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8 juillet 2013 1 08 /07 /juillet /2013 09:41

Sierra Leone

officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa that is bordered by Guinea to the northeast, DELL Studio 1458 Laptop Keyboard

Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest. Sierra Leone is a Constitutional Republic with a directly electedpresident and a Unicameral Legislature. The country has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests. The country covers a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi)[6]and with an estimated population of 6 million (2011 United Nations estimate).[1][2] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Sierra Leone is divided into four administrative regions: the Northern Province, Eastern Province,Southern Province and the Western Area; which are subdivided into fourteen districts. The districts have their own directly elected local government known as district council, headed by a council chairman. Freetown is the capital, largest city as well as its economic, commercial and political centre. HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

Sierra Leone has relied on mining, especially diamonds, for its economic base. The country is among the largest producers of titanium and bauxite, and a major producer of gold. The country has one of the world's largest deposits of rutile. Sierra Leone is also home to the third largest natural harbour in the world,  Compaq 6720s Laptop Keyboard

where shipping from all over the globe berth at Freetown's famous Queen Elizabeth II Quay. Despite this natural wealth, 70% of its people live in poverty.[7]

Sierra Leone is a predominantly Muslim country,[8][9][10] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

though with an influential Christian minority. Sierra Leone is ranked as one of the most religiously tolerant nations in the world.[11][12][13] People are often married across ethnic and religious boundaries. Muslims and Christians collaborate and interact with each other peacefully.[11][14] Religious violence is very rare in the country. DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

The population of Sierra Leone comprises about sixteen ethnic groups, each with its own language and custom. The two largest and most influential are the Temne and the Mende. Although English is the language of instruction in schools and the official language in government administration, the Krio language (derived from English and several indigenous African languages)  SONY Vaio PCG-K23 Laptop Keyboard

is the primary language of communication among Sierra Leone's different ethnic groups, and is spoken by 90% of the country's population.[15] The Krio Language unites all the different ethnic groups, especially in their trade and interaction with each other.[16]  HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

In 1462, the area that is now Sierra Leone was visited by the Portuguese explorer Pedro de Sintra, who named it Serra Leoa, meaning "Lioness Mountains".[17][18] Sierra Leone later became an important centre of the transatlantic trade in slaves until 11 March 1792 when Freetown was founded by the Sierra Leone Company as a home for former slaves enslaved from (or freed by) the British Empire.[19] HP Pavilion G7-1167DX Laptop Keyboard

In 1808, Freetown became a British Crown Colony, and in 1896, the interior of the country became a BritishProtectorate.[20] Between 1991 and 2002 the Sierra Leone Civil War devastated the country leaving more than 50,000 people dead, much of the country's infrastructure destroyed, and over two million people displaced in neighbouring countries as refugees. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X301 2779 Laptop Keyboard

Archaeological finds show that Sierra Leone has been inhabited continuously for at least 2,500 years,[21] populated by successive movements from other parts of Africa.[22] The use of iron was introduced to Sierra Leone by the 9th century, and by 1000 A.D. HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard

agriculture was being practised by coastal tribes.[23] Sierra Leone's dense tropical rainforest largely protected it from the influence of any pre-colonial African empires[24] and from further Islamic influence of the Mali Empire. The Islamic faith, however, became common in the 18th century.[25] TOSHIBA Satellite U305-S2812 Laptop Keyboard

European contacts within Sierra Leone were among the first in West Africa. In 1462, Portuguese explorer Pedro de Sintramapped the hills surrounding what is now Freetown Harbour, naming shaped formation Serra de Leão (Portuguese for Lion Mountains).[18] The Italian rendering of this geographic formation is Sierra Leone, which became the country's name. HP 640436-001 Laptop KeyboardSoon after Portuguese traders arrived at the harbour and by 1495 a fort that acted as a trading post had been built.[26] The Portuguese were joined by the Dutch and French, all of them using Sierra Leone as a trading point for slaves.[27] HP 535689-001 Laptop Keyboard

In 1562, the English joined the human trade when Sir John Hawkins shipped 300 enslaved people—acquired "by the sword and partly by other means"—to the new colonies in America.[28]  LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

In 1787 a settlement was founded in Sierra Leone in what was called the "Province of Freedom". A number of "Black Poor" arrived off the coast of Sierra Leone on 15 May 1787, accompanied by some English tradesmen. Many of the "black poor" were African Americans, who had been given their freedom after seeking refuge with the British Army during the American Revolution, SONY VAIO VGN-FS740W laptop keyboard

but also included other West Indian, African and Asian inhabitants of London. After establishing Granville Town, disease and hostility from the indigenous people eliminated the first group of colonists and destroyed their settlement. A second Granville Town was established by 64 remaining colonists.[29]  ASUS X88S laptop keyboard

Through the impetus of Thomas Peters, the Sierra Leone Company was established to relocate Black Loyalists, who had escaped enslavement in the United States by seeking protection with the British Army during the American Revolution. They had been given land in Nova Scotia and founded Birchtown, HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

Nova Scotia but faced harsh winters and racism. Led by Thomas Peters and British abolitionist John Clarkson, 1196 of the Black Loyalists from Nova Scotia crossed the Atlantic to build the second (and only permanent) Colony of Sierra Leone and the settlement of Freetown on 11 March 1792. In Sierra Leone they were called the Nova Scotian Settlers, the Nova Scotians, ASUS A9R laptop keyboard

or the Settlers. The Settlers built Freetown and introduced North American architectural styles from the American South as well as Western fashion and American manners. In the 1790s, the Settlers voted for the first time in elections, APPLE 922-6913 laptop keyboard

as did women.[30] The Sierra Leone Company refused to allow the settlers to takefreehold of the land. Some of the Settlers revolted in 1799. The revolt was only put down by the arrival of over 500 JamaicanMaroons, who also arrived via Nova Scotia. In 1800, Jamaican Maroons from Trelawny Town, Jamaica were settled via Nova Scotia. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s laptop keyboard

After sixteen years of running the Colony, the Sierra Leone Company was formed into the African Institution. The Institution met in 1807 to achieve more success by focusing on bettering the local economy, but it was constantly split between those British who meant to inspire local entrepreneurs and those with interest in the Macauley & Babington Company which held the (British) monopoly on Sierra Leone trade.[31]  IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 laptop keyboard

Beginning in 1808 (following the abolition of the slave trade in 1807), thousands of formerly enslaved Africans were liberated in Freetown. Most of these Liberated Africans or 'Recaptives' chose to remain in Sierra Leone. SONY VAIO PCG-FR315B laptop keyboard

