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Sierra Leone News: Awoko TokTok: Rampant organised criminality

Colleague journalist Hassan Arouni is nursing his broken bones in a UK hospital after being robbed and mercilessly dragged along the street by a thieving taxi driver and his colleagues.
This is just one in the countless seemingly organised robberies which seem to happen and have been happening almost on a daily basis all round the city recently.
Our concern is the increasing brutality in which these robberies are carried out, and which in our view is becoming alarming.
In Makeni just over a dozen Okada riders have been murdered in cold blood in the savage manner of being stabbed several times or their heads simply being twisted and their necks broken in less than six months.Ofcourse this has led to demonstrations but the Police seem to be out of their depth in finding any of the killers who simply vanish along with the motorbikes.
This pattern of murder has been seen creeping into Kenema also as they have reported some deaths of Okada riders through multiple stab wounds, and their motorbikes stolen.
For us this is a worrying sign which must be investigated now and all efforts made to put a stop to it.
It is worrying because it seems like mindless killers are on the loose. More worrying is the fact that police have not been able to catch even one of the murderers, and the police now even fear the wrath of the Okada riders for not being able to solve the murders.
Enquiries by colleague journalists suggest that these killers may have come from across our borders, and run back after committing the crimes. Others suggest that this may be a growing dissatisfaction among former combatants who are slowly going back to their former ways as life becomes harder for them.
It is in this same light that the plight of our colleague Hassan Arouni is being viewed because we know of taxi drivers arranging with others to rob people by picking their pockets when they enter their vehicles. The new dimension to this has been the somewhat sadistic dragging along of the victim.
The bottom line is whether the police view this as a pattern of increased criminality and as such a serious security concern, is a matter, which only they can explain.
However it is our duty to this country and our readership to highlight these issues so that they can be addressed.
The consequences for such crimes to continue and increase in their frequency and the security implications for this country can only be imagined.
This is why we call on the Police that while they spend time during the day to chase okada’s from the streets, and arresting journalists on seditious and defamatory libel, they should also try to implement measures that would put a stop to this practice of seemingly organised criminality and more importantly the large number of unsolved murders.
We do not want to walk along that path of insecurity any more.
May God help Sierra Leone
Thursday February 20, 2014

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