Sierra Leone ramps up security
Sierra Leone officials say they are bolstering security in response to the heightened threat posed by Al-Shabaab, the West African nation expressed concern it could be targeted because of the presence its forces under the AMISOM operations in Somalia.
According to Sierra Leone government’s spokesperson the security was beefed up in the country after the Westgate attack in Kenya that killed more than 70 people.
Francis Munu, a police inspector general, said at a meeting Wednesday that new security measures would require government offices to issue identity cards for their staff and maintain visitors’ logs, while petty traders would be kept away from government buildings.
The new measures are in response to al-Shabaab’s attack on a Kenyan mall last month in retaliation for Kenya sending troops into Somalia nearly two years ago. The attack killed more than 60 people.
Government spokesperson, Abdulai Bayraytay confirmed that following the Kenya attack which Al Shabab militant group took its responsibility the security forces took precaution measures to secure the whole country.
“There are certain areas we have restricted, like George Street where we have the presence Sierra Leone police,” said Bayraytay, “also the Ministry of Finance, the vicinity around the bank of Sierra Leone and military and police installations.” he said.
Sierra Leone contributed an 850-member battalion to the African Union mission in Somalia earlier this year.
Earlier this year officials from Al Shabab issued a threat to any country sending troops to Somalia but the Sierra Leone minister of defense said that his country will remain in the Somalia mission.