Three unidentified youths were reported dead in a Tuesday clash between police and youths in the town of Kabala in northern Sierra Leone, according to local journalists who spoke to Xinhua on Wednesday.
Reports said the youth “have burnt the house of the police local unit commander and the offices of the ruling All People’s Congress party.”
Twenty-two youths are said to have been arrested while the youth leader, Mohammed Marah, is in hiding, said the reports.
Police imposed a 24-hour curfew while the government invoked the Military Aid to Civil Power to beef up the security in Kabala.
Local journalists who spoke to Xinhua said the youths were demonstrating against the government’s decision to move a youth village that was destined to be built in Kabala to Mile 91 in the Tonkolili District, which is also in the north of Sierra Leone.
The Government’s spokes person said he could not determine the cause of the demonstration.
The Paramount Chief of Kabala in the Koinadugu District told reporters that the riot came as a result of the police refusal to agree to the demands of the youths to conduct “a peaceful demonstration” over the government’s decision to relocate the youth village from Koinadugu district to Tonkolili district.
Reports reaching Xinhua from Kabala state that the situation was very tense in the town on Tuesday, and but for the intervention of the military, the situation would have been worse.
However, the situation is said to be calm on Wednesday and the curfew was reduced from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. in the morning. Stakeholders in the Koinadugu District held a meeting Wednesday to ascertain the cause of the riots.