Sierra Leone

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Posted by motoman 03/02/2009 @ 08:41

Tags : sierra leone, africa, world

News headlines
Sierra Leone: UN Chief Aids Children's Football - AllAfrica.com
Freetown — Weeks after the final whistle had blown on a United Nations fundraising football match, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday scored the winning goal by passing a cheque for $11000 to children who have suffered the ravages of war in Sierra...
AfDB and Sierra Leone Sign US$ 15 Million Grant Agreement for ... - AllAfrica.com
Dakar, Senegal — The agreement was signed on Thursday in Dakar, Senegal, by Vice President Zeinab El-Bakri for the AfDB Group and Sierra Leone's Finance and Economic Development Minster, Samura Kamara, on the sidelines of the institution's Annual...
Sierra Leone: Koindu; Helping to Revamp Economy - AllAfrica.com
Freetown — The rebel incursion into Sierra Leone from our sister country Liberia caused adverse effect on Sierra Leone's potential both at the economic, political, social and other levels. The war largely accounted for the predicament that befell us in...
Sierra Leone: Ajina Compares Squad to Chelsea - AllAfrica.com
The former Leone Stars midfielder stated that being the league leaders, every team would want to beat them but that they are ready to take on any opponent. On the other end, Republicans' coach, Hassan Turay said they lost the match due to some sloppy...
Sierra Leone: Nassit Defends Purchase of 'Old' Ferries - AllAfrica.com
... of the largest medium-sized sea vessel building and trading corporations in Europe, was selected to assist NASSIT in identifying, assessing and facilitating the purchase of the vessels based on their previous experiences in Sierra Leone," he said....
Sierra Leone: City Council Admits Mistakes - AllAfrica.com
Freetown — Freetown City Council (FCC) has admitted making mistakes in the collection of local tax revenue within the municipality for the past tax year. Speaking during a one-day local tax sensitization workshop at the council's basement hall...
Sierra Leone: Mark of the Devil - Kono in Ruins - AllAfrica.com
Freetown — The district of Kono is the unmasked replica of the country Sierra Leone. With all its endowment, it now stands in ruins, with no hope of rising again. This is true being that history has revealed that once prominent cities like Koidu,...
Sierra Leone: FC Johansen to Face Congo Contractors - AllAfrica.com
Freetown — As part of their preparation for the forthcoming international competitions in Sweden and Norway, FC Johansen would take on Congo Contractors tomorrow at the National Stadium main bowl. This would mark their second friendly match in two...
Sierra Leone: Pujehun Set to Welcome APC's Moijue Kaikai - AllAfrica.com
Freetown — Residents of Pujehun in the southern province, including traditional leaders, youths and the business community have finalized preparations to give a rousing welcome to their own son, Moijue Kaikai who was recently appointed deputy minister...
Sierra Leone: Salyan On Youth Leadership Forum - AllAfrica.com
Freetown — National coordinator for Salone youth and adolescent network on population and development (SaLYAN) said his organization would be organizing a youth leadership express forum to showcase the talents of young people. Shekou Ansumana Nuni told...

Sierra Leone

Flag of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea in the northeast, Liberia in the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean in the southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi) and has a population estimated at 6,296,803 The country has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests. Freetown is 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 university in West Africa, established in 1827.

Early inhabitants of Sierra Leone included the Sherbro, Temne and Limba, and Tyra peoples, and later the Mende, who knew the country as Romarong, and the Kono who settled in the East of the country. In 1462, it was visited by the Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintra, who gave it its name Serra de Leão, meaning 'Lion Mountains'. Sierra Leone became an important centre of the transatlantic trade in human beings, until 1792 when Freetown was founded by the Sierra Leone Company as a home for formerly enslaved African Americans. 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, which began in 1991 and was resolved in 2000 after the United Nations led 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 disarmed and the country has reestablished a functioning democracy. The Special Court for Sierra Leone was set up in 2002 to deal with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed since 1996.

Sierra Leone is the lowest ranked country on the Human Development Index and seventh lowest on the Human Poverty Index, suffering from endemic corruption and suppression of the press.

Archaeological finds show that Sierra Leone has been inhabited continuously for at least 2,500 years, populated by successive movements from other parts of Africa. The use of iron was introduced to Sierra Leone by the 9th century, and by AD 1000 agriculture was being practiced by coastal tribes. Sierra Leone's dense tropical rainforest largely protected it from the influence of any precolonial African empires and from further Islamic colonization, which were unable to penetrate through it until the 18th century.

European contacts with Sierra Leone were among the first in West Africa. In 1462, Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintra mapped the hills surrounding what is now Freetown Harbour, naming shaped formation Serra de Leão (Portuguese for Lion Mountains). The Italian rendering of this geographic formation is Sierra Leone, which became the country's name. Soon after Portuguese traders arrived at the harbour and by 1495 a fort that acted as a trading post had been built. The Portuguese were joined by the Dutch and French; all of them using Sierra Leone as a trading point for slaves. In 1562 the English joined the trade in human beings when Sir John Hawkins enslaved 300 people 'by the sword and partly by other means'.

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 Company was established to relocate another group of formerly enslaved Africans, this time nearly 1,200 Black Nova Scotians, most of whom had escaped enslavement 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 Freetown in 1792 led by Peters. It was joined by other groups of freed Africans and became the first African-American haven for formerly enslaved Africans.

Though the English abolitionist Granville Sharp originally 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 Clearances benefited 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 formerly enslaved Africans 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 franca of the colony was Krio, a creole language rooted in 18th century African American English, which quickly spread across the region as a common language of trade and Christian mission. 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 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.

Disputing 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. Bai Bureh was finally captured on November 11, 1898 and sent into exile in 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.

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 99 years.

The 1924 Sierra Leone constitution was replaced in November 1951 by a new one which united the formerly separate Colonial and Protectorate legislatures and — most importantly — provided a framework for decolonization. In 1953, an African cabinet was installed (although the expatriate ministers it replaced remained in the legislature as advisers); and Dr. (later Sir) Milton Margai, an ethnic Mende and the leading politician from the Protectorate, was named Chief minister. His title was changed to Prime Minister in 1956. After the completion of constitutional talks in London in 1960, independence came on 27 April 1961, the anniversary of the start of the Hut Tax War of 1898. Sierra Leone opted for a parliamentary system within the Commonwealth of Nations.

