- Sierra Leone
conventional_long_name = Republic of Sierra Leone
common_name = Sierra Leone
symbol_type = Coat of Arms
national_motto = "Unity - Freedom - Justice"
national_anthem = "
High We Exalt Thee, Realm of the Free"
official_languages = English
2nd official_languages = Bangla
latd= 8|latm=31 |latNS=N |longd=13 |longm=15 |longEW=W
largest_city = capital
leader_title1 = President
Ernest Bai Koroma
leader_title2 =Vice President
area_rank = 119thhnv
area_magnitude = 1 E11
area_km2 = 71,740
area_sq_mi = 27,699
percent_water = 1.0
population_estimate = 6,294,774 [ [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sl.html CIA - The World Factbook - Sierra Leone ] ]
population_estimate_rank = 103rd1
population_estimiate_year = July 2008
population_density_km2 = 83
population_density_sq_mi = 199
population_density_rank = 114th1
GDP_PPP = $4.921 billion
GDP_PPP_rank = 151st
GDP_PPP_year = 2005
GDP_PPP_per_capita = $903
GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 172nd
established_event1 = from the
April 27 1961
April 17 1971
HDI = increase 0.336
HDI_rank = 177th
HDI_year = 2007
HDI_category = low
Gini = 62.9
Gini_year = 2003
Gini_category = high
FSI = 93.4 decrease 3.2
FSI_year = 2007
FSI_rank = 23rd
FSI_category = Alert
currency = Leone
currency_code = SLL
time_zone = GMT
utc_offset = +0
calling_code = 232
demonym = Sierra Leonean
footnotes = 1 Rank based on 2007 figures.
Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in
West Africa. It is bordered by Guineain the northeast, Liberiain the southeast, and the Atlantic Oceanin the southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi)cite web| url=http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761563681/Sierra_Leone.html| title="Sierra Leone"| author= Encarta Encyclopedia| accessdate=2008-02-19] and has a population estimated at 6,294,774cite web| url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sl.html|title="CIA: The World Factbook: Sierra Leone"] The country has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savannahto rainforests.cite web| url=http://sbs.com.au/theworldnews/Worldguide/index.php3?country=178&header=3| title="Sierra Leone Geography"| author= The World Guide| accessdate=2008-02-19] Freetownis the capital, seat of government, and largest city. Bo is the second largest city. Other major cities in the country with a population over 100,000 are Kenema, Koidu Town and Makeni. The country is home to Fourah Bay College, the oldest universityin West Africa, established in 1827.
Early inhabitants of Sierra Leone included the Sherbro, Temne and Limba peoples, and later the Mende,Kup (1961), p. 116] who knew the country as Romarong, and the Kono who settled in the East of the country.cite web| url=http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Sierra_Leone| title="Sierra Leone"| author= Classic Encyclopedia| accessdate=2008-02-19] In 1462, it was visited by the Portuguese explorer
Pedro da Cintra, who gave it its name Serra de Leão, meaning 'Lion Mountains'.Room (1995), p. 346-7] Sierra Leone became an important centre of the transatlantic slave trade, until 1787 when Freetown was founded by the Sierra Leone Companyas a home for formerly enslaved African Americanand West Indians.cite web| url=http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ad45| title="History of Sierra Leone"| author= History World| accessdate=2008-02-19] In 1808, Freetown became a British Crown Colony, and in 1896, the interior of the country became a British Protectorate; in 1961, the two combined and gained independence. Over two decades of government neglect of the interior followed by the spilling over of the Liberian conflict into its borders eventually led to the Sierra Leone Civil War,Sillinger (2003), p. 104] which began in 1991 and was resolved in 2000 after the United Nationsled by Nigeria defeated the rebel forces and restored the civilian government elected in 1998 to Freetown. Since then, almost 72,500 former combatants have been disarmedKeen (2005), p. 268] and the country has reestablished a functioning democracy.cite web |title=Sierra Leone |work= The World Factbook|url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sl.html#People |publisher=CIA |date= 15 May, 2007|accessdate=2007-05-17] The Special Court for Sierra Leonewas set up in 2002 to deal with war crimesand crimes against humanitycommitted since 1996.cite web| url=http://www.sc-sl.org/about.html| title="About the Special Court for Sierra Leone"| author= The Special Court for Sierra Leone| accessdate=2008-02-19]
Sierra Leone is the lowest ranked country on the
Human Development Indexand seventh lowest on the Human Poverty Index,cite web| url=http://hdrstats.undp.org/countries/country_fact_sheets/cty_fs_SLE.html| title="Sierra Leone - The Human Development Index"| author= Human Development Reports| accessdate=2008-02-19] suffering from endemic corruptioncite web| url=http://www.worldpress.org/Africa/352.cfm| title="Corruption in Sierra Leone"| author= David Tam-Baryoh, Worldpress.org| accessdate=2008-02-19] and suppression of the press.cite web| url=http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=3775| title="Media body curbs press freedom"| author= Reporters without Borders| accessdate=2008-02-19]
Archaeological finds show that Sierra Leone has been inhabited continuously for at least 2,500 years,cite web| url=http://www.everyculture.com/Sa-Th/Sierra-Leone.html| title="Culture of Sierra Leone"| author= Countries and Their Cultures| accessdate=2008-02-22] populated by successive movements from other parts of Africa.cite web| url=http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-55344/Sierra-Leone| title="Sierra Leone History"| author= Encyclopaedia Britannica| accessdate=2008-02-19] The use of
ironwas introduced to Sierra Leone by the 9th century, and by AD 1000 agriculturewas being practiced by coastal tribes.cite web| url=http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Africa/Sierra-Leone-HISTORY.html| title="Sierra Leone - History"| author= Encyclopedia of the Nations| accessdate=2008-02-22] Sierra Leone's dense tropical rainforest largely protected it from the influence of any precolonial African empires Utting (1931), p. 33] and from further Islamic colonization, which were unable to penetrate through it until the 18th century. Utting (1931), p. 8] European contacts with Sierra Leone were among the first in West Africa. In 1462, Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintramapped the hills surrounding what is now Freetown Harbour, naming shaped formation "Serra de Leão" (Portuguese for "Lion Mountains"). Its Italian rendering is "Sierra Leone", which became the country's name. Soon after Portuguese traders arrived at the harbour and by 1495 a fortthat acted as a trading posthad been built.Citation | last =LeVert | first =Suzanne |publication-date =2007 | title =Cultures of the World: Sierra Leone | page=22| publisher =Marshall Cavendish | isbn =9780761423348] The Portuguese were joined by the Dutch and French; all of them using Sierra Leone as a trading point for slaves.Citation | last =Sibthorpe | first =A. B. C. |publication-date =1970 | title =The History of Sierra Leone | page=7| publisher =Routledge | isbn =9780714617695] In 1562 the English joined the trade in slaves when Sir John Hawkins bought 300 slaves.
