The Sierra Leone Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, has categorically denied the recent rumors circulating regarding the arrest and imminent deportation of 5,000 Sierra Leonean nationals residing in Senegal.

In a statement released by the Information Officer, Ishmael Bayoh, on behalf of the Embassy yesterday, it was clarified that only 11 Sierra Leoneans, consisting of ten men and one woman, were affected by a recent relocation exercise undertaken by the Senegalese Government.

The incident in question took place on June 30th and July 1st, 2023, in the area known as ‘Bai Yaraq Cite embasse,’ which had been identified as a high-crime area.

Residents within this locality had received prior notices from the Senegalese authorities to vacate the premises. As a result of the operation, a significant number of foreign nationals, including Malians, Guineans, and others, were relocated to a designated stadium in Tiaroye.

The Sierra Leone Embassy, in collaboration with the Sierra Leonean Community leadership in Dakar, is actively involved in screening the affected individuals and providing consular assistance. Those who are found innocent of any criminal involvement will be issued with consular cards, facilitating their reintegration into society.

To counter the spreading disinformation, the Sierra Leone Ambassador to Dakar, Senegal, H.E Alhaji Brima Elvis Koroma, has directly addressed the issue in an audio interview aired on Society for Radio Democracy 98.1. In the interview, Ambassador Koroma debunks the false claims, reassuring Sierra Leoneans that the number of affected individuals is significantly lower than the reported figures.

The Sierra Leone Embassy urges the public to disregard the misleading audio content, emphasizing that the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans in Senegal are not facing any deportation threats.