Cut off from their homes and traditions, the Liberated Africans assimilated the Western styles of Settlers and Maroons and built a flourishing trade of flowers and beads on the West African coast. These returned Africans were from many areas of Africa, but principally the west coast. During the 19th century many black Americans, Americo Liberian 'refugees', and particularly West Indians immigrated and settled in Freetown creating a new ethnicity called the Krio. ACER TravelMate 6292 laptop keyboard

In the early 20th century, Freetown served as the residence of the British governor who also ruled the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and the Gambia settlements. 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 university in western Sub-Saharan Africa. ACER TravelMate 3020 laptop keyboard

During Sierra Leone's colonial history, indigenous people mounted several unsuccessful revolts against British rule. The most notable was the Hut Tax war of 1898. The Hut Tax War consisted of a Northern front, led by Bai Bureh, and Southern front that were sparked at different times and for different reasons.  TOSHIBA Satellite P300 Laptop Keyboard

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.[32] Bai Bureh was finally captured on 11 November 1898 and sent into exile in the Gold Coast, while 96 of his comrades were hanged by the British.  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The defeat 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.[33] SONY 147977821 Laptop Keyboard

One notable event in 1935 was the granting of a monopoly on mineral mining to the Sierra Leone Selection Trust run by De Beers, which was scheduled to last 98 years.

In 1924, Sierra Leone was divided into a Colony and a Protectorate, with separate and different political systems constitutionally defined for each. Antagonism between the two entities escalated to a heated debate in 1947, HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

 when proposals were introduced to provide for a single political system for both the Colony and the Protectorate. Most of the proposals came from the Protectorate. The Krio, led by Isaac Wallace-Johnson, opposed the proposals, SONY VAIO VGN-FS215M laptop keyboard

the main effect of which would have been to diminish their political power. It was due to the astute politics of Sir Milton Margai that the educated Protectorate elite was won over to join forces with the paramount chiefs in the face of Krio intransigence. Later, Sir Milton used the same skills to win over opposition leaders and moderate Krio elements for the achievement of independence. SONY VGN-FE890 laptop keyboard

In November 1951, Margai oversaw the drafting of a new constitution, which united the separate Colonial and Protectorate legislatures and—most importantly—provided a framework for decolonisation.[34] In 1953, Sierra Leone was granted local ministerial powers, and Sir Milton Margai, was elected Chief Minister of Sierra Leone.[34] ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

The new constitution ensured Sierra Leone a parliamentary system within the Commonwealth of Nations.[34] In May 1957, Sierra Leone held its first parliamentary election. The Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), which was then the most popular political party in the colony of Sierra Leone, won the most seats in Parliament. Margai was also re-elected as Chief Minister by a landslide. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

On 20 April 1960, Sir Milton Margai led the twenty four members of the Sierra Leonean delegation at the constitutional conferences that were held with Queen Elizabeth II and British Colonial Secretary Iain Macleod in the negotiations for independence held at the Lancaster House in London.[35][36] All of the twenty four members of the Sierra Leonean delegation were prominent and well-respected politicians including Sir Milton himself, HP Pavilion dv5-1221tx laptop keyboard

his younger brother lawyer Sir Albert Margai, the outspoken trade unionist Siaka Stevens, SLPP strongman Lamina Sankoh, outspoken Creole activist Isaac Wallace-Johnson, Dr John Karefa-Smart,Paramount chief Ella Koblo Gulama, educationist Mohamed Sanusi Mustapha, professor Kande Bureh, lawyer Sir Banja Tejan-Sie, former Freetown's Mayor Eustace Henry Taylor Cummings educationist Amadu Wurie, and Creole diplomat Hector Reginald Sylvanus Boltman.[37] HP G61-400SP laptop keyboard

On the conclusion of talks in London, Britain agreed to grant Sierra Leone Independence on 27 April 1961. However, the outspoken trade unionist Siaka Stevens was the only delegate who refused to sign Sierra Leone's declaration of Independendence on the grounds that there had been a secret defence pact between Sierra Leone and Britain; SONY VGN-FE890 laptop keyboard

another point of contention by Stevens was the Sierra Leonean government's position that there would be no elections held before independence which would effectively shut him out of Sierra Leone's political process.[38] Upon their return to Freetown on 4 May 1960, Stevens was promptly expelled from thePeople's National Party (PNP). SONY VGN-FE21B laptop keyboard

On 24 September 1960, outspoken critic of the SLPP government, Siaka Stevens, formed an alliance with several prominent northern politicians including Sorie Ibrahim Koroma, Christian Alusine-Kamara Taylor, Mohammed Bash-Taqui, S.A.T. Koroma, Kawusu Konteh, Allieu Badarr Koroma, S.A. HP Pavilion dv6-2165es laptop keyboard

Fofana and Mucktarru Kallay to form their own political party called the All People's Congress (APC) in opposition of the SLPP government. Stevens took advantage of the dissatisfaction with the ruling SLPP among some prominent politicians from the Northern part of Sierra Leone to form the APC; and Stevens used the Northern part of Sierra Leone as his political base. SONY VAIO VGN-FS285H laptop keyboard

On 27 April 1961, Sir Milton Margai led Sierra Leone to independence from Great Britain and became the country's first Prime Minister. Thousands of Sierra Leoneans across the newly independent nation took to the street in celebration of independence. Sierra Leone retained a parliamentary system of government and was a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The leader of the main oppositon APC, Packard Bell Easynote TM99 laptop keyboard

Siaka Stevens, along with outspoken critic of the SLPP government, Isaac Wallace-Johnson, were arrested and placed under house arrest in Freetown, along with sixteen others charged with disrupting the independence celebration.[39] In May 1962, Sierra Leone held its first general election as an Independent nation. The Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) won plurality of seats in parliament and Sir Milton Margai was re-elected as prime minister.