In 1787, a plan was implemented to settle some of
London's " Black Poor" in Sierra Leone in what was called the " Province of Freedom". A number of "Black Poor" and White women arrived off the coast of Sierra Leone on May 15 1787, accompanied by some English tradesmen. This was organized by the St. George's Bay Company, composed of British philanthropists who preferred it as a solution to continuing to financially support them in London. Many of the "Black poor" were African Americans,who had been promised their freedom for joining the British Army during the American Revolution, but also included other African and Asian inhabitants of London.
Disease and hostility from the indigenous people nearly eliminated the first group of colonists. Through intervention by Thomas Peters, the
Sierra Leone Companywas established to relocate another group of former slaves, this time nearly 1,200 Black Nova Scotians, most of whom had escaped slavery in the United States. Given the most barren land in Nova Scotia, many had died from the harsh winters there. They established a settlement at Freetownin 1792 led by Peters. It was joined by other groups of freed slaves and became the first Afro-American haven for ex-slaves.
Though the English
abolitionist Granville Sharporiginally planned Sierra Leone as a utopian community, the directors of the Sierra Leone Company refused to allow the settlers to take freehold of the land. Knowing how Highland Clearancesbenefited Scottish landlords but not tenants, the settlers revolted in 1799. The revolt was only put down by the arrival of over 500 Jamaican Maroons, who also arrived via Nova Scotia.
Thousands of slaves were returned to or liberated in Freetown. Most chose to remain in Sierra Leone. These returned Africans were from many areas of Africa, but principally the west coast. They joined the previous settlers and together became known as Creole or Krio people. Cut off from their homes and traditions, they assimilated some aspects of British styles of inhabitants and built a flourishing trade of flowers and beads on the West African coast. The
lingua francaof the colony was Krio, a creole languagerooted in 18th century African American English, which quickly spread across the region as a common language of trade and Christian proselytizing. British and American abolitionist movements envisioned Freetown as embodying the possibilities of a post-slave trade Africa.
In the early 20th century, Freetown served as the residence of the British governor who also ruled the Gold Coast (now
Ghana) and the Gambiasettlements. Sierra Leone also served as the educational centre of British West Africa. Fourah Bay College, established in 1827, rapidly became a magnet for English-speaking Africans on the West Coast. For more than a century, it was the only European-style universityin western Sub-Saharan Africa.
During Sierra Leone's colonial history, indigenous people mounted several unsuccessful revolts against British rule and Krio domination. The most notable was the Hut Tax war of 1898. Its first leader was Bai Bureh, a Temne chief who refused to recognize the British-imposed tax on "huts" (dwellings). The tax was generally regarded by the native chiefs as an attack on their
sovereignty. After the British issued a warrant to arrest Bai Bureh alleging that he had refused to pay taxes, he brought fighters from several Temne villages under his command, and from Limba, Loko, Soso, Kissi, and Mandinka villages. Bureh's fighters had the advantage over the vastly more powerful British for several months of the war. Hundreds of British troops and hundreds of Bureh's fighters were killed. [ [http://www.sierra-leone.org/heroes5.html www.sierra-leone.org. Retrieved on 2007-01-17] .] Bai Bureh was finally captured on November 11, 1898 and sent into exilein the Gold Coast (now Ghana), while 96 of his comrades were hanged by the British.
The defeat of the natives in the Hut Tax war ended large scale organised resistance to colonialism; however resistance continued throughout the colonial period in the form of intermittent rioting and chaotic labour disturbances. Riots in 1955 and 1956 involved "many tens of thousands" of natives in the protectorate. [Martin Killson, "Political Change in a West African State: A Study of the Modernization Process in Sierra Leone", Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 1966, p 60. Also pp 106, 107, 110, 111, 186-188 on other riots and strikes.]
One notable event in 1935 was the granting of a
monopolyon mineral miningto the Sierra Leone Selection Trustrun by De Beers, which was scheduled to last 99 years. The 1951 constitution provided a framework for decolonization, granting limited self-governmentfrom 1953, when Sir Milton Margaibecame Chief Minister and Prime Minister in 1958 after further constitutional changes. After the completion of constitutional talks in London in 1960 independence came on the 27 April 1961 the date of the start of the Hut Tax War of 1898. [Citation | last =Wyse | first =Akintola |publication-date =2003 | title =H. C. Bankole-Bright and Politics in Colonial Sierra Leone, 1919-1958 | pages=176-178| publisher =Cambridge University Press | isbn =9780521533331] Sierra Leone opted for a parliamentary system within the Commonwealth of Nations.
An Independent Nation
On April 27, 1961,
Sir Milton Margailed Sierra Leone to Independencefrom the United Kingdom. The country's first Prime Ministerbecame Milton Margai, the veteran medical doctorwho had been appointed Chief Ministerafter the Colonial Legislative Council and the Protectorate Assembly were unified in 1951. His political party, the Sierra Leone People's Party(SLPP), won by large margins in the nation's first general election under universal adult suffragein May 1962. It also won majority of seat in parliament. Upon his death in 1964, his brother, Sir Albert Margaisucceeded him as prime minister. Sir Albert was highly criticized during his three-year rule as prime minister. He was accused of corruption and of a policy of affirmative actionin favour of the Mende ethnic group. He also tried to establish a one-party statebut met fierce resistance from the opposition All People's Congress(APC) and he ultimately abandoned the idea. Under the SLPP Administration of Albert Margai, The Mende increased their influence both in the civil serviceand the army. Most of the top military and government positions were held by members of the Mende ethnic group. As a result, benefits accrued to Mende-dominated areas in the south-east of the country.
In closely contested general elections in March 1967, Sierra Leone
Governor General Henry Josiah Lightfoot Bostondeclared the new prime minister to be Siaka Stevens, candidate of the All People's Congress (APC) and Mayorof Freetown. Hours after taking office, Stevens was ousted in a bloodless coup led by Brigadier David Lansana, the Commander of the Armed Forces, on grounds that the determination of office should await the election of the tribal representatives to the house. Stevens was placed under house arrestand martial lawwas declared. But a group of senior military officers overrode this action by seizing control of the government on March 23, 1968, arresting Lansana and suspending the constitution. The group constituted itself as the National Reformation Council (NRC) with Brigadier Andrew Juxon-Smithas its chairman. In April 1968, the NRC was overthrown by a group of military officers who called themselves the Anti-Corruption Revolutionary Movement (ACRM), led by Brigadier John Amadu Bangura. The ACRM imprisoned senior NRC members, restored the constitution and reinstated Stevens as Prime Minister. Under the APC regimes headed by Stevens, The Limba retained strong influence in the government and civil service. During the 1970s, the other major ethnic group, the Temne joined the Mende in opposition to the APC government. But after Stevens appointed an ethnic Temne, Sorie Ibrahim Koromaas vice-president in 1978, the Temne appeared to have emerged as the second most influential group in the government, after the Limba.
