The Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has denied allegations of inciting August 10 violent anti-government protests in Freetown and the Northern parts of Sierra Leone that led to the killing of 17 police officers and civilians.

Earlier today, the Mayor took to social media to respond to the allegations made by senior government officials.

Check out full response from the Mayor of Freetown below:

“Good day Freetonians.

Immediately after His Excellency the President’s speech to the nation last night, the Minister of Information, members of the Strategic Communications Unit and the Presidential Press Secretary held a panel discussion in which they once again falsely accused me of inciting the recent protests. I am extremely troubled by this and utterly disappointed that government officials would use such a national broadcast to make baseless accusations.

Let me emphatically state that I had no involvement in the incitement or organization of the protests on 10th August. I condemn all acts of violence that led to the unfortunate and tragic loss of lives and the destruction of property on that day.

This deliberate and continued action of making false accusations publicly has already led to constant attacks of me on social media and attempts of physical attacks on FCC property. But this is not about me. In the past week, dozens of people have been killed, an unspecified and increasing number of people have been detained and it is my understanding that the detainees have been denied access to legal representation, and sadly thousands of traders (mainly women) have overnight lost their source of livelihood through the destruction of their market stalls. My heart goes out to all those who are suffering at this time. May the souls of the departed rest in peace.

I believe that in challenging times we must nurture a spirit of unity and forster platforms for peaceful engagement. I call for calm in the city and for all to avoid violence.

Finally, let me use this medium to reaffirm my commitment to peace and justice in Sierra Leone. I will continue to do everything I can to diligently serve the residents of Freetown.

Thank you.”