Milton Margai's political party, the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), won by large margins in the nation's first general election under universal adult suffrage in May 1962. Upon his death in 1964, his brother, Sir Albert Margai, succeeded him as prime minister. Sir Albert was highly criticized during his three-year rule as prime minister. He was accused of corruption and of favouritism toward his own Mende ethnic group. He also tried to establish a one-party state but met fierce resistance from the opposition All People's Congress (APC) and ultimately abandoned the idea. During Albert Margai's administration, The Mende increased their influence both in the civil service and the army. Most of the top military and government positions were held by Mendes, and Mende country (the South-Eastern part of Sierra Leone) received preferential treatment.

In closely contested general elections in March 1967, Sierra Leone Governor General Henry Josiah Lightfoot Boston declared the new prime minister to be Siaka Stevens, candidate of the All People's Congress (APC) and Mayor of 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 arrest and martial law was 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-Smith as 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. 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, Stevens declared a state of emergency after provincial disturbances, and in March 1971 the government survived an unsuccessful military coup. On April 19, 1971, parliament declared Sierra Leone a Republic. Siaka Stevens' title was changed from prime minister to president. Guinean troops requested by Stevens to support his government were in the country from 1971 to 1973. The opposition SLPP boycotted the 1973 general election, alleging widespread intimidation and proceedural obstruction. An alleged plot to overthrow president Stevens failed in 1974 and its leaders were executed. In March 1976 he was elected without opposition for a second five-year term as president. In early 1977 a major anti-government demonstration by students occurred but was put down. 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.

Under the APC regimes headed by Stevens, the Limba, Stevens' own ethnic group, enjoyed strong influence in the government and civil service. During the 1970s, another major ethnic group, the Temne joined the Mende in opposition to the APC government. But after Stevens appointed a Temne, Sorie Ibrahim Koroma as vice-president in 1978, the Temne appeared to have emerged as the second most influential group in the government, after the Limba. Stevens is generally criticised for dictatorial methods and government corruption, but, on a positive note, he reduced the ethnic polarisation in government by incorporating members of various groups into his all-dominating APC.

Siaka Stevens retired in November, 1985 after 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 inauguration was 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 hanging in 1989 along with 5 others.

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, becoming 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 diamond resources. Besides the internal ripeness, the brutal civil war going on in neighboring Liberia played an undeniable role in 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 District in eastern Sierra Leone from Liberia on 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 soldiers was also an early feature of the rebel strategy.

On April 29, 1992, a group of six young soldiers in the Sierra Leonean army, apparently frustrated by the government's failure to deal with the rebels, launched a military coup which sent president Momoh into exile in 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 Mondeh and were led by 25-year-old captain Valentine Strasser. The soldiers established the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) with Yahya Kanu as its chairman. But Kanu was assassinated by 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 celebrate the NPRC's takeover from the 23-year dictatorial APC regime, which they perceived as corrupt. The NPRC junta immediately suspended the 1991 Constitution, declared a state of emergency, limited freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and 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 deputy charman 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-Smart of 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 a majority of the seats in Parliament.

In 1996, Major General Johnny Paul Koroma was 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 ECOMOG forces, 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. Twenty-four 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 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 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 hostage as the peace accord effectively collapsed. The hostage crisis 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 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. 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 Koroma was elected president.

The Sierra Leone is also known for its blood diamonds.

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 Guinea to the north and northeast, Liberia to the south and southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. 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. The country has four distinct geographical regions. In eastern Sierra Leone is an interior region of large plateaus interspersed with high mountains, where Mount Bintumani reaches 1,948 meters (6,390 ft), the highest point in the country. The upper part of the drainage basin of the Moa River is located in the south of the region. In the central part of the country is a region of lowland plains, containing forests, bush and farmland, that occupies 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 tourist potential. This is followed by low-lying mangrove swamps, rain-forested plains and farmland. The national capital Freetown sits 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.

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 (80 °F) to 36 °C (90 °F) during the year.

Logging, mining, slash and burn, and deforestation for 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 species of higher plants, 147 mammals, 626 birds, 67 reptiles, 35 amphibians, and 99 fish species.

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 southeastern Sierra Leone, the most important surviving fragment of rain forest in Sierra Leone.

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 modeled on the following structure of government: the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary.

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.

The president is the head of state, the head of government and the commander-in-chief of 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 vote to 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. 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 party and must not have any past felony 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 incumbent Vice president, Solomon Berewa of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP).

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. Sierra Leone's current vice president is Samuel Sam-Sumana, sworn in on September 17, 2007.

The Parliament of Sierra Leone is 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.

The current parliament in the August 2007 Parliamentary elections is made up of three political parties with the following representations; the All People's Congress (APC) 59 seats, the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) 43 seats, and the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) 10 seats. 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.

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 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. The Judiciary have jurisdiction in all civil and criminal matters throughout the country. The current Sierra Leone's Chief Justice is 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.

The Sierra Leone Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, currently led by Zainab Hawa Bangura 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. 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. Sierra Leone, along with Liberia and Guinea form the Mano River Union (MRU) primarily designed to implement development projects and promote regional economic integration between the three countries. Sierra Leone is also a member of the United Nations and 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 Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the US military (as covered under Article 98).

The Republic of Sierra Leone is composed of three provinces: the Northern Province, Southern province and the Eastern province and 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.

Sierra Leone is slowly emerging from a protracted civil war and is showing signs of a successful transition. Investor and consumer confidence continue 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.

Rich in 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 growth rate 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.

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. 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 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. 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 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 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 bauxite mining 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 crop production 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.

Sierra Leone’s currency is the Leone. The central bank of the country is the Bank of Sierra Leone which is located in the capital, Freetown.

Sierra Leone operates a floating exchange rate system, and foreign currencies can be exchanged at any of the commercial banks, recognised foreign exchange bureaux and most hotels.

Credit card use is limited in Sierra Leone, though they may be used at some hotels and restaurants. Sierra Leone does not have internationally linked automated teller machines.

The 2008 CIA estimate of Sierra Leone's population is 6,294,774. 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 city with 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 spoken at schools, government administration and by the media, Krio (language derived from English and several African languages and native to the Sierra Leone Krio people) is the most widely spoken language in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone. The Krio language is spoken by 98% of the country's population and unites all the different ethnic groups, especially in their trade and interaction with each other.

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 refugees 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.

The life expectancy of Sierra Leone is 41 years.