The return to civilian rule led to by-elections beginning in fall 1968 and the appointment of an all-APC cabinet. Calm was not completely restored. In November 1968, Stevens declared a
state of emergencyafter provincial disturbances. In March 1971 the government survived an unsuccessful military coup and in July 1974 it uncovered an alleged military coup plot. The leaders of both plots were tried and executed. In 1977, student demonstrations against the government disrupted Sierra Leone politics.
April 19, 1971, parliament declared Sierra Leone a Republic. Siaka Stevens, then prime minister, became the nation's first president. Guinean troops requested by Stevens to support his government were in the country from 1971 to 1973. An alleged plot to overthrow president Stevens failed in 1974, its leaders were executed, and in March 1976 he was elected without opposition for a second five-year term as president. In the national parliamentary election of May 1977, the APC won 74 seats and the main opposition, the SLPP won 15. The SLPP, who condemned the election, alleged widespread vote-rigging and voter intimidation. In 1978, parliament approved a new constitution making the country a one-party state. The 1978 referendum made the APC the only legal political party in Sierra Leone.
Siaka Stevens retired in November,
1985after being President for 14 years, but continued to be chairman of the APC. The APC named a new presidential candidate to succeed Stevens. He was Major General Joseph Saidu Momoh, the commander of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, and Stevens' own choice to succeed him. like Stevens, Momoh was also a member of the minority Limba ethnic group. Joseph Saidu Momoh was elected President in a one-party referendum on November 28, 1985. An inaugurationwas held in January 1986, and a one party parliamentary elections beween APC members were held in May, 1986.
After an alleged attempt to overthrow President Momoh in March 1987, more than 60 senior government officials were arrested, including Vice-President
Francis Minah, who was removed from office, convicted for plotting the coup, and executed by hangingin 1989 along with 5 others.
=Multi-party constitution and RUF rebellion=
In October 1990, president Momoh set up a constitutional review commission to review the 1978 one-party constitution. Based on the commission recommendations a constitution re-establishing a multi-party system was approved by Parliament; becomming effective on
October 1, 1991. But there was great suspicion that Momoh was not serious, and APC rule was increasingly marked by abuses of power.
Civil war broke out, mainly due to government corruption and mismanagement of
diamondresources. Besides the internal ripeness, the brutal civil war going on in neighbouring Liberiaplayed an undeniable role for the outbreak of fighting in Sierra Leone. Charles Taylor- then leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia-reportedly helped form the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) under the command of former Sierra Leonean army corporal Foday Sankoh. In return, Taylor received diamonds from Sierra Leone. The RUF, led by Sankoh and backed by Taylor, launched its first attack in villages in Kailahun Districtin eastern Sierra Leone from Liberiaon March 23, 1991. The government of Sierra Leone, overwhelmed by a crumbling economy and corruption, was unable to put up significant resistance. Within a month of entering Sierra Leone from Liberia, the RUF controlled much of the Eastern Province. Forced recruitment of child soldierswas also an early feature of the rebel strategy.
April 29, 1992, a group of six young soldiersin the Sierra Leonean army, Apparently frustrated by the government's failure to deal with rebels, the young soldiers launched a military coupwhich sent president Momoh into exilein Guinea. They were second lieutenant Solomon A.J. Musa, Colonel Tom Nyuma, Brigadier-General, Julius Maada Bio, Colonel Yahya Kanu, Captain Samuel Komba Kambo, Lieutenant Colonel Komba Mondehand were lead by a 25 year old captain Valentine Strasser. The soldiers established the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) with Yahya Kanu as its chairman. But Kanu was assassinatedby fellow NPRC members, who accused him of trying to negotiate with the toppled APC administration. On May 4, 1992, 25 year old Valentine Strasser took over as chairman of the NPRC and Head of State of Sierra Leone. S.A.J Musa, one of the leaders of the coup and a close friend of Strasser took over as Vice-Chairman of the NPRC. Many Sierra Leoneans nationwide rushed into the streets to welcome the NPRC Administration from the 23 year dictatorial APC regime, which was perceived as corrupt. The NPRC junta immediately suspended the 1991 Constitution, declared a state of emergency, limited freedom of speech, and freedom of the pressand enacted a rule-by-decree policy. The army and police officers were granted unlimited powers of administrative detention without charge or trial, and challenges against such detentions in court were precluded.
The NPRC proved to be nearly as ineffectual as the Momoh-led APC government in repelling the RUF. More and more of the country fell to RUF fighters, and by 1995 they held much of the diamond-rich Eastern Province and were at the edge of Freetown. In response, the NPRC hired several hundred mercenaries from the private firm
Executive Outcomes. Within a month they had driven RUF fighters back to enclaves along Sierra Leone’s borders. During this time corruption had erupted within senior NPRC members. On July 5, Strasser dismissed his childhood friend Musa as deputycharman of the NPRC and appointed Julius Maada Bio to succeed him. Some senior NPRC members, including Bio, Nyuma and Mondeh, were unhappy with Strasser's handling of the peace process. In January 1996, after nearly four years in power, Strasser was ousted in a coup by fellow NPRC members led by his deputy Maada Bio. Bio reinstated the Constitution and called for general elections. In the second round of presidential elections in early 1996, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, candidate of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) defeated John Karefa-Smartof the United National People's Party (UNPP) and a member of the minority Sherbro ethnic group. Bio fulfilled promises of a return to civilian rule, and handed power to Kabbah, who was from the Mende-dominated Kailahun District in the south-east of Sierra Leone and a member of the minority Mandingo ethnic group. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah's SLPP party also won majority of the seats in Parliament.