An important aspect of Sir Milton's character was his self-effacement. TOSHIBA Satellite L355-S7812 laptop keyboard

Sir Milton's government was based on the rule of law and the notion of separation of powers, with multiparty political institutions and fairly viable representative structures. Margai used his conservative ideology to lead Sierra Leone without much strife. He appointed government officials with a clear eye to satisfy various ethnic groups. Margai employed a brokerage style of politics by sharing political power between political groups and the paramount chiefs in the provinces. SAMSUNG P28 laptop keyboard

Upon Sir Milton's unexpected death in 1964, his half-brother, Sir Albert Margai, was appointed as Prime Minister by parliament. Sir Albert's leadership was briefly challenged by Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister John Karefa-Smart, who questioned Sir Albert's succession to the SLPP leadership position. Karefa-Smart received little support in Parliament in his attempt to have Margai stripped of the SLPP leadership.  ACER PK1306F0200 laptop keyboard

Soon after Margai was sworn in as Prime Minister, he immediately dismissed several senior government officials who had served under his elder brother Sir Milton's government, as he viewed them as a threat to his administration. SONY VAIO VGN-CR420D laptop keyboard

Unlike his late brother, Sir Milton, Sir Albert resorted to increasingly authoritarian actions in response to protests and enacted several laws against the opposition All People's Congress (APC) whilst attempting to establish a single-party state. Unlike his late brother Milton, Sir Albert was opposed to the colonial legacy of allowing the country's Paramount Chiefs executive powers, many of whom where key allies of his late brother Sir Milton; HP G61-110SA laptop keyboard

and he was seen as a threat to the existence of the ruling houses across the country. In 1967, Riots broke out in Freetown against Sir Albert's policies; in response Margai declared a state of emergency across the country. Sir Albert was accused of corruption and of a policy of affirmative action in favour of his own Mende ethnic group. Packard Bell Easynote TM94 laptop keyboard

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The APC, with its leader Siaka Stevens, narrowly won a small majority of seats in Parliament over the SLPP in a closely contested 1967 Sierra Leone general election and Stevens was sworn in as Prime Minister on 21 March 1967. Lenovo 45N2036 laptop keyboard

Within hours after taking office, Stevens was ousted in a bloodless military coup led by the commander of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces Brigadier General David Lansana, a close ally of Sir Albert Margai who had appointed him to the position in 1964. Brigadier Lansana placed Stevens under house arrest in Freetown and insisted the determination of office of the Prime Minister should await the election of the tribal representatives to the house.  HP Pavilion dv4-1131tx laptop keyboard

On 23 March 1967, a group of senior military officers in the Sierra Leone Army led by Brigadier Andrew Juxon-Smith overrode this action by seizing control of the government, arresting Brigadier Lansana, and suspending the constitution. The group constituted itself as the National Reformation Council (NRC) with Brigadier Andrew Juxon-Smith as its chairman and Head of State of the country.[41] SONY VAIO VGN-FS550 laptop keyboard

On 18 April 1968, a group of senior military officers who called themselves the Anti-Corruption Revolutionary Movement led by Brigadier General John Amadu Bangura overthrew the NRC junta. The ACRM juntas arrested many senior NRC members. The constitution was reinstated, and power was returned to Stevens, who at last assumed the office of Prime Minister.[42] HP Pavilion dv2-1007ax laptop keyboard

Stevens assumed power again in 1968 with a great deal of hope and ambition. Much trust was placed upon him as he championed multi-party politics. Stevens had campaigned on a platform of bringing the tribes together under socialist principles. During his first decade or so in power, Stevens renegotiated some of what he called "useless prefinanced schemes" contracted by his predecessors, both Albert Margai of the SLPP and Juxon-Smith of the NRC. TOSHIBA NSK-TK001 laptop keyboard

Some of these policies by the SLPP and the NRC were said to have left the country in an economically deprived state. Stevens reorganised the country's refinery, the government-owned Cape Sierra Hotel, and a cement factory. He cancelled Juxon-Smith's construction of a church and mosque on the grounds of Victoria Park. Stevens began efforts that would later bridge the distance between the provinces and the city. SONY VAIO VGN-FS315M laptop keyboard

Roads and hospitals were constructed in the provinces, and Paramount Chiefs and provincial peoples became a prominent force in Freetown. Under pressure of several coup attempts, real and perceived, Stevens' rule grew more and more authoritarian, and his relationship with some of his ardent supporters deteriorated. SONY VAIO VGN-FW11S laptop keyboard

He removed the SLPP party from competitive politics in general elections, some believed, through the use of violence and intimidation. To maintain the support of the military, Stevens retained the popular John Amadu Bangura as the head of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces. HP G61-400SP laptop keyboard

After the return to civilian rule, by-elections were held (beginning in autumn 1968) and an all-APC cabinet was appointed. Calm was not completely restored. In November 1968, unrest in the provinces led Stevens to declare a state of emergency across the country. Many senior officers in the Sierra Leone Army were greatly disappointed with Stevens' policies; but none could confront Stevens. Brigadier General Bangura, SONY VAIO VGN-SZ470N/C laptop keyboard

who had reinstated Stevens as Prime Minister, was widely considered the only person who could put the brakes on Stevens. The army was devoted to Bangura, and it was believed, in some quarters, that this made him potentially dangerous to Stevens. HP Pavilion dv4-1211tu laptop keyboard

In January 1970, Bangura was arrested and charged with conspiracy and plotting to commit a coup against the Stevens' government. After a trial that lasted a few months, Bangura was convicted andsentenced to death. On 29 March 1970, Brigadier Bangura was executed by hanging in Freetown. SONY VAIO VGN-FS115Z laptop keyboard

In a surprising move, Stevens later named a young junior officer Joseph Saidu Momoh as the commander of the Sierra Leone Military. On 23 March 1971, a group of soldiers loyal to the executed Brigadier Bangura held a mutiny in the capital Freetown and in some other parts of the country in opposition of Stevens' government. SAMSUNG N150 Laptop Keyboard

Several soldiers were arrested for their involvement in the mutiny, including Corporal Foday Sankoh who was convicted and jailed for seven years at Freetown's Pademba Road Prison.

In April 1971, a new republican constitution was adopted under which Stevens became President. In the 1972 by-elections the opposition SLPP complained of intimidation and procedural obstruction by the APC and militia. DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

These problems became so severe that the SLPP boycotted the 1973 general election; as a result the APC won 84 of the 85 elected seats.[43] An alleged plot to overthrow president Stevens failed in 1974 and its leaders were executed. In March 1976, Stevens was elected without opposition for a second five-year term as president. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

On 19 July 1975, 14 senior army and government officials including Brigadier David Lansana, former cabinet minister Mohamed Sorie Forna (father of writer Aminatta Forna), Brigadier General Ibrahim Bash Taqi and Lieutenant Habib Lansana Kamarawere executed after being convicted for allegedly attempting a coup to topple president Stevens' government. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

In 1977, a nationwide student demonstration against the government disrupted Sierra Leone politics. However, the demonstration was quickly put down by the army and Stevens' own personal Special Security Division (SSD) force, a heavily armed paramilitary force he had created to protect him and to maintain his hold on power.[44] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The SSD officers were very loyal to Stevens and were deployed across Sierra Leone to put down any rebellion against Stevens' government. General election was called later that year in which corruption was again endemic; the APC won 74 seats and the SLPP 15. In 1978, the APC dominant parliament approved a new constitution making the country a one-party state. The 1978 constitution made the APC the only legal political party in Sierra Leone.[45] HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