The population of Sierra Leone comprises 16 ethnic groups, each with its own language and costume. The two largest are the Mende and Temne, each comprises 30% of the population (about 1,888,432 members each). The Mende predominate in the South-Eastern Provinces; the Temne likewise predominate in the Northern Province. Sierra Leone's national politics centers on the competition between the north, dominated by the Temne and their Neighbourhood and close ally the Limba who make make up 9% of the country's total population. cocopopulation (about 570,529 members). of the coand the south-east dominated by the Mende. The Mende overwhelmingly support the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), while the Temne overwhelmingly support the other major political party, the All People's Congress (APC). This has led to ethnic tensions between the two largest ethnic groups.

The fourth largest are the Kono, they make up 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 Indians slaves from the West Indies and freed African American slaves from the United States which 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 Freetown and its surrounding Western Area. There's also the Fula (about 260,000 members), Kuranko (about 220,000 members), Loko (about 171,000 members) in the north, with the Susu (about 165,000 members) and Yalunka (about 75,000 members) in the far north around the border with Guinea. The Kissi (about 160,000 members ) are further inland in the Eastern Province. On the coast in the south are the Sherbro (201,000 members ) who live primarily in Bonthe District, followed by the much smaller group of Vai (about 25,000 members).. The Sierra Leonean-Lebanese (descendants of Lebanese settlers who settled in Sierra Leone during the late 19th century) live mostly in the Western Area and in the diamond-rich Kono and Kenema District in the east.

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 infrastructure has declined sharply over the last 30 years.

Islam comprises 60% of Sierra Leone's population, Christianity at 30%, and African indigenous religion at 10%.

The Sierra Leone constitution provides freedom of religion and 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 conflicts.

Media in Sierra Leone began with the introduction of the first printing press in Africa at 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 radio broadcaster 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 literacy in the country. In 2007 there were 15 daily newspapers in the country, as well as those published weekly. 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.

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 Area having the highest levels and Kailahun the lowest. Stations mainly consist of local commercial stations with a limited broadcast range, combined with a few stations with national coverage. The United Nations Mission 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 SLBS that transmits on FM and short-wave. FM relays of BBC World Service, Radio France Internationale and Voice of America are also broadcast.

Outside the capital Freetown television is not watched by a great many people. There are two national, free terrestrial television stations in Sierra Leone, one run by the government SLBS 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. Internet access 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 cafes and 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. Under legislation enacted in 1980, all newspapers must register with the Ministry of Information and pay sizable registration fees. The Criminal Libel Law, including Seditious Libel Law of 1965, is used to control what is published in the media. In 2006, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah committed 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.

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, but a shortage of schools and teachers has made implementation impossible. The Sierra Leone Civil War resulted 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. 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.

The country has two universities, the University of Sierra Leone, founded as Fourah Bay College in 1827 (the oldest university in West Africa), and Njala University, primarily located in Bo District, which was established as the Njala Agricultural Experimental Station in 1910 and became a university in 2005. 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 highways and several airports.

There are ten regional airports in Sierra Leone, and one international airport. The Lungi International Airport located in the coastal town 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, ferry or a helicopter. Helicopters are also available from the airport to other major cities in the country. The airport has paved runways longer 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.

This country appears on the E.U. list of prohibited countries with regard to the certification of airlines. This means that no airline which is Sierra Leone registered may operate services of any kind within the European Union community. This is due to substandard safety standards.

Sierra Leone has the third largest natural harbor in 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 Island and Pepel.

There are 11,700 kilometers of highways in Sierra Leone, of which 936 km are paved. Sierra Leone highways are linked to Conakry, Guinea, and Monrovia, Liberia.

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 Cup but 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.

The Sierra Leone National Premier League is the top football league, controlled by the Sierra Leone Football Association. The two biggest and most successful football clubs are East End Lions and Mighty Blackpool, but Kallon F.C. has enjoyed contemporary success. Kallon F.C. won the Premier League and the Sierra Leonean FA Cup in 2006, and eliminated 2006 Nigerian Premier League Champions Ocean Boys FC in the 2007 CAF Champions League first qualifying round, but later lost to ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast in 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 Championship in Finland.

The Sierra Leone cricket team represents Sierra Leone in international cricket competitions, and is among the best in West Africa. It became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council in 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-up to Mozambique, and just missed a promotion to Division Two.

The Sierra Leone national basketball team represents Sierra Leone in international men's basketball competitions and is controlled by the Sierra Leone Basketball Federation. The squad is mostly home-based, with a few foreign players.

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List of birds of Sierra Leone

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Sierra Leone. The avifauna of Sierra Leone includes a total of 669 species, of which 3 are rare or accidental.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families, and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of Clements's 5th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflects this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Accidental species are included in the total species counts for Sierra Leone.

The following tags have been used to highlight certain relevant categories. It must be noted that not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring, native species.

Non-passerines: Grebes . Shearwaters and Petrels . Storm-Petrels . Pelicans . Boobies and Gannets . Cormorants . Darters . Bitterns, Herons and Egrets . Hammerkop . Storks . Ibises and Spoonbills . Flamingos . Ducks, Geese and Swans . Osprey . Hawks, Kites and Eagles . Caracaras and Falcons . Pheasants and Partridges . Guineafowl . Buttonquails . Cranes . Rails, Crakes, Gallinules, and Coots . Sungrebe and Finfoots . Bustards . Jacanas . Painted snipe . Oystercatchers . Avocets and Stilts . Thick-knees . Pratincoles and Coursers . Plovers and Lapwings . Sandpipers and allies . Skuas and Jaegers . Gulls . Terns . Skimmers . Sandgrouse . Pigeons and Doves . Parrots, Macaws and allies . Turacos . Cuckoos and Anis . Barn owls . Typical owls . Nightjars . Swifts . Trogons and Quetzals . Kingfishers . Bee-eaters . Typical Rollers . Hoopoes . Woodhoopoes . Hornbills . Barbets . Honeyguides . Woodpeckers and allies .

Passerines: Broadbills . Pittas . Larks . Swallows and Martins . Wagtails and Pipits . Cuckoo-shrikes . Bulbuls . Thrushes and allies . Cisticolas and allies . Old World warblers . Old World flycatchers . Wattle-eyes . Monarch flycatchers . Rockfowl . Babblers . Chickadees and Titmice . Treecreepers . Penduline tits . Sunbirds and Spiderhunters . White-eyes . Old World Orioles . Shrikes . Bushshrikes and allies . Helmetshrikes . Drongos . Crows, Jays, Ravens and Magpies . Starlings . Weavers and allies . Waxbills and allies . Indigobirds . Weavers and allies . Buntings, Sparrows, Seedeaters and allies . Siskins, Crossbills and allies . Sparrows .