1996, Major General Johnny Paul Koromawas allegedly involved in an attempt to overthrow the government of president Kabbah. He was arrested, tried, convicted, and imprisoned at Freetown's Pademba Road Prison. But some top rank Army officers were unhappy with this decision, and on May 25, 1997, a group of soldiers who called themselves the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) overthrew Kabbah. The AFRC released Koroma from prison and installed him as their chairman and Head of State of the country. Koroma suspended the constitution, banned demonstrations, shut down all private radio stations in the country and invited the RUF to join his government. After 10 months in office, the junta was ousted by the Nigeria-led ECOMOGforces, and the democratically elected government of president Kabbah was reinstated in March 1998. Hundreds of civilians who had been accused of helping the AFRC government were illegally detained. Courts-martial were held for soldiers accused of assisting the AFRC government. 24 of these were found guilty and were executed without appeal in October 1998. On January 6, 1999, AFRC made another unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the government, causing many deaths and much destruction of property in and around Freetown.
In October, the
United Nationsagreed to send peacekeepers to help restore order and disarm the rebels. The first of the 6,000-member force began arriving in December, and the UN Security Councilvoted in February 2000 to increase the force to 11,000, and later to 13,000. But in May, when nearly all Nigerian forces had left and UN forces were trying to disarm the RUF in eastern Sierra Leone, Sankoh's forces clashed with the UN troops, and some 500 peacekeepers were taken hostageas the peace accord effectively collapsed. The hostagecrisis resulted in more fighting between the RUF and the government.
Between 1991 and 2001, about 50,000 people were killed in Sierra Leone's civil war. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced from their homes, and many became refugees in
Guineaand Liberia. In 2001, UN forces moved into rebel-held areas and began to disarm rebel soldiers. By January 2002, the war was declared over. In May, Kabbah was reelected president. By 2004, the disarmament process was complete. Also in 2004, a UN-backed war crimes court began holding trials of senior leaders from both sides of the war. In December 2005, UN peacekeeping forces pulled out of Sierra Leone.
In August 2007, Sierra Leone held presidential and parliamentary elections. However, no presidential candidate won a majority of votes. A runoff election was held in September, and
Ernest Bai Koromawas elected president.
Geography and climate
Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of
Africa, between the 7th and 10th parallels north of the equator. Sierra Leone is bordered by Guineato the north and northeast, Liberiato the south and southeast, and the Atlantic Oceanto the west.Citation | last =LeVert | first =Suzanne |publication-date =2007 | title =Cultures of the World: Sierra Leone | page=7| publisher =Marshall Cavendish | isbn =9780761423348] The country has a total area of 71,740 square kilometers (27,699 square miles), divided into a land area of 71,620 square kilometers and water of 120 square kilometers. There are country has four distinct geographical regions. In eastern Sierra Leone is an interior region of large plateausinterspersed with high mountains, where Mount Bintumanireaches 1,948 meters (6,390 ft) the highest point in the country. The upper part of the drainage basinof the Moa Riveris located in the south of the region. In the central part of the country is region of lowland plains, containing forests, bush and farmland, that occupy about 43% of Sierra Leone's land area. Starting in the west, Sierra Leone has some 400 kilometres (250 miles) of coastline, giving it both bountiful marine resources and attractive touristpotential. This is followed by low-lying mangrove swamps, rain-forested plains and farmland. The national capital Freetownsits on a coastal peninsula, situated next to the Sierra Leone Harbor, the world's third largest natural harbour. This prime location historically made Sierra Leone the centre of trade and colonial administration in the region.
climateis tropical, with two seasonsdetermining the agricultural cycle: the rainy seasonfrom May to November, and a dry seasonfrom December to May, which includes harmattan, when cool, dry winds blow in off the Sahara Desertand the night-time temperature can be as low as 16 °C (60.8 °F). The average temperature is 26 °C (78.8 °F) and varies from around 26 °C (80 °F) to 36 °C (90 °F) during the year. [Citation | last =Blinker | first =Linda | publication-date =September 2006| title =COUNTRY ENVIRONMENT PROFILE (CEP)SIERRA LEONE | publication-place =Freetown, Sierra Leone | publisher =CONSORTIUM PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF | url =http://www.delsle.ec.europa.eu/en/whatsnew/Docs/Final%20Report%20Country%20Environmental%20Profile%20(CEP)%20SL%2019-OCT-06.pdf | page=12 |accessdate =2008-09-25] [Citation | last =LeVert | first =Suzanne |publication-date =2007 | title =Cultures of the World: Sierra Leone | page=8-9| publisher =Marshall Cavendish | isbn =9780761423348]
Logging, mining, slash and burn, and deforestationfor alternative land use - such as cattle grazing - have dramatically decreased forested land in Sierra Leone since the 1980s.
Until 2002, Sierra Leone lacked a forest management system due to a brutal civil war that caused tens of thousands of deaths. Deforestation rates have increased 7.3% since the end of the civil war. On paper, 55 protected areas covered 4.5% of Sierra Leone as of 2003. The country has 2,090 known
speciesof higher plants, 147 mammals, 626 birds, 67 reptiles, 35 amphibians, and 99 fishspecies.
In June 2005, the
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds(RSPB) and Bird Life International agreed to support a conservation- sustainable developmentproject in the Gola Forest in southeastern Sierra Leone, the most important surviving fragment of rain forestin Sierra Leone.
Government and politics
Sierra Leone is a
constitutional republicwith a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature. The current system of government in Sierra Leone, established under the 1991 Constitution, is modeled on the following structure of government: the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary[http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Sierra_Leone.htm] .
Within the confines of the 1991 Constitution, supreme legislative powers are vested in Parliament, which is the law making body of the nation. Supreme executive authority rests in the president and members of his cabinet and judicial power with the judiciary of which the
Chief Justiceis head.
The president is the
head of state, the head of governmentand the commander-in-chiefof the Sierra Leone Armed Forces and the Sierra Leone Police. The president appoints and heads a cabinet of ministers, which must be approved by the Parliament. The president is elected by popular voteto a maximum of two five-year terms.
To be elected president, a candidate must gain at least 55% of the vote. If no candidate gets 55%, there is to be a second-round runoff between the top two candidates with the most votes in the first round. Presidential candidates must be Sierra Leonean citizens by birth; must be at least 40 years old; must be able to speak, read and write the
English language; must be a member of a political partyand must not have any criminal conviction. The current president of Sierra Leone is Ernest Bai Koroma, who was sworn in on September 17, 2007, shortly after being declared the winner of a tense run-off election over the incumbentVice president, Solomon Berewaof the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP). [cite news
title=Country profile: Sierra Leone
Next to the president is the Vice president, who is the second-highest ranking government official in the executive branch of the Sierra Leone Government. As designated by the Sierra Leone Constitution, the vice president is to become the new president of Sierra Leone upon the death, resignation, or removal of the president by parliament and to assume the Presidency temporarily while the president is abroad, or otherwise temporarily unable to fulfill his or her duties. The vice president is elected jointly with the president as his or her
running mate. To be elected as Vice president, a candidate must be a Sierra Leonean citizen by birth, must be at least 40 years old, must be able to speak, read and write English, must be a member of a political party, and must not have any criminal conviction. The current Sierra Leone's vice president is Samuel Sam-Sumana, who was sworn in on September 17, 2007.