This move led to another major demonstration against the government in many parts of the country but again it was put down by the army and Stevens' SSD forces. Stevens is generally criticised for dictatorial methods and government corruption, but on a positive note, he reduced ethnic polarisation in government by incorporating members of various ethnic groups into his all-dominant APC government. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Siaka Stevens retired from politics in November 1985 after being in power for eighteen years. The APC named a new presidential candidate to succeed Stevens at their last delegate conference held in Freetown in November 1985. TOSHIBA NSK-TK001 Laptop Keyboard

He was Major General Joseph Saidu Momoh, the commander of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and Stevens' own choice to succeed him. As head of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Major General Momoh was very loyal to Stevens who had appointed him to the position. Like Stevens, Momoh was also a member of the minority Limba ethnic group. Lenovo ThinkPad T410-2516 Laptop Keyboard

Momoh was elected President as the only contesting candidate and was sworn in as Sierra Leone's second president on 28 November 1985 in Freetown. A one party parliamentary election between APC members was held in May 1986. President Momoh's strong links with the army and his verbal attacks on corruption earned him much needed initial support among Sierra Leoneans. TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7332 Laptop Keyboard

With the lack of new faces in the new APC cabinet under president Momoh and the return of many of the old faces from Stevens government, criticisms soon arose that Momoh was simply perpetuating the rule of Stevens. The next couple of years under the Momoh administration were characterised by corruption, which Momoh defused by sacking several senior cabinet ministers. To formalise his war against corruption, COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

President Momoh announced a "Code of Conduct for Political Leaders and Public Servants." After an alleged attempt to overthrow President Momoh in March 1987, more than 60 senior government officials were arrested, including Vice-President Francis Minah, HP Mini 110-3120se laptop keyboard

who was removed from office, convicted for plotting the coup, and executed by hanging in 1989 along with 5 others.

In October 1990, due to mounting pressure from both within and outside the country for political and economic reform, president Momoh set up a constitutional review commission to assess the 1978 one-party constitution. HP Mini 210-1066SB laptop keyboard

Based on the commission's recommendations a constitution re-establishing a multi-party system was approved by the exclusive APC Parliament by a 60% majority vote, becoming effective on 1 October 1991. There was great suspicion that president Momoh was not serious about his promise of political reform,  SAMSUNG Q320 laptop keyboard

as APC rule continued to be increasingly marked by abuses of power.

The brutal civil war that was going on in neighbouring Liberia played a significant role in the outbreak of fighting in Sierra Leone. Charles Taylor—then leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia—reportedly helped form theRevolutionary United Front (RUF) under the command of former Sierra Leonean army corporal Foday Saybana Sankoh, HP G62-a30SP Laptop Keyboard

an ethnic Temne from Tonkolili District in Northern Sierra Leone. Sankoh was a British trained former army corporal who had also undergone guerrilla training in Libya. Taylor's aim was for the RUF to attack the bases of Nigerian dominated peacekeeping troops in Sierra Leone who were opposed to his rebel movement in Liberia. DELL FM8 Laptop Keyboard

On 29 April 1992, a 25-year-old Captain Valentine Strasser led seven junior officers in the Sierra Leone army that included Lieutenant Sahr Sandy, Lieutenant Solomon Musa, Lieutenant Tom Nyuma, Captain Julius Maada Bio and Captain Komba Mondeh that launched a military coup, which sent president Momoh into exile in Guinea and the young soldiers established the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) Lenovo 45N2106 Laptop Keyboard

with Strasser as its chairman and Head of State of the country. The NPRC Junta immediately suspended the constitution, banned all political parties, limited freedom of speech and freedom of the press and enacted a rule-by-decree policy, in which soldiers were granted unlimited powers of administrative detention without charge or trial, and challenges against such detentions in court were precluded.  Lenovo 3000 C100 Laptop Keyboard

The NPRC Junta maintained relations with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and strengthened support for Sierra Leone-based ECOMOG troops fighting in Liberia. In December 1992, an alleged coup attempt against the NPRC administration of Strasser, aimed at freeing the detained Colonel Yahya Kanu, Colonel Kahota M.S. Dumbuya and former inspector general of police Bambay Kamara was foiled. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

Seargent Mohamed Lamin Bangura, and some junior army officers were identified as being behind the coup plot. The coup plot led to the execution of seventeen soldiers, including Seargent Mohamed Lamin Bangura, Colonel Yahya Kanuand Lieutenant Colonel Kahota M.S. ASUS F3F Laptop Keyboard

Dumbuya. Several prominent members of the Momoh government who had been in detention at the Pa Demba Road prison, including former inspector general of police Bambay Kamara were also executed.[47] On 5 July 1994 the deputy NPRC leader Lieutenant Solomon Musu was arrested and sent into exile after he was accused of planning a coup to topple Strasser. Strasser replaced Musa as deputy NPRC chairman with Captain Julius Maada Bio, who was instantly promoted by Strasser to Brigadier.  HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard

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 1994 they held much of the diamond-rich Eastern Province and were at the edge of Freetown. HP G42-380LA Laptop Keyboard

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, and cleared the RUF from the Kono diamond producing areas of Sierra Leone COMPAQ Presario CQ60-104TU Laptop Keyboard

On 16 January 1996 after about four years in power, Strasser was arrested in a coup by his fellow NPRC soldiers, led by his deputy Brigadier Julis Maada Bio. Strasser was immediately flown into exile in a military helicopter to Conakry, Guinea. In his first public broadcast to the nation following the 1996 coup, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

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Brigadier Bio stated that his support for returning Sierra Leone to a democratically elected civilian government and his commitment to ending the civil war were his motivations for the coup.[48] Promises of a return to civilian rule were fulfilled by Bio, who handed power over to Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP),  TOSHIBA NB200-10J Laptop Keyboard

after the conclusion of elections in early 1996. President Kabbah took power with a great promise of ending the civil war. President Kabbah opened dialogue with the RUF and invited RUF leader Foday Sankoh for peace negotiations. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

On 25 May 1997, seventeen soldiers in the Sierra Leone army led by Corporal Tamba Gborie, loyal to the detained Major General Johnny Paul Koroma, launched a military coup which sent President Kabbah into exile in Guinea and they established the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). DELL Vostro 1510 Laptop Keyboard

Corporal Gborie quickly went to the SLBS FM 99.9 headquarters in Freetown to announce the coup to a shocked nation and to alert all soldiers across the country to report for guard duty. The soldiers immediately released Koroma from prison and installed him as their chairman and Head of State. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Koroma suspended the constitution, banned demonstrations, shut down all private radio stations in the country and invited the RUF to join the new junta government, with its leader Foday Sankoh as the Vice-Chairman of the new AFRC-RUF coalition junta government. Within days, Freetown was overwhelmed by the presence of the RUF combatants who came to the city in their thousands. HP Pavilion dv6-3080tx Laptop Keyboard