Grebes are small to medium-large sized freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 20 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized 'true petrels', characterised by united nostrils with a medium septum, and a long outer functional primary. There are 75 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The storm-petrels are relatives of the petrels, and are the smallest of sea-birds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 21 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes. There are 8 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups comprise medium-to-large coastal sea-birds that plunge-dive for fish. There are 9 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium-to-large coastal, fish-eating sea-birds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black and white, and a few being colourful. There are 38 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

Darters are frequently referred to as "snake-birds" because of their long thin neck, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged. The males have black and dark brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have a much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet, and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving. There are 4 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large sized wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Unlike other long-necked birds suck as storks, ibises and spoonbills, members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted. There are 61 species worldwide and 16 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The Hammerkop is a medium-sized bird with a long shaggy crest. The shape of its head with a curved bill and crest at the back is reminiscent of a hammer, hence its name. Its plumage is a drab brown all over.

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute; bill-clattering is an important mode of stork communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. There are 19 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. There are 36 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3 to 5 feet high, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. They are more numerous in the latter. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly-shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume, and are uniquely used upside-down. There are 6 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These are birds that are modified for an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating. There are 131 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the Osprey. The Osprey is a medium large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey and include hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight. There are 233 species worldwide and 40 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their feet. There are 62 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they may vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings. There are 156 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Guineafowl are a group of African, seed-eating, ground-nesting birds that resemble partridges, but with featherless heads and spangled grey plumage. There are 6 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The buttonquails are small, drab, running birds which resemble the true quails. The female is the brighter of the sexes, and initiates courtship. The male incubates the eggs and tends the young. There are 16 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There are 15 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs, and have long toes which are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and be weak fliers. There are 143 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The Heliornithidae are small family of tropical birds with webbed lobes on their feet similar to those of grebes and coots. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

Bustards are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with "fingered" wingtips, and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays. There are 26 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found worldwide in the Tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. There 8 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Painted snipe are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly coloured. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs. There are 11 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and the stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are 9 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

The thick-knees are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats. There are 9 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long pointed bills which curve downwards. There are 17 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water, although there are some exceptions. There are 66 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The Scolopacidae are a large diverse family of small to medium sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 89 species worldwide and 26 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. There are 7 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Laridae is a family of medium to large birds seabirds and includes gulls and kittiwakes. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 55 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Terns are a group of generally general medium to large sea-birds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species now known to live in excess of 25 to 30 years. There are 44 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Skimmers are a small family of tropical tern-like birds. They have an elongated lower mandible which they use to feed by flying low over the water surface and skimming the water for small fish. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

Sandgrouse have small, pigeon like heads and necks, but sturdy compact bodies. They have long pointed wings and sometimes tails and a fast direct flight. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk. Their legs are feathered down to the toes. There are 16 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 308 species worldwide and 13 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak shape. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and the have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two back. There are 335 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The turacos, plantain eaters and go-away birds make up the bird family Musophagidae. They are medium-sized arboreal birds. The turacos and plantain eaters are brightly coloured birds, usually blue, green or purple. The go-away birds are mostly grey and white. There are 23 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. Unlike the cuckoo species of the Old World, North American cuckoos are not brood parasites. There are 138 species worldwide and 18 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Barn owls are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 195 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves. There are 86 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Swifts are small aerial birds, spending the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. There are 98 species worldwide and 13 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The family Trogonidae includes trogons and quetzals. Found in tropical woodlands worldwide, they feed on insects and fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. Trogons have soft, often colourful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage. There are 33 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. There are 93 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colorful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar. There are 26 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not. There are 12 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Hoopoes have black, white and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

The woodhoopoes are related to the kingfishers, rollers and hoopoe. They most resemble the last species with their long curved bills, used for probing for insects, and short rounded wings. However, they differ in that they have metallic plumage, often blue, green or purple, and lack an erectile crest. There are 8 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Hornbills are a group of birds whose bill is shaped like a cow's horn, but without a twist, sometimes with a casque on the upper mandible. Frequently, the bill is brightly coloured. There are 57 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The barbets are plump birds, with short necks and large heads. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills. Most species are brightly coloured. There are 84 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Honeyguides are among the few birds that feed on wax. They are named for the behaviour of the Greater Honeyguide which leads large animals to bees' nests and then feeds on the wax once the animal has broken the nest open to get at the honey. There are 17 species worldwide and 8 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Woodpeckers are small to medium sized birds with chisel like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward, and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. There are 218 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The broadbills are small, brightly coloured birds that feed on fruit and also take insects in flycatcher fashion, snapping their broad bills. Their habitat is canopies of wet forests. There are 15 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Pittas are medium-sized by passerine standards, and stocky, with fairly long, strong legs, short tails and stout bills. Many, but not all, are brightly coloured. They are spend the majority of their time on wet forest floors, eating snails, insects and similar invertebrate prey which they find there. There are 32 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There are 91 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The Hirundinidae family is a group of passerines characterized by their adaptation to aerial feeding. Their adaptations include a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and short bills with wide gape. The feet are designed for perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 75 species worldwide and 16 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The Motacillidae are a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There are 54 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The cuckoo-shrikes are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although some species are brightly coloured. There are 82 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Bulbuls are medium-sized songbirds. Some are colourful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throat or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive brown to black plumage. Some species have distinct crests. There are 130 species worldwide and 24 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 335 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The Cisticolidae are warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub. There are 111 species worldwide and 21 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. The Sylviidae mainly occur as breeding species, as the common name implies, in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent Africa. Most are of generally undistinguished appearance, but many have distinctive songs. There are 291 species worldwide and 24 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is very varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls. There 274 species worldwide and 30 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The wattle-eyes or puffback flycatchers are small stout passerine birds of the African tropics. They get their name from the brightly coloured fleshy eye decorations found in most species in this group. There are 31 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines, which hunt by flycatching. There are 99 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The rockfowl are lanky birds with crow-like bills, long neck, tail and legs, and strong feet adapted to terrestrial feeding. They are similar in size and structure to the completely unrelated roadrunners, but they hop rather than walk. They also have brightly coloured unfeathered heads. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

The babblers or timaliids are somewhat diverse in size and coloration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage. There are 270 species worldwide and 8 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects. There are species 59 worldwide and 2 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees. There are 6 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

The penduline tits are a group of small passerine birds, related to the true tits. They are insectivores. There are 13 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