Parliament of Sierra Leoneis unicameral, with 124 seats. Each of the country's fourteen districts is represented in parliament. 112 members are elected concurrently with the presidential elections; the other 12 seats are filled by paramount chiefs from each of the country's 12 administrative districts. All members serve five-year terms. The most recent parliamentary elections were held on August 11, 2007. The All People's Congress(APC), won 59 of 112 parliamentary seats; the Sierra Leone People's Party(SLPP) won 43; and the People's Movement for Democratic Change(PMDC) won 10. To be qualified as Member of Parliament, the person must be a citizen of Sierra Leone, must be at least 21 years old, must be able to speak, read and write the English language with a degree of proficiency to enable him to actively take part in proceedings in Parliament; and must not have any criminal conviction [http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Sierra_Leone.htm] .
Since independence in 1961, Sierra Leone's politics has been dominated by two major political parties, the
Sierra Leone People's Party(SLPP), and the ruling All People's Congress(APC), although other minor political parties have also existed but with no significant supports.
The judicial power of Sierra Leone is vested in the judiciary, headed by the
Chief Justiceand comprising the Supreme Court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the inferior courts, which comprise the Magistrates courts and the Local courts. The Magistrates Courts exist in each district. Local courts administer customary law. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the country and its ruling therefore cannot be appealed. The president appoints and parliament approves Justices for the three courts. The current Sierra Leone's Chief Justiceis Umu Hawa Tejan Jalloh, who was appointed by President Ernest Bai Koroma and took office on January 25, 2008 upon his confirmation by parliament. She is the first woman in the history of Sierra Leone to hold such position [http://news.sl/drwebsite/publish/article_20057492.shtml] .
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations is responsible for forign policy in Sierra Leone and since 2001 the ministry has been trying to promote relations with countries in the
Arab World, South East Asiaand Europe.Citation | publication-date =2007 | title =Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations | publisher =Sierra Leone Encyclopedia | url =http://www.daco-sl.org/encyclopedia/1_gov/1_2mfa.htm | accessdate =2008-10-07] Countries Sierra Leone has diplomatic relations include the China, Libya, Iran, and Cuba. Sierra Leone has good relations with the West, incuding the United Statesand has maintained historical ties with the United Kingdomand other former British colonies through membership of the Commonwealth of Nations. [Citation | publication-date =October 2008 | title =Background Note: Sierra Leone | publisher =U.S. Department of State | url =http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5475.htm | accessdate =2008-10-07] Former President Siaka Stevens' government had sought closer relations with other West Africancountries under the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) a policy contiunued by the current. Sierra Leone, along with Liberiaand Guineaform the Mano River Union(MRU) primarily designed to implement development projects and promote regional economic integrationbetween the three countries. [Citation | publication-date =2006 | title =Welcome to the Mano River Union Website | publisher =Mano River Union | url =http://www.manoriverunion.org/ | accessdate =2008-10-07] Sierra Leone is also a member of the United Nationsand its specialized agencies, the African Union, the African Development Bank(AFDB), the Organization of the Islamic Conference(OIC), and the Non-Aligned Movement(NAM). Sierra Leone is also a member of the International Criminal Courtwith a Bilateral Immunity Agreementof protection for the US military (as covered under Article 98).
The government maintains 16 embassies and
high commissioners across the world including in Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Libya, China, Iran, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Russia, United Nations, and the United States. [ http://www.slhc-uk.org.uk/envoys.htm]
Provinces and districts
The Republic of Sierra Leone is composed of three provinces: the
Northern Province, Southern provinceand the Eastern provinceand one other region called the Western Area. The provinces are further divided into 12 districts, and the districts are further divided into chiefdoms, except for the Western Area.
* The populations quoted above for the five largest cities are estimates from the sources cited. Different sources give different estimates.
Sierra Leone is slowly emerging from a protracted civil war and is showing signs of a successful transition.
Investorand consumer confidencecontinue to rise, adding impetus to the country’s economic recovery. There is greater freedom of movement and the successful re-habitation and resettlement of residential areas. In 2001, Sierra Leone attracted US$4 million in foreign direct investment.
minerals, Sierra Leone has relied on mining, especially diamonds, for its economic base. It is perhaps best known for its blood diamonds that are mined and sold for high prices. In the 1970s and early 1980s, economic growthrate slowed because of a decline in the mining sector and increasing corruption among government officials. By the 1990s economic activity was declining and economic infrastructure had become seriously degraded. Over the next decade much of the formal economy was destroyed in the country’s civil war. Since the end of hostilities in January 2002, massive infusions of outside assistance have helped Sierra Leone begin to recover. Much of the recovery will depend on the success of the government's efforts to limit corruption by officials, which many feel was the chief cause for the civil war. A key indicator of success will be the effectiveness of government management of its diamond sector. Mineralexports remain the main foreign currencyearner. Sierra Leone is a major producer of gem-quality diamonds. Though rich in diamonds, it has historically struggled to manage their exploitation and export. Annual production of Sierra Leone's diamond estimates range between $250-300 million U.S dollar. Some of that is smuggled, where it is possibly used for money launderingor financing illicit activities. But formal exports have dramatically improved since the civil war. Efforts to improve the management of exports have had some success. In October 2000, a UN-approved certification system for exporting diamonds from the country was put in place and led to a dramatic increase in legal exports. In 2001, the government created a mining community development fund, which returns a portion of diamond export taxes to diamond mining communities. The fund was created to raise local communities' stake in the legal diamond trade.
Sierra Leone has one of the world's largest deposits of
rutile, a titanium oreused as paintpigment and weldingrod coatings. Sierra Rutile Limited, owned by a consortium of United Statesand European investors, began commercial mining operations near the city of Bonthe, in the Southern Province, in early 1979. It was then the largest non-petroleum US investment in West Africa. The export of 88,000 tons realized $75 million in export earnings in 1990. In 1990, the company and the government made a new agreement on the terms of the company's concession in Sierra Leone. Rutile and bauxitemining operations were suspended when rebels invaded the mining sites in 1995, but exports resumed in 2005.
