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Cablegate: Sierra Leone Police Play Musical Chairs with Top

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFN #0424 2411003
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281003Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY FREETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2148

UNCLAS FREETOWN 000424

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/W (JHUNTER)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PGOV PREL SL
SUBJECT: SIERRA LEONE POLICE PLAY MUSICAL CHAIRS WITH TOP
BRASS

REF: FREETOWN 417

1. The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) announced multiple transfers
of senior officers on August 18, just a few days after SLP
officers allegedly beat and robbed journalists covering a
political demonstration (reftel). Assistant Inspector
Generals (AIG) from across the country have been laterally
shuffled into new positions, a process which the SLP calls
"routine" and apolitical. Sources report, however, that at
least some of the transfers reflect assessed performance.
Several good officers were rewarded with moves to their home
regions, while others have more prestigious (though still
equal in rank) positions in Freetown. Weak officers were
moved out of flashpoint locations and into roles that require
less direct oversight of officers.

2. Sources also report that the events of August 13, which
resulted in SLP officers being accused of brutality, played a
small role in the decisions. The AIG responsible for
Freetown, SIS Koroma, has been removed from this position,
likely due to perceived lack of control over his officers. He
will now head the Professional Standards Division - an ironic
move, but also one that removes him from operational
oversight. The press made much of the timing of these
transfers, but sources say that this is mostly coincidental,
with the majority of the changes in the planning stages for
several months.
FEDZER

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