The sunbirds and spiderhunters are very small passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed. There are 131 species worldwide and 21 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The white-eyes are small and are mostly of undistinguished appearance, the plumage above being generally either some dull color like greenish olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their name suggests many species have a white ring around the eyes. There are 96 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

The Old World Orioles are colourful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles. There are 29 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There are 31 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Bushshrikes are similar in habits to shrikes, hunting insects and other small prey from a perch on a bush. Although similar in build to the shrikes, these tend to be either colourful species or largely black; some species are quite secretive. There are 46 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The helmetshrikes are similar in build to the shrikes, but tend to be colourful species with distinctive crests or other head ornaments, such as wattles, from which they get their name. There are 12 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The drongos are mostly are black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright whilst perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground. There are 24 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The Corvidae family includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers, and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size for the bird order Passeriformes. Some of the larger species show high levels of learning behavior. There are 120 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There are 125 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The weavers are small passerine birds related to the finches. They are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills. The males of many species are brightly coloured, usually in red or yellow and black, some species show variation in colour only in the breeding season. There are 116 species worldwide and 26 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed-eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have a wide variation in plumage colours and pattern. There are 141 species worldwide and 27 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The indigobirds are finch-like species which usually have black or indigo predominating in their plumage. All are brood parasites, which lay their eggs in the nests of estrildid finch species. There are 20 species worldwide and 8 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

The weavers are small passerine birds related to the finches. They are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills. The males of many species are brightly coloured, usually in red or yellow and black, some species show variation in colour only in the breeding season. There are 116 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Sierra Leone.

The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with a distinctively shaped bill. In Europe, most species are named as buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as Sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are species 275 worldwide and 4 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have 12 tail feathers and 9 primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 137 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed-eaters, and they also consume small insects. There are 35 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Sierra Leone.

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History of Sierra Leone

Map of Sierra Leone from 1732

Archaeological finds show that Sierra Leone has been inhabited continuously for at least 2,500 years, populated by successive movements from other parts of Africa. The use of iron was introduced to Sierra Leone by the 9th century, and by AD 1000 agriculture was being practiced by coastal tribes. Sierra Leone's dense tropical rainforest partly isolated it from other precolonial African cultures and from the spread of Islam.

European contacts with Sierra Leone were among the first in West Africa. In 1462 Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintra mapped the hills surrounding what is now Freetown Harbour, naming the oddly shaped formation Serra Lyoa (Lion Mountains).

At this time the country was inhabited by numerous politically independent native groups. Several different languages were spoken, but there was similarity of religion. In the coastal rainforest belt there were Bulom speakers between the Sherbro and Freetown estuaries, Loko North of the Freetown estuary to the Little Scarcies, Temne at the mouth of the Scarcies and also inland, and Limba farther up the Scarcies.

In the hilly savannah North of all of these were Susu and Fula. The Susu traded regularly with the coastal peoples along river valley routes, bringing salt, clothes woven by the Fula, good quality iron work, and some gold.

Portuguese ships began visiting regularly in the late 1400s, and for a while they maintained a fort on the North shore of the Freetown estuary. The estuary is one of the few good harbours on West Africa's surf-pounded "Windward Shore" (Liberia to Senegal), and also has a good watering spot; it soon became a favourite destination of European mariners. Some of the Portuguese stayed permanently, trading and intermarrying with the local people.

If the Africans were not much interested in acquiring slaves, the Portuguese — and the Dutch, French, and English who arrived later — certainly were. Initially their method was to cruise the coast, conducting quick kidnapping raids when opportunities presented themselves. Soon, however, they found local actors willing to partner with them in these vicious but profitable affairs: some chiefs were willing to part with a few of the less desirable members of their tribes for a price; others went into the war business — a bevy of battle captives could be sold for a fortune in European rum, cloth, beads, copper, or muskets.

For example in the late 1700s, the mulatto chief William Cleveland had a large "slave town" on the mainland opposite the Banana Islands, whose inhabitants "were employed in cultivating extensive rice fields, described as being some of the largest in Africa at the time ..." The existence of an indigenous slave town was recorded by an English traveler in 1823. Known in the Fula language as a rounde, it was connected with the Sulima Susu's capital city, Falaba; its inhabitants worked at farming.

There are possible additional reasons for the adoption of slavery by the locals to meet their labour requirements: 1) The Europeans provided an example for imitation. 2) Once slaving in any form is taken up it may smash a moral barrier to exploitation, and make its adoption in other forms seem a relatively minor matter. 3) Export slaving entailed the construction of a coercive apparatus which could have been subsequently turned to other ends, such as policing a captive labour force. 4) The sale of local produce, eg. palm kernels, to Europeans opened up a new sphere of economic activity; in particular it crated an increased demand for agricultural labour; slavery was a way of mobilising an agricultural work force.

A freeman heavily in debt, and facing the threat of the punishment of being sold, would approach a wealthier man or chief with a plea to pay of his debts ‘while I sit on your lap’. Or he could give a son or some other dependent of his ‘to be for you’, the wealthy man or chief. This in effect meant that the person so pawned was automatically reduced to a position of dependence, and if he was never redeemed, he or his children eventually became part of the master's extended family. By this time, the children were practically indistinguishable from the real children of the master, since they grew up regarding one another as brothers.

We hope that this discussion of domestic slavery does not overshadow the fact that export slavery remained a major business in Sierra Leone from the late 1400s to the mid 1800s. According to Fyfe, "it was estimated in 1789 that 74,000 slaves were exported annually from West Africa, about 38,000 by British firms." In 1788 a European apologist for the slave trade estimated the annual total exported from between the Rio Nunez (110 km North of Sierra Leone) and the Sherbro as 3,000. The transatlantic slave trade was banned by the British in 1807, but illegal slave trading continued for several decades after that.

The rest of their arms consisted of large shields made of reeds, long enough to give complete cover to the user, two knives, one of which was tied to the left arm, and two quivers for their arrows. Their clothes consisted of loose cotton shirts with wide necks and ample sleeves reaching down to their knees to become tights. One striking feature of their appearance was the abundance of feathers stuck in their shirts and their red caps.