About two-thirds of the population engages in
subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 52.5% of national income. The government is trying to increase food and cash cropproduction and upgrade small farmer skills. The government works with several foreign donors to operate integrated rural development and agricultural projects.
Despite its successes and development, the Sierra Leone economy still faces significant challenges. There is high
unemployment, particularly among the youth and ex-combatants. Authorities have been slow to implement reforms in the civil service, and the pace of the privatisation programme is also slacking and donors have urged its advancement.
currencyis the Leone. The central bankof the country is the Bank of Sierra Leonewhich is located in the capital, Freetown.
Sierra Leone operates a floating
exchange ratesystem, and foreign currencies can be exchanged at any of the commercial banks, recognised foreign exchange bureauxand most hotels. Credit carduse is limited in Sierra Leone, though they may be used at some hotels and restaurants. Visitors should check in advance with local managements. Sierra Leone does not have internationally linked automated teller machines (ATM).
CIAestimate of Sierra Leone's population is 6,294,774 [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sl.html] . Freetown, with an estimated population of 1,070,200, is the capital, largest city and the hub of the economy, commercial, educational and cultural centre of the country. Bo is the second citywith an estimated population of 269,000. Other cities with a population over 100,000 are Kenema, Koidu Town and Makeni.
Although English is the
official language[Cite web | title =Sierra Leone Overview | publisher = United Nations Development Programme Sierra Leone | url =http://www.sl.undp.org/sloverview.htm | accessdate =2008-06-03] spoken at schools and government administration, Krio (language derived from English and several African languages and native to the Sierra Leone Krio people) is used as " lingua franca" in virtually all parts of the country. The Krio language is spoken by 97% of the country's population and unites all the different ethnic groups, especially in their trade and interaction with each other [https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/181/] .
According to the "World Refugee Survey 2008", published by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Sierra Leone had a population of 8,700
refugeesand asylum seekers at the end of 2007. Nearly 20,000 Liberian refugees voluntarily returned to Liberiaover the course of 2007. Of the refugees remaining in Sierra Leone, nearly all were Liberian.cite news|title=World Refugee Survey 2008|publisher=U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants|date=2008-06-19|url=http://www.refugees.org/survey]
The population of Sierra Leone comprises 16
ethnic groups, [Citation | year =2007 | title =About Sierra Leone | publisher =Sierra Leone Encyclopedia | url =http://www.daco-sl.org/encyclopedia/1_gov/1_1gosl.htm | accessdate =2008-07-27] each with its own language and costume. The two largest are the Mende and Temne, each comprises 30% of the population [http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Africa/Sierra-Leone-ETHNIC-GROUPS.html] (about 1,888,432 members each). The Mende predominate in the South-Eastern Provinces; the Temne likewise predominate in the Northern Province. The third largest are the Limba, who represent about 9% of the population [http://www.news24.com/News24/Africa/News/0,,2-11-1447_2171641,00.html] (about 566,529 members). Like their close allythe Temne, the Limba live mostly in the Northern Province. The fourth largest are the Kono, they make up about 8% (about 503,581 members) and are primarily found in Kono District, where they form the largest ethnic group. The fifth largest are the Mandingo, they make up 7% of the population (about 465,813 members) and they predominate in Kabala, the capital and largest city of Koinadugu District; they also form the largest ethnic group in Yengema, the second largest town in Kono District. The sixth largest are the Krio (descendants of freed West Indiansslaves from the West Indiesand freed African Americanslaves from the United Stateswhich landed in Freetown between 1787 and about 1885) make up 5% (about 314,738 members) and they are primarily found in the capital city of Freetownand its surrounding Western Area. The remaining 11% come from small minority ethnic groups: the Fula (about 225,000 members), Kissi (about 189,000 members),Sherbro (about 180,000 members), Kuranko (about 180,000 members), Loko (about 150,000 members), Susu (about 130,000 members), Yalunka (about 45,000 members), Vai (about 25,000 members) [http://www.joshuaproject.net/countries.php?rog3=SL] and the Sierra Leonean-Lebanese(descendants of Lebanese settlerswho settled in Sierra Leone during the late 19th century).
In the past, Sierra Leoneans were noted for their
educational achievements, trading activity, entrepreneurial skills, and arts and crafts work, particularly wood carving. Many are part of larger ethnic networks extending into several countries, which link West African states in the area. But the level of education and infrastructurehas declined sharply over the last 30 years.cite web |url=http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5475.htm |title="Sierra Leone (02/08)" |accessdate=2008-02-17 |format= |work="U.S. Department of State" ] List of Sierra Leoneans
title=Sierra Leone Religion
Islamcomprised 60% of Sierra Leone's population, Christianityat 30%, and African indigenous religion at 10%. [ [http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/23750.htm Sierra Leone ] at www.state.gov]
The Sierra Leone constitution provides
freedom of religionand the government generally protects this right and does not tolerate its abuse. Unlike many other African countries, the religious and ethnic mix of Sierra Leone rarely cause religious or tribal conflict.
Media in Sierra Leone began with the introduction of the first
printing pressin Africaat the start of the nineteenth century. A strong journalistic tradition developed with the creation of a number of newspapers. In the 1860s, the country became a journalist hub for Africa, with professionals travelling to the country from across the continent. At the end of the nineteenth century, the industry went into decline, and when radio was introduced in the 1930s, it became the primary communication media in the country. The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service(SLBS) was created by the government in 1934 making it the earliest English language radiobroadcaster service in West Africa. The service began broadcasting television in 1963, with coverage extended to all the districts in the country in 1978.
Print media is not widely read in Sierra Leone, especially outside
Freetown, partially due to the low levels of literacyin the country. In 2007 there were 15 daily newspapers in the country, as well as those published weekly.Citation | last =Jalloh | first =Tanu | publication-date =28 December 2007 | title =Sierra Leone: Newspaper Development | publication-place =Freetown, Sierra Leone | publisher =Concord Times | url =http://allafrica.com/stories/200712310637.html | accessdate =2008-04-19] Among newspaper readership, young people are likely to read newspapers weekly and older people daily. The majority of newspapers are privately-run and are often critical of the government. The standard of print journalism tends to be low due to lack of training, and people trust the information published in newspapers less than that found on the radio.Citation | publication-date =June 2007 | title =Media use, and attitudes towards media in Sierra Leone:A comprehensive baseline study | publisher =BBC World Service Trust and Search for Common Ground
url =http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/trust/pdf/media_report_2007.pdf | accessdate =2007-04-19]
Radio is the most-popular and most-trusted media in Sierra Leone, with 85% of people having access to a radio and 72% of people in the country listening to the radio daily. These levels do vary between areas of the country, with the
Western Areahaving the highest levels and Kailahunthe lowest. Stations mainly consist of local commercial stations with a limited broadcast range, combined with a few stations with national coverage. The United NationsMission in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) runs one of the most popular stations in the country, broadcasting programs in a range of languages. Content includes news of UN activities and human rights information, as well as music and news. The UN missions will withdraw in 2008 and the UN Radio's future is uncertain. There is also a government station run by the SBLS that transmits on FMand short-wave. FM relays of BBC World Service, Radio France Internationaleand Voice of Americaare also broadcast.
