The United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) has issued a security advisory for foreign nations in Sierra Leone.
Giving an overview of the general security situation in Sierra Leone, the UN Department of security and Safety state that In the past week, there have been two reports of murder in Bo District over trivial issues,
fatal shooting in Ngarankan in the Bombali District in the North;
Incidences of Armed Robbery in the Western Region specifically targeting foreign nationals with the intent to burgle foreign currency and suspected murder of a foreign national in a hotel room at Aberdeen.
There is also unconfirmed social media information about pending protest actions in August and September.
The department of security and Safety further that UN Personnel and their dependents are advised to check that the following security measures are in place:
All Personnel is to ensure that your windows are grilled, and the main entrance door is constructed well with solid metal.
Allocate a safe room where your valuables can be secured and where you can secure yourselves when there is a break-in and wait for reinforcements from DSS mobile patrol.
Ensure you and your dependents and security guards do have on your respective mobile phones the emergency contact numbers for DSS Security Operation Centre; your warden, the nearest SLP Post, and the UN Clinic.
Your compound is well illuminated i.e. security lights on your perimeter wall to illuminate the outer immediate areas and the on the roof to illuminate the immediate inner compound.
Brief your guards on immediate actions when there is an attempt to break in or there is suspected movement in your compound: Blow their whistles to alert you and your neighbors of the attempt. Once an alert is sounded the burglars usually will escape from the area.
Avoid attracting undue attention to yourself by displaying electronic or expensive goods; be mindful of foreign currency transactions/cash; change foreign currency in the street for they can relay messages that you have available foreign currency and can follow you to your location.
It is alleged that a group is responsible for targeting foreign personnel for foreign currency. It is suspected that they are colluding with security guards and money changers. Ensure all movements must be well planned, especially working late at night. Limit night movements and avoid at all costs the use of commercial motors and tricycles.
Always inform your wardens, your Security Focal Points, or DSS of your movement before proceeding to and returning from field missions or on leave.
Avoid large gatherings; be mindful of wearing, or displaying colors or symbols that may connote sympathy or support to a particular group, as this may compromise personal safety and security; limit social media use to the applicable national laws and Rules of the UN; timely report any unusual activity that has the potential to impact the safety and security of UN Personnel and their dependents to the UN Security Operations Centre (SOC)/Radio Room or to the nearest Agency Security Focal Point/Warden.
You will find emergency contact numbers highlighted on the back of your UN ID Card.
NB: Agency Security Focal Points and Wardens should ensure the dissemination of information to their staff.