Citizens Right Network Sierra Leone, a Civil Society and Human Rights organisation has stated that will staged a peaceful protest if stakeholders in the petroleum industry do not resolve the fuel shortage in the country.

CRN-SL made this stance on a press release issued on Monday 14 March 2022.

According to CRN-SL their attention has been drawn to the rapid increment of the price of fuel in the country.

“We have also observed over the past three days that the issue of fuel has become very challenging for transport owners and commuters due to artificial scarcity,” they noted.

CRN-SL stated that they are aware of the recent consignment of fuel that was off loaded in various petroleum terminals, noting that the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia should not be implicated or use as an excuse to avoid the needful.

“What is going on in Europe should not serve as escape route for the artificial scarcity of petroleum products in the country,” the CSO stated.

They further noted that their attention has been drawn to the area of pump price, which has mooted to rise from Le, 12,000 per liter to Le, 15,000.

The continuous increase in pump price has become untenable and it is need to be explained to the citizens in this country.

Therefore, CRN-SL has called upon the attention of the Executive Chairman of Petroleum Regulatory Agency ( PRA) , the Ministry of Trade and Industry , the Ministry of Transport and Aviation and the Sierra Leone Motor Drivers Union to come out with a strong statement regarding the shortages.

They further stated that there is need for these MDAs to start doing monitoring and regular spot checks at the terminals and petrol stations to curtail the artificial scarcity that is going on.

“As we continue to maintain our stands, we are waiting for the MDAs to act fast to resolve this National hiatus, otherwise CRN-SL will be left with no option but to do a peaceful protest,” The Civil Society Organisation stated.

“Our stand as Civil Society and Human Rights Organization is to seek, to protect and safeguard the welfare of every citizen in the country,” they added.

It could be recalled that in June 2018 Edmond Abu, who heads the Native Consortium and Research Center, a Civil Society and Human Rights organisation led a protest in Freetown against the government’s decision to remove fuel subsidy. The action effectively increased fuel prices from LE 6,000 to LE 8,000 for petrol, diesel and kerosene.

Police in Sierra Leone arrested Abu and dispersed others who were protesting, leading International human rights groups to quickly condemned Abu’s arrest as well as the police actions against the protesters.

The demonstrations were the first public protests held against president Julius Maada Bio to mark his first 100 days in office in June 2018.