Sierra Leone vice president requests asylum from US

Sierra Leone vice president requests asylum from US

HomeAfricaMore Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:28PM

Sierra Leone’s vice president has applied for asylum at the US embassy in the capital city of Freetown and is waiting for a decision on his case, a source says.

Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana requested asylum from the US ambassador on Saturday after soldiers disarmed his security team during an encounter at his residence in Freetown.

Witnesses said heavily armed soldiers rushed into Sumana’s residence but he was nowhere to be found. The soldiers, however, left with stacks of documents.

Sam-Sumana “is now in hiding at a secure location awaiting a reply to a request he has made by telephone to the American embassy for asylum for himself and his wife,” a source close to him said.

Meanwhile, Sierra Leone’s ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party has denied reports that the vice president’s life is in danger.

The APC confirmed it “has been informed by the American embassy in Freetown that Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana has requested to seek asylum… alleging that his life is under threat and that his residence has been looted.”

On March 6, the APC party expelled the 52-year-old Sam-Sumana from what it described as “his anti-party activities, including fomenting violence.”

He is accused of instigating “frequent unrest” in his eastern home district of Kono, while plotting to set up a breakaway political party.

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