The Kamajors, a group of traditional fighters mostly from the Mende ethnic group under the command of deputy Defence Minister Samuel Hinga Norman, remained loyal to President Kabbah and defended the Southern part of Sierra Leone from the soldiers. DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

After 10 months in office, the junta was overthrown by the Nigeria-led ECOMOG forces, and the democratically elected government of president Kabbah was reinstated in March 1998. On 12 October 1998 twenty five soldiers in the Sierra Leone army, including Corporal Tamba Gborie, Brigadier Hassan Karim Conteh, Colonel Abdul Karim Sesay and Major Kula Samba were executed after they were convicted at a court martial in Freetown for orchestrating the 1997 coup that overthrew President Kabbah.[49] IBM 42T3297 laptop keyboard

In October 1999, the United Nations agreed 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 Council voted in February 2000 to increase the force to 11,000, and later to 13,000. But in May, when nearly all Nigerianforces had left and UN forces were trying to disarm the RUF in eastern Sierra Leone,  HP Pavilion dv6-2135er laptop keyboard

Sankoh's forces clashed with the UN troops, and some 500 peacekeepers were taken hostage as the peace accord effectively collapsed. The hostage crisis resulted in more fighting between the RUF and the government as UN troops launchedOperation Khukri to end the siege. The Operation was successful with Indian and British Special Forces being the main contingents. HP Pavilion G7T-1000 Series laptop keyboard

The situation in the country deteriorated to such an extent that British troops were deployed in Operation Palliser, originally simply to evacuate foreign nationals. However, the British exceeded their original mandate, and took full military action to finally defeat the rebels and restore order. ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

The British were the catalyst for the ceasefire that ended the civil war. Elements of the British Army, together with administrators and politicians, remain in Sierra Leone to this day, helping train the armed forces, improve the infrastructure of the country and administer financial and material aid. Tony Blair, SONY Vaio PCG-K23 laptop keyboard

the Prime Minister of Britain at the time of the British intervention, is regarded as a hero by the people of Sierra Leone, many of whom are keen for more British involvement.[citation needed] Sierra Leoneans have been described as "The World's Most Resilient People".[50] SONY VGN-FE790G/N laptop keyboard

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 Guinea and Liberia. In 2001, UN forces moved into rebel-held areas and began to disarm rebel soldiers. By January 2002, the war was declared over. ACER PK1306F0200 laptop keyboard

In May 2002, Kabbah was re-elected president by a landslide. 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. SONY VGN-FE790 laptop keyboard

In August 2007, Sierra Leone held presidential and parliamentary elections. However, no presidential candidate won the 50% plus one vote majority stipulated in the constitution on the first round of voting. A runoff election was held in September 2007, and Ernest Bai Koroma, the candidate of the main opposition APC, was elected president. HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of Africa, lying mostly between latitudes 7°and 10°N (a small area is south of 7°), and longitudes 10° and 14°W. The country is bordered by Guinea to the north and northeast, Liberia to the south and southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.[51]

Sierra Leone has a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi),  HP Pavilion dv6-2157sb Laptop Keyboard

divided into a land area of 71,620 km2 (27,653 sq mi) and water of 120 km2 (46 sq mi).[15] The country has four distinct geographical regions. In eastern Sierra Leone the plateau is interspersed with high mountains, where Mount Bintumani reaches 1,948 m (6,391 ft), the highest point in the country. The upper part of the drainage basin of the Moa River is located in the south of this region. HP Mini 1116NR Laptop Keyboard

The centre of the country is a region of lowland plains, containing forests, bush andfarmland,[51] that occupies about 43% of Sierra Leone's land area. The northern section of this has been categorised by the World Wildlife Fund as part of the Guinean forest-savanna mosaic ecoregion, while the south is rain-forested plains and farmland. HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

In the west Sierra Leone has some 400 km (249 mi) of Atlantic coastline, giving it both bountiful marine resources and attractive tourist potential. The coast has areas of low-lying Guinean mangroves swamp. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

The climate is tropical, with two seasons determining the agricultural cycle: the rainy season from May to November, and a dry season from December to May, which includes harmattan, when cool, dry winds blow in off the Sahara Desert and 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 (78.8 °F) to 36 °C (96.8 °F) during the year.[52][53] ACER Aspire 7520 Laptop Keyboard

Human activities claimed to be responsible or contributing to land degradation in Sierra Leone include unsustainable agricultural land use, poor soil and water management practices, deforestation, removal of natural vegetation, fuelwood consumption and to a lesser extent overgrazing and urbanisation.[54] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

Deforestation, both for commercial timber and to make room for agriculture, is the major concern and represents an enormous loss of natural economic wealth to the nation.[55] Mining and slash and burn for land conversion – such as cattle grazing – dramatically diminished forested land in Sierra Leone since the 1980s.  HP G61-465SL Laptop Keyboard

It is listed among countries of concern for emissions, as having Low Forest Cover with High Rates of Deforestation (LFHD).[56] There are concerns that heavy logging continues in the Tama-Tonkoli Forest Reserve in the north, HP Pavilion ze5715ca Laptop Keyboard

they have extended their operations to Nimini, Kono District, Eastern Province; Jui, Western Rural District, Western Area; Loma Mountains National Park, Koinadougu, Northern Province; and with plans to start operations in the Kambui Forest reserve in the Kenema District, Eastern Province.[56]  GATEWAY MX8715 Laptop Keyboard

Habitat degradation for the African Wild Dog, Lycaon pictus, has been decreased, such that this canid is deemed to have been extirpated in Sierra Leone.[57]

Until 2002, Sierra Leone lacked a forest management system due to the civil war that caused tens of thousands of deaths. DELL Vostro 1015 Laptop Keyboard

Deforestation rates have increased 7.3% since the end of the civil war.[58] On paper, 55 protected areas covered 4.5% of Sierra Leone as of 2003. The country has 2,090 known species of higher plants, 147 mammals, 626 birds, 67 reptiles, 35 amphibians, and 99 fish species.[58] TOSHIBA Satellite L455 Laptop Keyboard

The Environmental Justice Foundation has documented how the number of illegal fishing vessels in Sierra Leone's waters has multiplied in recent years. The amount of illegal fishing has significantly depleted fish stocks, Lenovo 39T7417 laptop keyboard

depriving local fishing communities of an important resource for survival. The situation is particularly serious as fishing provides the only source of income for many communities in a country still recovering from over a decade of civil war.[59] ACER TravelMate 8204WLMi laptop keyboard

In June 2005, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Bird Life International agreed to support a conservation-sustainable development project in the Gola Forest in south eastern Sierra Leone,[60] an important surviving fragment of rainforest in Sierra Leone.  HP Mini 110-3102sl laptop keyboard

Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature. The current system of government in Sierra Leone, established under the 1991 Constitution, is modelled on the following structure of government: the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary.[61] TOSHIBA Satellite P300-1EI laptop keyboard

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 Justice is head.  HP Pavilion dv6-2114sa laptop keyboard

The president is the head of state, the head of government and the commander-in-chief of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces and theSierra Leone Police. The president appoints and heads a cabinet of ministers, which must be approved by the Parliament. The president is elected by popular vote to a maximum of two five-year terms. The president is the highest and most influential position within the government of Sierra Leone. HP Mini 110-1116NR laptop keyboard

To be elected president of Sierra Leone, a candidate must gain at least 55% of the vote. If no candidate gets 55%, there is to be asecond-round runoff between the top two candidates.