Outside the capital Freetown
televisionis not watched by a great many people. There are two national, free terrestrial televisionstations in Sierra Leone, one run by the government SBLS and the other a private station, ABC Television-Africa (ABC). In 2007, a pay-per-view service was also introduced by GTV as part of a pan-African television service. Internetaccess in Sierra Leone has been sparse but is on the increase, especially since the introduction of wireless services across the country. There are nine Internet Service Providers(ISPs) operating in the country. Freetown has a city wide wireless network and Internet cafesand other businesses offering internet access. Problems experienced with access to the Internet include an intermittent electricity supply and a slow connection speed in the country outside Freetown.
The Sierra Leone constitution guarantees
freedom of speech, and freedom of the press; however, the government maintains strong control of media, and at times restricts these rights in practice. Some subjects are seen as taboo by society and members of the political elite; imprisonment and violence have been used by the political establishment against journalists. [Citation
title =Press Freedoms and Human Rights:2005 Year End Press Freedom Brief
publisher =Commonwealth Press Union
accessdate =2008-04-20] [Citation | publication-date =2006 | title =Sierra Leone - Annual report 2006 | publisher =Reporters without Borders:For Press Freedom | url =http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=17400
accessdate =2008-04-20] Under legislation enacted in 1980, all newspapers must register with the Ministry of Information and pay sizable registration fees. The Criminal
LibelLaw, including Seditious Libel Law of 1965, is used to control what is published in the media.Citation | publication-date=2006 | title=Sierra Leone - Annual report 2006| publisher =Reporters without Borders:For Press Freedom | url=http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=17400 | accessdate =2008-04-20] In 2006, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbahcommitted to reforming the laws governing the press and media to create a freer system for journalists to work in, but in 2007, Sierra Leone was ranked as having the 121st least-free press in the world, with the press less-free, in comparison to other countries, than in 2006. [Citation | publication-date =2007 | title =Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2007| publisher =Reporters without Borders:For Press Freedom | url =http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=24025 | accessdate =2008-04-20]
Music of Sierra Leone
Palm-wine music Gumbe, Afropop, New Music of Sierra Leone"
Education in Sierra Leone is legally required for all children for six years at primary level (Class P1-P6) and three years in junior
secondary education, [Citation | last =Wang | first =Lianqin | year = 2007 | title =Education in Sierra Leone: Present Challenges, Future Opportunities | publisher =World Bank Publications | page =2|isbn = 0821368680] but a shortage of schools and teachers has made implementation impossible. [http://www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2001/Sierra-leone.htm "Sierra Leone"] . "2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor". Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor(2002). "This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.] The Sierra Leone Civil Warresulted in the destruction of 1,270 primary schools and in 2001 67 percent of all school-age children were out of school. The situation has improved considerably since then with primary school enrollment doubling between 2001 and 2005 and the reconstruction of many schools since the end of the war. [Citation
year = 2007
title =Education in Sierra Leone: Present Challenges, Future Opportunities
publisher =World Bank Publications
page =1 and 3
isbn = 0821368680] Students at primary schools are usually 6 to 12 years old, and in secondary schools 13 to 18. Primary education is free and compulsory in government-sponsored
The country has two universities, the
University of Sierra Leone, founded as Fourah Bay Collegein 1827, the oldest university in West Africa,Fact|date=September 2008 founded in 1827, and Njala University, primarily located in Bo District, which was established as a the Njala Agricultural Experimental Station in 1910 and became a university in 2005.Citation | date =July
title =Njala University College (Nuc)
place = Sierra Leone
publisher =Sierra Leone Encyclopedia
accessdate =2008-06-25] Teacher training colleges and religious seminaries are found in many parts of the country.
There are a number of systems of transport in Sierra Leone, which has a road, air and water infrastructure, including a network of
highwaysand several airports.
There are ten
regional airports in Sierra Leone, and one international airport. The Lungi International Airportlocated in the coastaltown of Lungi in Northern Sierra Leone is the primary airport for domestic and international travel to or from Sierra Leone. Passengers cross the river to Aberdeen Heliports in Freetown by hovercraft, ferryor a helicopter. Helicopters are also available from the airport to other major cities in the country. The airport has paved runwayslonger than 3,047m. The other airports have unpaved runways, and seven have runways 914 to 1,523 metres long; the remaining two have shorter runways.
Sierra Leone has the third largest
natural harbourin the world, where international shipping berth at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay in Government Wharf in central Freetown. There are 800 km of waterways in Sierra Leone, of which 600 km are navigable year-round. Major port cities are Bonthe, Freetown, Sherbro Islandand Pepel.
There are 11,700 kilometres of
highwaysin Sierra Leone, of which 936 km are paved. Sierra Leone highways are linked to Conakry, Guinea, and Monrovia, Liberia.
main|Sport in Sierra Leone
Main|Football in Sierra Leone
Football (soccer) is by far the most popular sport in Sierra Leone. The national football team, popularly known as the
Leone Stars, represents the country in international competitions. It has never qualified for the FIFA World Cupbut participated in the 1994 and 1996 African Cup of Nations. The country's national television network, The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) broadcasts the live match, along with several radio stations throughout the country.
Sierra Leone National Premier Leagueis the top football league, controlled by the Sierra Leone Football Association. The two biggest and most successful football clubs are East End Lionsand Mighty Blackpool, but Kallon F.C.has enjoyed contemporary success. Kallon F.C. won the Premier League and the Sierra Leonean FA Cupin 2006, and eliminated 2006 Nigerian Premier LeagueChampions Ocean Boys FCin the 2007 CAF Champions Leaguefirst qualifying round, but later lost to ASEC Mimosasof Ivory Coastin the second qualifying round for the group stage.
The Sierra Leone U-17 football team,
nicknamed the Sierra Stars, finished as runner-up at the 2003 African U-17 Championship in Swaziland, but came in last place in their group at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championshipin Finland.
