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Sierra Leone Ex-Leader Koroma Summoned Over Failed Coup

Sierra Leone police have summoned former president Ernest Bai Koroma for questioning over the failed coup attempt late last month.

Information Minister Cherno Bah on Thursday said the former leader was invited to report to the police headquarters in the capital Freetown within 24 hours.

Mr Koroma said that he would honour the police summons, and asked his supporters to be calm, according to a statement issued by his office.

"I maintain an open mind and stand ready to support the police investigations to the fullest. Let the rule of law reign supreme in our democracy," he added.

Mr Koroma’s summon follows the earlier arrest of his former security aide.

Gunmen attacked a military barrack and broke into a prison in Freetown on 26 November, freeing more than 2,000 inmates.

At least 19 people, including 13 soldiers, died in what the authorities said afterwards was an attempt to overthrow the government.

Mr Koroma condemned the incident in a statement shortly after it happened.

About 60 people, including 37 soldiers, have so far been arrested in connection with the violence.

Although he has officially retired from politics, Mr Koroma, who was in office between 2007 and 2018, remains an influential figure in Sierra Leone politics.