The current president of Sierra Leone is Ernest Bai Koroma, HP Pavilion dv6-3106tu laptop keyboard

who was sworn in on 17 September 2007, shortly after being declared the winner of a tense run-off election over the incumbent Vice-president, Solomon Berewa of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP).[62]He was subsequently re-elected to a second 5-year term on 17 November 2012, winning more than 58% of the vote, and eclipsing the 55% necessary to avoid a runoff. SONY VAIO VGN-CS31Z/Q laptop keyboard

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 otherwise temporarily unable to fulfil his or her duties. SONY VAIO VGN-SR290 laptop keyboard

The vice-president is elected jointly with the president as his or her running mate. Sierra Leone's current vice-president is Samuel Sam-Sumana, sworn in on 17 September 2007.

The Parliament of Sierra Leone is unicameral, with 124 seats. Each of the country's fourteen districts is represented in parliament. SONY VAIO VGN-CS31S/R laptop keyboard

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. SONY VAIO VGN-CS31S/R laptop keyboard

The current parliament in the August 2007 Parliamentary elections is made up of three political parties. The most recent parliamentary elections were held on 11 August 2007. The All People's Congress (APC), won 59 of 112 parliamentary seats; theSierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) won 43; and the People's Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) won 10.  LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 laptop keyboard

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.[61] SONY VAIO VGN-FS315M laptop keyboard

Since independence in 1961, Sierra Leone's politics has been dominated by two major political parties, the SLPP and the ruling APC, although other minor political parties have also existed but with no significant supports. The next election is scheduled for 17 November 2012.[63] HP Mini 110-1150EV laptop keyboard

The judicial power of Sierra Leone is vested in the judiciary, headed by the Chief Justice and comprising the Sierra Leone Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the country and its ruling therefore cannot be appealed; High Court of Justice; the Court of Appeal; the magistrate courts; and traditional courts in rural villages. The president appoints and parliament approves Justices for the three courts.  Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

The Judiciary have jurisdiction in all civil and criminal matters throughout the country. The current Chief Justice is Umu Hawa Tejan Jalloh, who was appointed by President Ernest Bai Koroma and took office on 25 January 2008 upon her confirmation by parliament. She is the first woman in the history of Sierra Leone to hold such position.[64] HP Envy 15-1090eg laptop keyboard

The Sierra Leone Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, headed byMinister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Joseph Bandabla Dauda is responsible for foreign policy of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone has diplomatic relations that include China, Libya, Iran, and Cuba. Sierra Leone has good relations with the West, including the United States and has maintained historical ties with the United Kingdom and other former British colonies through membership of the Commonwealth of Nations.[65] SONY Vaio VGN-FW390 laptop keyboard

The United Kingdom has played a major role in providing aid to the former colony, together with administrative help and military training since intervening to end the Civil War in 2000.

Former President Siaka Stevens' government had sought closer relations with other West African countries under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) a policy continued by the current government. TOSHIBA Satellite M105-S3004 laptop keyboard

Sierra Leone, along with Liberia and Guinea form theMano River Union (MRU) primarily designed to implement development projects and promote regional economic integration between the three countries.[66] GATEWAY MX8715 laptop keyboard

Sierra Leone is also a member of the United Nations and its specialised agencies, the African Union, the African Development Bank (AFDB), the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).[67] Sierra Leone is also a member of the International Criminal Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the US military (as covered under Article 98). SONY Vaio VGN-AW330J laptop keyboard

The Office of National Security plays an important security co-ordination role, including in the leadup to the 2007 elections.[68]

The Republic of Sierra Leone is composed of four regions the Northern Province, Southern Province, the Eastern Province and the Western AreaSONY Vaio PCG-K315S Laptop Keyboard

The first three provinces are further divided into 12 districts, and the districts are further divided into 149 chiefdoms.

The Local Government Act 2004 designated units of government called localities each of which would have a directly elected local district council to exercise authority and carry out functions at a local level.[69][70] HP Business Notebook nx9000 Laptop Keyboard

There are 13 district councils, one for each of the 12 districts and one for the Western Area Rural, and six municipalities each with a council, Freetown, Bo, Bonthe, Kenema, Koidu and Makeni.[69]  IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 Laptop Keyboard

Sierra Leone is slowly emerging from a protracted civil war and is showing signs of a successful transition. Investor andconsumer confidence have continued 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.  HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

Rich in minerals, Sierra Leone has relied on mining, especially diamonds, for its economic base. The country is among the top ten diamond producing nations. Mineral exports remain the main foreign currency earner. Sierra Leone is a major producer of gem-quality diamonds. Though rich in diamonds, it has historically struggled to manage their exploitation and export. HP 519004-001 Laptop Keyboard

Annual production of Sierra Leone's diamond estimates range between US$250 million–$300 million. Some of that is smuggled, where it is possibly used for money laundering or financing illicit activities. Formal exports have dramatically improved since the civil war, with efforts to improve the management of them having some success ACER Aspire One D150-1577 Laptop Keyboard

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 (DACDF), 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.  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

Sierra Leone is also known for its blood diamonds that were mined and sold to diamond conglomerates during the civil war, to buy the weapons that fuelled its atrocities.[82] In the 1970s and early 1980s, economic growth rate slowed because of a decline in the mining sector and increasing corruption among government officials.  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

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. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

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. GATEWAY NV-59 Laptop Keyboard

Sierra Leone has one of the world's largest deposits of rutile, a titanium ore used as paint pigment and welding rod coatings. Sierra Rutile Limited, owned by a consortium of United States and 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 created $75 million in export earnings in 1990. ACER Aspire 5930 Laptop Keyboard