Sierra Leone cricket teamrepresents Sierra Leone in international cricket competitions, and is among the best in West Africa. It became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Councilin 2002. It made its international debut at the 2004 African Affiliates Championship, where it finished last of eight teams. But at the equivalent tournament in 2006, Division Three of the African region of the World Cricket League, it finished as runner-upto Mozambique, and just missed a promotion to Division Two.
main|Sierra Leone national basketball teamThe Sierra Leone national basketball team represents Sierra Leone in international men's
basketballcompetitions and is controlled by the Sierra Leone Basketball Federation. The squad is mostly home-based, with a few foreign players.
In literature and film
Hollywood films have been produced that relate to Sierra Leone. Steven Spielberg’s film "Amistad" (1997, with Morgan Freeman, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Matthew McConnaughey) is about an 1839 mutinyaboard a slaveship travelling towards the Northeast Coast of America. But much of the plot revolves around the court-room drama that lead to the historic supreme court decision recognizing the captives' right to freedom. The heroic role of Sengbe Pieh(Cinque), who organized and led the revolt, was marginalized. Edward Zwick’s 2006 film "Blood Diamond" starring Leonardo DiCapriois about conflict diamondsmined in Sierra Leone, Angolaand Congo, and sold in major diamond cutting centers to finance armed conflicts in Africa. The film is centered in Sierra Leone and portrays many of the atrocities, including the practice of cutting off people's limbs to spread fear and insecurity in the country side and to gain control over the diamond, gold, bauxiteand rutile miningareas. Andrew Niccol's 2005 film "Lord of War" starring Nicolas Cagecharts the rise and fall of Yuri Orlov, from his early days in the early 1980s in Little Odessa, selling guns to mobsters in his local neighbourhood, through to his ascension through the decade of excess and indulgence into the early 90s, where he forms a business partnership with an African warlord and his psychotic son; who's payments are fueled by conflict diamondsbased out of Sierra Leone.
Sweet Salone" is the cinema veritestyle independent filmby Sieh ("C-ya")Samura, which introduces audiences to the new urban music culture and generation of Sierra Leone. Sweet Salone features many of the country's most famous music artists and is the most comprehensive collection of Sierra Leonean music artists in a single feature length production.
In literature, Sierra Leone is the setting for
Graham Greene's classic novel " The Heart of the Matter", which deals with diamond smuggling during World War II. Since the rebel incursion in the early 1990s a number of books have been written about the trade in diamonds or minerals for weapons. These include Hugh Paxton's horror/action novel; Amadou Kourouma's posthumously published book about roving rebel war soldiers, such the late Sam Bockarie, who fought in Liberia and Sierra Leone and was killed fighting in Côte d’Ivoire; and Ishmael Beah's book "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier". Hugh Paxton's novel " Homunculus" [first published in hardback ISBN 978-0230000490 by Macmillan UK in October 2006 and now available in paperback (March 2007), ISBN 978-0230007369] juxtaposes the realities of the war in Sierra Leone with a fantasy of the exploitation of the war for the trade in blood diamonds and for the testing, demonstration and sale by auction of bio-weapons to a select clientele of international arms dealers and mercenaries. "Trial by Rebellion" by retired Captain Francis Ken Josiah was recently published in United States.
* cite book|author=Abraham, Arthur|title=Mende Government and Politics under Colonial Rule
location=Freetown and London|year=1978
*cite book|author=Fyle, Christopher|title=Sierra Leone Inheritance|location=London|year=1964
*cite journal|author=Jalloh, S. Balimo|title=Subsahara Africa – Trade Expansion Through Countertrade|journal=Internationales Afrikaforum|month=April|year=1995|pages=365–374
* Nicol, Davidson, "Regionalism and the New International Economic Order"; UNITAR-CEESTEM-Club of Rome conference at the United Nations, Pergamon Press, 1981.
*Mwakikagile, Godfrey (2001). "The Modern African State: Quest for Transformation", Chapter Two: Anarchy and Mercenaries in Sierra Leone: The Powerless African State, pp. 19 - 72. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Huntington, New York; Mwakikagile, Godfrey, "Military Coups in West Africa Since The Sixties", Chapter Twelve: Sierra Leone, pp. 183 - 196, Nova Science Publishers, 2001.
Government and Diplomacy
* [http://www.statehouse-sl.org/ The Republic of Sierra Leone] official government site
* [http://www.slhc-uk.org.uk/ Sierra Leone High Commission in London]
* [http://www.slhc-uk.org.uk/envoys.htm Diplomatic Representations of Sierra Leone]
* [http://www.britishhighcommission.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1041606243868 British High Commission in Sierra Leone]
* [http://freetown.usembassy.gov/index.html US Embassy in Sierra Leone]
Tourism and Travel
* [http://www.lawrence.edu/dept/religious_studies/aysesierraleone/home.html Aisha's Eye on Sierra Leone] a photo documentary
* [http://www.welcometosierraleone.org/ National Tourist Board of Sierra Leone] official site
* [http://www.visitsierraleone.org Visit Sierra Leone] Travel and Tourism information
* [http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1016.html US Department of State travel information]
Economy and Business
* [http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=SierraLeone Index of Economic Freedom] - Sierra Leone is 48.4% free
* [http://www.leonedirect.com Sierra Leone Business Directory]
* [http://www.fadugu.com Fadugu] Sending Money to Sierra Leone
* (pdf) [http://www.buyusainfo.net/docs/x_3887831.pdf Doing Business in Sierra Leone] - A Commercial Guide for US Companies
* [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/AFRICAEXT/SIERRALEONEEXTN/0,,menuPK:367849~pagePK:141132~piPK:141109~theSitePK:367809,00.html World Bank Data & Statistics on Sierra Leone]
News Media and Discussion
* [http://allafrica.com/sierraleone/ allAfrica.com - "Sierra Leone"] News Aggregator
* [http://awarenesstimes.com Awareness Times] Newspaper
* [http://www.thenewpeople.com The New People] The New People Newspaper
* [http://www.irinnews.org/Africa-Country.aspx?Country=SL IRIN Sierra Leone] humanitarian news and analysis
* [http://www.enciss-sl.org ENCISS] civil society and governance
* [http://www.sierraeye.net Sierra Eye] Sierra Leone News Portal
* [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sl.html CIA World Factbook - Sierra Leone]
* cite news
title=Country profile: Sierra Leone
* [http://dmoz.org/Regional/Africa/Sierra_Leone Open Directory Project - "Sierra Leone"] directory category
* [http://www.sierra-leone.org Sierra Leone Web]
* [http://www.sweetsalone.com Sweet Salone, "2008"]
* [http://www.sc-sl.org War Crimes Trials in Sierra Leone]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.