By 1545 they had reached Cape Mount, not far from the South-Eastern corner of present-day Sierra Leone. Their conquest of Sierra Leone occupied the ensuing 15 to 20 years, and resulted in the subjugation of all or nearly all of the indigenous coastal peoples — who were known collectively as the Sapes — as far North as the Scarcies. The present ethnogeography of Sierra Leone is largely a reflection of this momentous two decades. The degree to which the Mane supplanted the original inhabitants varied from place to place. Thus in the present-day Temne we have a people who partly withstood the Mane onslaught: they kept their language, but became ruled by a line of Mane kings. The present-day Loko and Mende are the result of a more complete submersion of the original culture: their languages are similar, and both essentially Mande. In their oral tradition the Mende still describe themselves as being a mixture of two peoples: they say that their original members were hunters and fishers who populated the area sparsely in small peaceful settlements; they say that their leaders came later, in a recent historical period, bringing with them the arts of war, and also building larger, more permanent villages. This history receives support from the facts that their population consists of two different racial types, and their language and culture show signs of a layering of two different forms: they have both matrilineal and patrilineal inheritance, for instance.

No one who has not seen these fences can realize the immense strength of them. The outer fence at Hahu I measured in several places, and found it to be from 2 to 3 feet thick, and most of the logs, or rather trees, of which it was formed, had taken root and were throwing out leaves and shoots.

After the invasions, the Mane sub-chiefs among whom the country had been divided began fighting among themselves. This pattern of activity became permanent: even after the Mane had blended with the indigenous population — a process which was completed in the early 1600s — the various kingdoms in Sierra Leone remained in a fairly continual state of flux and conflict. Rodney believes that a desire to take prisoners to sell as slaves to the Europeans was a major motivation to this fighting, and may even have been a driving force behind the original Mane invasions. Little says that the principal objective in the local wars, at least among the Mende, was plunder, not the acquisition of territory. Abraham cautions that slave trading should not be exaggerated as a cause: the Africans were perfectly capable of finding reasons of their own to fight: territorial and political ambitions were present. It is well to remember that we are speaking of a period of some 350 years, and the motivations may have changed over time.

The wars themselves were not exceptionally deadly. Set-piece battles were rare, and the fortified towns so strong that their capture was seldom attempted. Often the fighting consisted of small ambushes.

In these years the political system was that each large village along with its satellite villages and settlements would be headed by a chief. The chief would have a private army of warriors. Sometimes several chiefs would group themselves into a confederacy, acknowledging one of themselves as king (or high chief). Each paid the king fealty. If one were attacked, the king would come to his aid. The king could adjudicate local disputes.

Despite their many political divisions, the people of the country were united by cultural similarity. One component of this was the Poro, an organisation common to many different kingdoms and even ethnolinguistic groups. The Mende claim to be its originators, and there is nothing to contradict this. Possibly they imported it. The Temne claim to have imported it from the Sherbro or Bulom. The Dutch geographer Olfert Dapper knew of it in the 1600s. It is often described as a "secret society", and this is partly true: its rites are closed to non-members, and what happens in the "Poro bush" is never disclosed. However, its membership is very broad: among the Mende, almost all men, and some women, are initiates. In recent years it has not (as far as we know) had a central organisation: autonomous chapters exist for each chiefdom or village. However, it is said that in pre-Protectorate days there was a "Grand Poro" with cross-chiefdom powers of making war and peace. It is widely agreed that it has a restraining influence on the powers of the chiefs. Headed by a fearsome principal spirit, the Gbeni, it plays a major role in the rite of passage of males from puberety to manhood. It imparts some education. In some areas, it had supervisory powers over trade, and the banking system, which used iron bars as a medium of exchange. It is not the only important society in Sierra Leone: the Sande is a female-only analogue of it; there is also the Humoi which regulates sex, and the Njayei and the Wunde. The Kpa is a healing arts collegium.

The impact of the Mane invasions on the Sapes was obviously considerable, in that they lost their political autonomy. There were other effects as well: Their trade with the interior was interrupted. Thousands were sold as slaves to the Europeans. In industry, a flourishing tradition in fine ivory carving was ended; however, improved ironworking techniques were introduced.

In the 1600s Portuguese imperialism waned and, in Sierra Leone, the most significant European group became the British. By, at latest, 1628, they had a "factory" (their name for a trading post) in the vicinity of Sherbro Island, which is about 50 km South East down the coast from present-day Freetown. One commodity they got was camwood, a hard timber, from which also could be obtained a red dye. It was at that time still easily accessible from the coast. Also, elephants still lived on Sherbro Island. The Portuguese missionary, Barrierra, left Sierra Leone in 1610. Jesuits, and later in the century, Capuchins, continued the mission. By 1700 it had closed, although priests occasionally still visited.

A company called the Royal Adventurers of England Trading into Africa received a charter from Charles II of England in 1663 and subsequently built a fort in the Sherbro and on Tasso Island in the Freetown estuary. They were plundered by the Dutch in 1664, the French in 1704, and pirates in 1719 and 1720. After the Dutch raid, the Tasso Island fort was moved to nearby Bunce Island which was more defensible.

The Europeans made payments, called Cole, for rent, tribute, and trading rights, to the king of an area. At this time the local military advantage was still on the side of the Africans, and there is a report, for instance, from 1714, of a king seizing Company goods in retaliation for a breach of protocol. Local Afro-Portuguese often acted as middlemen, the Europeans advancing them goods and they trading them to the local people, most often for ivory. In 1728 an overly aggressive Company governor united the Africans and Afro-Portuguese in hostility to him; they burnt down the Bunce Island fort and it was not rebuilt until about 1750. The French wrecked it again in 1779.

The Temne had thus expanded in a wedge toward the sea at Freetown, and now separated the Bulom to the North from the Mani and other Mande speakers to the South and East.

In this period there are several reports of women occupying high positions. The king of the South shore used to leave one of his wives to rule when he was absent, and in the Sherbro there were woman chiefs. In the early 1700s a Bulom named Seniora Maria had her own town near Cape Sierra Leone.

During the 1600s, Muslim Fula from the Upper Niger and Senegal rivers moved into an area called Futa Jalon in the mountainous region North of present-day Sierra Leone. They were to have an important impact on the peoples of Sierra Leone because they increased trade and also produced secondary population movements into Sierra Leone. The Muslim Fula at first cohabited peaceably with the Sussa, Yalunka, and non-Muslim Fula already at Futa Jalon, but around 1725 embarked on a war of domination over them. As a result many Susu and Yalunka migrated.