In 1990, the company and the government made a new agreement on the terms of the company's concession in Sierra Leone. Rutile andbauxite mining operations were suspended when rebels invaded the mining sites in 1995, but exports resumed in 2005. The Tonkolili region hosts the biggest iron ore deposit in Africa and the third largest in the world, exploited byAfrican Minerals, in the hills around Bumbuna, Mabonto and Bendugu.[84][85] DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

The new Mines and Minerals Act was passed by Parliament in November 2009, which aimed to improve concessions management in the Ministry of Mineral Resources. Sierra Leone is an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) candidate country. In January 2012, the government launched the GoSL Online Repository, which makes public all mining licenses and related payments recorded. ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

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 crop production and upgrade small farmer skills. The government works with several foreign donors to operate integrated rural development and agricultural projects. TOSHIBA NSK-TAJ01 Laptop Keyboard

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.  Lenovo Thinkpad T420 Laptop Keyboard

The currency is the leone. The central bank of the country is the Bank of Sierra Leone which is in the capital, Freetown. The country operates a floatingexchange rate system, and foreign currencies can be exchanged at any of the commercial banks, recognised foreign exchange bureaux and most hotels. HP Pavilion zv6233ea Laptop Keyboard

Credit card use is limited in Sierra Leone, though they may be used at some hotels and restaurants. There are a few internationally linked automated teller machines that accept Visa cards in Freetown operated by ProCredit Bank.  HP Mini 110-1032NR Laptop Keyboard

Sierra Leone had an estimated 2010 population of 5,245,695 and growth rate of 2.216% a year.[15] The country's population is mostly young, with an estimated 41.7% under 15, and rural, with an estimated 62% of people living outside the cities.[15] SONY VAIO VGN-FS940 laptop keyboard

As a result of migration to cities the population is becoming more urban with an estimated rate of urbanisation growth of 2.9% a year.[15][86] Population density varies greatly with the country. The Western Area Urban District, including Freetown, the capital and largest city, has a population density of 1,224 persons per square km whereas the largest district Koinadugu has a density of 21.4 persons per square km.[86] SONY VAIO VGN-FS730F laptop keyboard

Although English is the official language,[87] spoken at schools, government administration and the media, Krio (derived from English and several indigenous African languages, the language of the Sierra Leone Krio people), is the most widely spoken language in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone. HP Pavilion dv3-2157cl laptop keyboard

The Krio language is spoken by 90% of the country's population[15][88] and unites all the different ethnic groups, especially in their trade and interaction with each other.[16] According to the World Refugee Survey 2008, HP Pavilion dv3-2157cl laptop keyboard

published by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Sierra Leone had a population of 8,700refugees and asylum seekers at the end of 2007. Nearly 20,000 Liberian refugees voluntarily returned to Liberia over the course of 2007. Of the refugees remaining in Sierra Leone nearly all were Liberian.[89] SONY Vaio PCG-K315S laptop keyboard

Followers of Islam constitute the majority of the population, while Christians form a significant minority. Muslims are estimated to comprise 60% of Sierra Leone's population according to the US Department of State,[94]while 20 to 30% are reported to be followers of Christianity, and 5 to 10% of the population practice indigenousanimist beliefs. HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

The 2007 UNHCR's "Report on International Religious Freedom in Sierra Leone"[93] estimated 60% Muslim, 20 to 30% Christian and 5 to 10% other beliefs, with many citizens practising a mixture of Islam and traditional indigenous religious beliefs or Christianity and traditional indigenous beliefs. The Pew Research Center estimates the Muslim population at 71.3% (4,059,000).[95] HP G61-465SL laptop keyboard

Muslims predominate in all of the country's three provinces and the Western Area, though formerly they were concentrated in the north with the south being mainly Christian.

Sierra Leone is home to about sixteen ethnic groups, each with its own language. The largest and most influential are the Temneat about 35% and the Mende at about 31%. HP Mini 110-3538tu laptop keyboard

The Temne predominate in the Northern Sierra Leone and the areas around the capital of Sierra Leone . The Mende likewise predominate in the South-Eastern Sierra Leone (with the exception of Kono District). The Temne are predominantly Muslims, while the Mende are about equal in numbers between Muslims and Christians. Sierra Leone's national politics centres on the competition between the north-west, dominated by the Temne, ASUS X85S laptop keyboard

and the south-east dominated by the Mende[2]. The Mende, who are believed to be descendants of the Mane, were originally in the Liberian hinterland. They began moving into Sierra Leone slowly and peacefully in the eighteenth century. The Temne are thought to have come from Futa Jallon, which is in present-day Guinea. Sierra Leone's current president Ernest Bai Koroma is an ethnic Temne. DELL PK1303Q0100 Laptop Keyboard

The third-largest ethnic group are the Limba at about 8% of the population. The Limba are native people of Sierra Leone. They have no tradition of origin and it is believed that they have lived in Sierra Leone since it was discovered. The Limba are primarily found in Northern Sierra Leone, particularly in Bombali, Kambia and Koinadugu District.  ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard

Since Independence to present, the Limba have traditionally been very influential in Sierra Leone's politics, along with the Mende.

The fourth largest ethnic group are the Fula at around 7% of the population (descendants of seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuryFulani settlers from the Fouta Djalon region of Guinea); they live primarily in the northeast and the western area of Sierra Leone. The Fula are primarily traders and many live in middle-class homes. Because of their trading, the Fulas are found in virtually all parts of the country. SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

The other ethnic groups are the Mandingo (also known as Mandinka traders from Guinea, who migrated to Sierra Leone during the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century). The Mandika are predominantly found in the east and the northern part of the country, and they are the largest inhabitant of the large towns, SONY VAIO PCG-FR55E Laptop Keyboard

most notably Karina, in Bombali Distric in the north, and Kabal andFalaba in Koinadugu District in the north and Yengema, Kono District in the east of the country. Sierra Leone's third presidentAhmad Tejan Kabbah is an ethnic Mandingo. DELL M711P Laptop Keyboard

After the Mandika, are the Kono, who live primarily in Kono District in Eastern Sierra Leone. The Kono are descendants from Guinea and they are primarily farmers and diamond miners. Sierra Leone's current Vice-President Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana is an ethnic Kono.  HP AEAT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

The small but significant Creole (descendants of freed African American, West Indian and Liberated African slaves landed in Freetown between 1787 and about 1885) make up about 4% of the population and they are primarily found in the capital city of Freetown and its surrounding Western Area.  HP 540 Laptop Keyboard

Creole culture is unlike that of virtually all other ethnic groups in Sierra Leone, and it is typical of Western culture and ideals. The Krios have traditionally dominated Sierra Leone's judiciacy and Freetown's city council and they have traditionally been influential in the civil service. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

