screening at the Gbalamuya border post, and due diligence was conducted by the Sierra Leone Immigration Department, the National Revenue Authority (NRA), and other security agencies prior to their entry into Sierra Leone.

“On their arrival to Sierra Leone, concerns were raised by members of the public, alleging that the said Burkinabes are hired mercenaries’ against the Government of Sierra Leone. In that regard, the various state intelligence and security agencies swiftly arrested all alleged Burkinabe Mercenaries’, and then subjected them to robust security screening,” the release highlighted.  However, since the investigation could not link them to the allegation, they were released without charge.

The presser concluded that as a means of adhering or complying with Government’s Local Content Policy, the Burkinabe heavy truck drivers are expected to train Sierra Leonean drivers, who will subsequently replace them.

The general public has been therefore requested to remain calm and go about their normal business, while the security and intelligence agencies continue to monitor the security situation in the country and the sub-region.

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