The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) has on Tuesday 7th August 2012 ended the public hearings on the Bumbuna disturbances. The proceedings were held in the Conference Room of the HRCSL at State Avenue on Tower Hill in Freetown.
The proceedings commenced with former Regional Commander North/East, Superintendent Joseph B. Kabia, who now serves as Director of Support Services in the Sierra Leone Police.
Led in evidence by a Human Rights Officer Madam M. Marah, Superintendent Kabia explained that most of the youths at Bumbuna are unemployed ex-combatants. He said whilst in Bumbuna, the police received intelligence that the youths were planning to attack the police station, the Paramount Chief’s house and the African Minerals fuel station.
According to him, upon getting this intelligence, they summoned an emergency meeting with the Paramount Chief and other stakeholders in Bumbuna to discuss the alleged attack.
e further told the Commission that the protesters were singing songs calling for jobs to be provided for them, as they march towards the station.Superintendent Kabia went on that he advised them to stop and further warned them to evacuate the scene.
After this warning, Superintendent Kabia went on he got a message from the Local Unit Commander (LUC) for the Tonkolili District Police Station, Mr. Dasama, informing him that some of the youths have destroyed the police station.
At this point, he furthered, he automatically deployed some of his men to the scene in order to calm the situation.He said after that, he got another call from LUC Dasama that another group of protesters accompanied this time by some ex-combatants, were on their way to the station. Again, he said he reinforced his deployment to the scene.
Superintendent Kabia revealed that the protesters attacked his officers. They struggled with one of the police officers who in the process of freeing himself mistakenly fired a bullet from the gun he was carrying.
In her closing remarks, Commissioner Jamestina King said that the Commission has called forty witnesses to testify in the hearings, adding that this was the final witness to testify.
She thanked all those who participated in the proceedings whilst further calling on the public to exercise patience until the Commission releases the report.