The President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio has said that the August 10 anti-government protest in some parts of Freetown and in North was not a protest, but terrorism at the highest level.

The president made this statement in an interview with the BBC on Thursday evening.

President Bio started by extending sympathy to the families of those that died in the violent protests, adding that the situation is getting gradually calm and quiet in the country.

The security forces are fully deployed to make sure there is no further deterioration of the situation, and there are arrangements in place to make sure we improve the situation,” he said.

President Bio further said that the protest could be politically motivated as there are individuals that had been putting pressure on people to go out and protest.

What happened yesterday (on Wednesday) was definitely not a protest, it was a terrorism at the highest,” he said.

Bio noted that there are some Sierra Leoneans living in the diaspora that are threatening to unleash terror on Sierra Leone, adding that they have incited unemployed youth on several occasions to come out and cause violence in some parts of the country.

President Bio said that he understands that there are hardships and unemployment in the country, noting that they are sympathizing with the situation as a government.

He spoke about several measures – in the area of education, job provisions, and agriculture, the government has put in place to solve some of these problems that are affecting Sierra Leoneans.

The President however noted that under current circumstances, it is extremely difficult for the government to settle all of the citizen’s problems because of poor revenue generation and supply chain disruption – which he said has impacted virtually everything.

We’re looking at sustainable solutions to our problems today, not just quick fixes,” he said.

President Bio reiterated that there is a political undertone to what is happening in the country, adding that most of all those that are involved in the protest are from the main opposition, All People Congress (APC) party.

It is not a protest. As you can see five people were killed – hacked to death in the cruelest of ways,” he said.

Reacting to allegations on missing in action and embarking on expensive foreign trips, President Bio said that there are essential trips he has to embark on as a Head of State, adding that his recent trip to London was because of health reasons.

“I was not keeping too well. I had to do medical check ups. That was why I was in London,” Bio said.