Susu — some already converted to Islam — came South into Sierra Leone, in turn displacing Limba from North-West Sierra Leone and driving them into North-central Sierra Leone where they now are. Some Susu moved as far South as the Temne town of Port Loko, only 60 km upriver from the Atlantic. Eventually a Muslim Susu family called Senko supplanted the town's Temne rulers. Other Susu moved Westward from Futa Jalon, eventually dominating the Baga, Bulom, and Temne North of the Scarcies.

As for the Yalunka in Futa Jalon, they at first accepted Islam, then rejected it and were driven out. They went into North-central Sierra Leone and founded their capital at Falaba in the mountains near the source of the Rokel. It is still an important town, about 20 km South of the Guinea border. Other Yalunka went somewhat farther South and settled amongst the Koranko, Kisi, and Limba.

Besides these groups, who were more-or-less unwilling emigrants, a considerable variety of Muslim adventurers went forth from Futa Jalon. A Fula called Fula Mansa (Mansa = King) became ruler of the Yoni country 100 km East of present-day Freetown. Some of his Temne subjects there fled South to the Banta country between the middle reaches of the Bagu and Jong rivers, where they became known as the Mabanta Temne.

In 1652 the first slaves in North America were brought from Sierra Leone to the Sea Islands off the coast of the southern United States. During the 1700s there was a thriving trade bringing slaves from Sierra Leone to the plantations of South Carolina and Georgia where their rice-farming skills made them particularly valuable.

Britain and British seafarers – including Sir Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Frobisher and Captain Brown — played a major role in the transatlantic trade in captured Africans between 1530 and 1810. Treaty of Utrecht of 1713, which ended the Spanish War of Succession (1701 - 1714), had an additional clause (the Asiento) that granted Britain (among other things) the exclusive rights over the shipment of captured Africans across the Atlantic. Over 10 million captured Africans were shipped to the Caribbean Islands and the Americas and many more died during the raids, the long marches to the coast and on the infamous middle passage due to the inhumane conditions in slave ships. Britain outlawed the slave trade on 29 March 1807 with the Slave Trade Act 1807 and the British Navy operating from Freetown took active measures to stop the Atlantic slave trade.

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 shore of Sierra Leone on 15 May 1787. They were accompanied by some English tradesmen. This was organised 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 Loyalists, enslaved Africans who had been promised their freedom for joining the British Army during the American Revolution, though they also included other African and Asian inhabitants of London. Disease and hostility from the indigenous people nearly eliminated the first group of colonists. Through the intervention of Thomas Peters, the Sierra Leone Company was established to relocate another group of nearly 2,000 Black Loyalists, originally settled in Nova Scotia. Given the most barren land in Nova Scotia, many had died from the harsh winters there. They established a settlement at Freetown in 1792. This settlement was joined by other groups of freed slaves and became one of Britain's first colonies in West Africa.

Originally planned as utopian community by Granville Sharp, the English abolitionist, the directors of the Sierra Leone Company refused to allow the settlers to take freehold of the land. Aware of how Highland Clearances benefited the landlord but not the tenant, 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 all areas of Africa. They joined the previous settlers and together became known as Creole or Krio people. Cut off from their homes and traditions by the experience of slavery, they assimilated some aspects of British styles of life and built a flourishing trade on the West African coast. The lingua franca of the colony was Krio, a creole language rooted in eighteenth 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 1800 Sierra Leone was still only a small Colony extending a few miles (a few km) up the peninsula from Freetown. The bulk of the territory that makes up present-day Sierra Leone was still the sovereign territory of indigenous peoples such as the Mende and Temne, and was little affected by the tiny population of the Colony. Over the course of the 1800s that gradually changed: the British and Creoles in the Freetown area increased their involvement in — and their control over — the surrounding territory by engaging in trade, treaty making, and military expeditions. Trade was the driving force; the treaties and military expeditions were undertaken primarily to promote and increase it.

In their treaties with the native chiefs the British were largely concerned with securing local peace so that commerce would not be interrupted. Typically, the British government agreed to pay a chief a stipend in return for a commitment from him to keep the peace with his neighbours; other specific commitments extracted from a chief might include keeping roads open, allowing the British to collect customs duties, and submitting disputes with his neighbours to British adjudication. In the decades following Britain's outlawry of the slave trade in 1807, the treaties sometimes also required chiefs to desist from slave trading. Suppression of slave trading and suppression of inter-chifdom war went hand-in-hand because the trade thrived on the wars (and caused them). Thus, to the commercial reasons for pacification could be added anti-slavery ones.

When friendly persuasion failed to secure their interests, the British were not above (to borrow Clausewitz's phrase) "continuing diplomacy by other means". At least by the mid 1820s, the army and navy were going out from the Colony to attack chiefs whose behaviour did not conform to British dictates. In 1826, Governor Turner led troops to the Bum-Kittam area, captured two stockaded towns, burnt others, and declared a blockade on the coast as far as Cape Mount. This was partly an anti-slaving exercise and partly to punish the chief for refusing territory to the British. Later that year acting-Governor Macaulay sent out an expedition which went up the Jong river and burned Commenda, a town belonging to a related chief. These excursions were typical of those that continued throughout the century: army or frontier police, with naval support if possible, would bombard a town and then usually torch it after the defenders had fled or been defeated. Where possible, local enemies of the party being attacked were invited by the British to accompany them as allies. A list of British treaty and military activities in the area is given in a separate article.

In the 1880s, Britain's intervention in the hinterland received added impetus because of the "Scramble for Africa": an intense competition between the European powers for territory in Africa. In this case the rival was France. To forestall French incursion into what they had come to consider as their own sphere, the British government renewed efforts to finalise a boundary agreement with France and on 1 January 1890 instructed Governor Hay in Sierra Leone to get from chiefs in the boundary area friendship treaties containing a clause forbidding them to treat with another European power without British consent. Consequently, in 1890 and '91 Hay and two travelling Commissioners, Garrett and Alldridge, went on extensive tours of what is now Sierra Leone obtaining treaties from chiefs. Most of these were not, however, treaties of cession; they were in the form of cooperative agreements between two sovereign powers.

In January 1895 a boundary agreement was signed in Paris, roughly fixing the line between French Guinea and Sierra Leone. The exact line was to be determined by surveyors later. As Christopher Fyfe notes, "The delimitation was made almost entirely in geographical terms — rivers, watersheds, parallels — not political. Samu chiefdom, for instance, was divided; the people on the frontier had to opt for farms on one side or villages on the other." More generally it may be noted that the arbitrary lumping together of disparate native peoples into geographical units decided on by the colonial powers has been an ongoing source of trouble throughout Africa. These geographical units are now attempting to function as nations but are not naturally nations, being composed in many cases of peoples who are traditional enemies. In Sierra Leone, for example, the Mende, Temne, and Creoles remain as rival power blocs between whom lines of fission easily emerge.

