Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio says the nature of last week’s protests against his government caught the police force by surprise.
The protests resulted in 25 deaths including five police officers.
“We have had challenges with the police force. But we know the nature of the protests definitely took them by surprise,” he said.
“We all knew they [protesters] wanted to come out, but we did not have an identifiable group or person leading them,” he added.
President Bio again blamed the opposition for trying to topple his government, an accusation the opposition All People’s Congress party has denied.
He said a forensic and independent investigation was being conducted to unravel the truth.
“It’s a forensic investigation. There are footprints, there are people who incited, who called on the people to go out to kill. There were people inciting the military and telling them to come to State House,” he said.
President Bio also defended a reshuffle in the military leadership following the protests, and denied threats of a military takeover.
“Heads of security institutions can be removed for different reasons. It’s my right when I think its right.”