The much smaller Oku people, who are often considered a branch of the Krio people, with whom they share similar culture and history and are usually known as theKrio Muslims due to the fact that the Oku are predominantly Muslims. The Oku are found primarily in the capital Freetown and its surrounding Western Area,  HP G62-361TX Laptop Keyboard

particularly in the neighbourhood's of Fourah Bay and Foulah Town. A significant number of Oku can be found in the city of Waterloo in the Western Area. Notable Oku include one of Sierra Leone's independence leaders and former government minister Mohamed Sanusi Mustapha; and former Commissioner of Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commission Abdul Tejan-Cole.  DELL Vostro 1014 Laptop Keyboard

Other minority ethnic groups are the Kuranko, who are related to the Mandingo. The Kuranko are believed to have begun arriving in Sierra Leone from Guinea in about 1600 and settled in the north, particularly in Koinadugu District. The Kuranko are primarily farmers and they have traditionally held several senior positions in the Military.  DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

 The Loko in the north are native people of Sierra Leone and they are believed to have lived in Sierra Leone since it was discovered. The Susu and Yalunka are traders and are primarily found in the far north in Kambia and Koinadugu District close to the border with Guinea. The Susu and Yalunka are related people and they are both descendants from Guinea.  Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The Kissi are further inland in South-Eastern Sierra Leone, and they predominante in the large town of Koindu and its surrounding areas in Kailahun District. The much smaller Vai and Kru are primarily found in Kailahun and Pujehun District around the border with Liberia. Kru predominante in the neighbood of Kroubayin the capital Freetown.

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The Sherbro are primarily fisherman and farmers and they are predominantly found in Bonthe District.

A small numbers of Sierra Leoneans are of partial or full Lebanese ancestry and they are locally known as Sierra Leonean-Lebanese. The Sierra Leonean-Lebanese community are primarily traders and they mostly live in middle class households in the urban areas, primarily in Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Koidu Town and Makeni.  HP Mini 210-1124TU laptop keyboard

Education

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,[96] but a shortage of schools and teachers has made implementation impossible.[46] Two thirds of the adult population of the country are illiterate.[97] The Sierra Leone Civil War resulted in the destruction of 1,270 primary schools, and in 2001, 67% of all school-age children were out of school.[46] SONY VAIO VGN-NW23GF laptop keyboard

The situation has improved considerably since then with primary school enrolment doubling between 2001 and 2005 and the reconstruction of many schools since the end of the war.[98] 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 public schools. SONY VAIO VGN-NW320F/T laptop keyboard

The country has three universities: Fourah Bay College, founded in 1827 (the oldest university in West Africa),[99]University of Makeni (established initially in September 2005 as The Fatima Institute, the college was granted university status in August 2009, and assumed the name University of Makeni, or UNIMAK), and Njala University, SONY VAIO VPC-F12 laptop keyboard

primarily located in Bo District. Njala University was established as the Njala Agricultural Experimental Station in 1910 and became a university in 2005.[100] Teacher training colleges and religious seminaries are found in many parts of the country. SONY VAIO PCG-FR55E/B laptop keyboard

Health care is provided by the government and others. Since April 2010, the government has instituted the Free Health Care Initiative which commits to free services for pregnant and lactating women and children under 5. This policy has been supported by increased aid from the United Kingdom and is recognised as a progressive move that other African countries may follow.[101] SONY VAIO PCG-FR55E/B laptop keyboard

However still only few people in Sierra Leone have access to adequate medical care. For some people from rural areas the next doctor or hospital is out of reach even though free health care might be provided there. In other cases people are charged by the medical staff because they themselves are poorly paid. Many people do not even know that they have a right for free medical care.[102] Life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 56.55 years in 2012.[103]  HP G62-b21SL laptop keyboard

Estimates for infant mortality in Sierra Leone are among the highest in the world; for every 1,000 live births, approximately 77 children do not survive to their first birthday.[104] The maternal death rates are also among the highest in the world, at 890 deaths per 100,000 live births.[105] The country suffers from epidemic outbreaks of diseases including yellow fever, cholera, lassa fever and meningitis.[106][107]  COMPAQ Presario V6405CA laptop keyboard

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the population is 1.6%, higher than the world average of 1% but lower than the average of 6.1% in Sub-Saharan Africa.[108]

During the Civil War (1991–2002) many soldiers took part in atrocities and many children were forced to fight. HP Pavilion G7-1077NR laptop keyboard

This left them traumatised with an estimated 400,000 people (by 2009) being mentally ill. Also thousands of former child soldiers have fallen into substance abuse as they try to blunt their memories. Neurological health care is still not a service offered in the country five years after the Civil War ended in 2002.[109] Mental healthcare in the country is almost non-existing with many patients trying to cure themselves with the help of traditional healers.[110] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The Military of Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), are the unified armed forces of Sierra Leone responsible for the territorial security of Sierra Leone's border and defending the national interests of Sierra Leone within the framework of its international obligations.  FUJITSU Lifebook S7111 laptop keyboard

The armed forces were formed after independence in 1961, on the basis of elements of the former British Royal West African Frontier Force present in the country. The Sierra Leone Armed Forces currently consists of around 15,500 personnel, comprising the largest Sierra Leone Army,[111] the Sierra Leone Navy and the Sierra Leone Air Wing.[112] SONY VAIO VGN-CR410E laptop keyboard

 The president of Sierra Leone is the Commander in Chief of the military, with the Minister of Defence responsible for defence policy and the formulation of the armed forces. The current Sierra Leone Defence Minister is retired Major Alfred Paolo Conteh. SONY VAIO VGN-CR410E laptop keyboard

 The Military of Sierra Leone also has a Chief of the Defence Staff who is a uniformed military official responsible for the administration and the operational control of the Sierra Leone military.[113]Brigadier General Alfred Nelson-Williams who was appointed by president Koroma succeeded the retired Major General Edward Sam M’boma on 12 September 2008 as the Chief of Defence Staff of the Military.[114] ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard

Before Sierra Leone gained independence in 1961 the military was known as the Royal Sierra Leone Military Force. The military seized control in 1968, bringing the National Reformation Council into power. On 19 April 1971, HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

when Sierra Leone became a republic, the Royal Sierra Leone Military Forces were renamed the Republic of Sierra Leone Military Force (RSLMF).[115]  SONY KFRSBA019A Laptop Keyboard

The RSLMF remained a single service organisation until 1979, when the Sierra Leone Navy was established. It then remained largely unchanged for 16 years until in 1995 when Defence Headquarters was established and the Sierra Leone Air Wing formed. This gave the need for the RSLMF to be renamed the Armed Forces of the Republic of Sierra Leone (AFRSL). FUJITSU CP270342-02 Laptop Keyboard

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