Sierra Leone’s National Security Coordinator (NSCoord), Abdulai Caulker, issued a stern warning today about planned unlawful protests on January 17th and 18th and pledged to crack down on individuals spreading fake news and hate speech on social media.

Intelligence reports obtained by the Office of National Security (ONS) revealed “miscreants and elements” aiming to disrupt the nation’s peace with these protests, the reasons for which remain unclear. NSCoord Caulker emphasized the government’s commitment to maintaining hard-won stability after decades of turmoil, stating that the ONS “will not take lightly anyone who attempts to derail our peace.”

The announcement also targeted online activities, specifically mentioning those spreading “scurrilous, fake, and damaging stories” about Sierra Leone with the intent to scare away investors and sow division. Caulker warned that the ONS will “use various means at our disposal” to bring these individuals to justice.

Amidst these concerns, the ONS reassured citizens and foreigners to continue their daily lives without fear. They stated their confidence in the security forces’ ability to detect and neutralize any threats across the country. Additionally, they urged the public to rely on information from the Ministry of Information and Civic Education, dismissing “misinformation, fake news, and reports” that could jeopardize national unity.

To facilitate reporting of suspicious activities, the ONS reminded everyone to call the toll-free number 119.