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John Amadou Bangura

John Amadou Bangura




Brigadier John Amadu Bangura, born on March 8, 1930, in Kalangba, Karene Chiefdom, was a notable Sierra Leonean military officer and a significant political figure in the history of post-colonial Sierra Leone. He embarked on his military career in 1950 and displayed impressive qualities of leadership, intelligence, and dedication from the outset. His excellent performance in military training led to his transfer to prestigious training programs, including Eaton Hall and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom.

After being commissioned as a second lieutenant upon graduation from Sandhurst in 1954, Bangura pursued a successful military career that included service with the First Sierra Leone Contingent on the Congo Operations of the United Nations Organization in 1962. He rapidly rose through the ranks, becoming a full colonel in 1966 and commanding officer of the First Battalion the Royal Sierra Leone Regiment in 1964. He continued his education by attending the Joint Services Staff College in Buckinghamshire, becoming a fellow of the college.

Bangura's political involvement began to take shape during the turbulent period of Sierra Leone's post-independence. He played a key role in the 1968 Sergeants' Coup, which successfully re-instated civilian rule in the country and overthrew Brigadier Andrew Juxon-Smith's National Reformation Council. Following the coup, he was appointed acting Governor-General of Sierra Leone for a brief period in 1968 and was instrumental in restoring the constitution and democracy to Sierra Leone. Bangura's leadership earned him the rank of brigadier and the honor of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1970 New Year Honours.

Despite his significant contributions to Sierra Leone's political and military landscape, Bangura's reputation was not without controversy. His involvement in the coup and subsequent political maneuvering drew criticism and accusations of being a bully and a tribalist. His support for democratic principles often put him at odds with Prime Minister Siaka Stevens, who saw Bangura as a threat to his own authoritarian rule.

In 1970, Bangura was arrested and charged with conspiracy and plotting a coup d'état against the Stevens government. Despite his previous support for Stevens and his role in bringing him to power, Bangura was sentenced to death for treason against the state. On the day of his execution, March 29, 1970, Bangura refused to be led to the gallows and met a brutal end. His body was subsequently buried at an undisclosed location, as ordered by Stevens to prevent Bangura from becoming a martyr.


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Place of Birth: Kalangba



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Date of Birth: March 8, 1930

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