In August 1895 an Order-in-Council was issued in Britain authorising the Colony to make laws for the territory around it, extending out to the agreed-upon boundary (which corresponds closely to that of present-day Sierra Leone). On 31 August 1896 a Proclamation was issued in the Colony declaring that territory to be a British "Protectorate". The Colony remained a distinct political entity; the Protectorate was governed from it.

The "Protectorate" had not been voluntarily entered into by most of the Chiefs whose territories it subsumed. Many had signed treaties of friendship with Britain, but these were expressed as being between sovereign powers contracting with each other; there was no subordination. Only a handful of Chiefs had signed treaties of cession, and in some of those cases it is doubtful whether they had understood the terms. In remote areas no treaties had been obtained at all. Strictly speaking, a Protectorate does not exist unless the people in it have agreed to be protected. The Sierra Leone Protectorate was more in the nature of a unilateral acquisition of territory by Britain.

Bai Bureh's forces conducted a disciplined and skillfully executed guerrilla campaign which caused the British considerable difficulty. Hostilities began in February; Bureh's harassing tactics confounded the British at first but by May they were gaining ground. The rainy season interrupted hostilities until October, when the British resumed the slow process of eliminating the African's stockades. When most of these defences had been eliminated, Bureh was captured or surrendered (accounts differ) in November.

The Mende war was a mass uprising, planned somehow to commence everywhere on 27 and 28 April, in which almost all "outsiders" – whether European or Creole – were seized and summarily executed. Although more fearsome than Bai Bureh's rising, it was amorphous, lacked a definite strategy, and was suppressed in most areas in two months. Some Mende rebels in the centre of the country were not beaten untol November, however; and Mende king Nyagua's son Maghi, in alliance with some Kissi, fought on in the extreme East of the Protectorate until August 1899.

The two risings together are referred to as the Hut Tax War of 1898. The principals: Bai Bureh, Nyagua and Be Sherbro (Gbana Lewis), were exiled to the Gold Coast on 30 July 1899; a large number of their subordinates were executed.

In the early 19th century Freetown served as the residence of the British governor who also ruled the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and the Gambia settlements. Sierra Leone served as the educational center of British West Africa as well. 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.

After the Hut Tax War there was no more large-scale military resistance to colonialism. Resistance and dissent continued, but took other forms. Vocal political dissent came mainly from the Creoles, who had a sizeable middle and upper class of business-people and European-educated professionals such as doctors and lawyers. In the mid 1800s they had enjoyed a period of considerable political influence, but in the late 1800s the government became much less open to them. They continued to press for political rights, however, and operated a variety of newspapers which Governors considered troublesome and demagogic. In 1924 a new constitution was put in place, introducing elected representation (3 out of 22 members) for the first time. Prominent among the Creoles demanding change were the bourgiose nationalist H.C. Bankole-Bright, General Secretary of the Sierra Leone Branch of the N.C.B.W.A., and the socialist I.T.A. Wallace-Johnson, founder of the W.A.Y.L..

African resistance was not limited to political discussion. For instance, Sierra Leone developed an active trade union movement whose strikes were often accompanied by sympathetic rioting among the general population.

1884. Mechanics Alliance, a trade union (possibly the first) is formed.

1885. Carpenters Defensive Union (trade union) formed.

1893. There is a strike of army barracks workers in Freetown. Other workers stage sympathy strike. Governor Fleming swears in 200 citizens as special constables and suppresses it.

1919. Strike and riot. Railway and Public Works department strikes, "inter alia, on account of the nonpayment of War Bonus gratuities to Afrian workers, although these had been paid to other government employees, especially European personnel." Major riots occur in Freetown. The Creole intelligentsia remain neutral.

1920, September. Sierra Leone Railway Skilled Workmen Mutual Aid Union formed.

1923-1924. Moyamba riot.

1925. The 1920 union is renamed the Railway Workers' Union.

1926. Strike and riot. Railway Workers' Union strikes January 13 to February 26. Rioting erupts in Freetown. Creole intelligentsia supports the strikers. According to Wyse this is the first time workers and intelligentsia acted in harmony. The strike was viewed as a threat to stability by the government, and suppressed by troops and police.

1930. Kambia riot.

1930-1931. Haidara Kontorfilli rebellion. Named after its charismatic Moslem leader. Wyse gives the causes as "heavy handedness af chiefly rule and the deteriorating social and economic conditions, as well as the erosive nature of colonial rule." Ended after Kontorfilli was killed by British forces.

1931. Pujehun riot.

1934. Kenema riot.

1938-39. Series of strikes and civil disobedience. W.A.Y.L. blamed.

1939, January. Army mutiny in Freetown over low wages. Led by a Creole gunner, Emmanuel Cole.

1948, November. Riot at Baoma Chiefdom of Bo District. One hundred people committed for trial before supreme court for their part in it.

1950, October. African United Mine Workers' Union (Secretary-General was Siaka Stevens) strikes in Marampa and Pepel, Northern province. Strikers riot and burn the house of the African personnel officer.

1950, 30 October, Kailahun. 5,000 people riot. Cause was rumour that the Paramount Chief of Luawa Chiefdom would be upheld and reinstated by the government.

1951. Pujehun, South Eastern Province. 3 March: Armed attack at night on Chief's house repelled by police. 15 March: Several villages refuse to pay house tax to government unless chief deposed. Intimidation practised on government sympathisers. 2 June: About 300 "rioters" from outlying villages attack the town of Bandejuma. 101 people committed for Supreme Court trial. Others dealt with summarily.

1955, February. Freetown General Strike over rising cost of living and low pay. Lasted several days: looting, property damage, including residences of government ministers. Leader: Marcus Grant.

Besides the colonial employers, one of the main targets of popular hostility was the tribal chiefs who the British had transformed into functionaries in the colonial system of indirect rule. Their role was to provide policing, collect taxes, and obtain corvee labour for the colonialists ; in return the colonialists maintained them in a priveleged position over the other Africans. Chiefs not willing to play this role were replaced by more compliant ones. According to Kilson the attitude of the Africans toward their chiefs became ambivalent: frequently they respected the office but resented the exactions made bt the individual occupying it. Of course, from the chiefs' point of view, the dilemma of an honourable ruler faced with British ultimatums can not have been easy. Throughout the 1900s, there were numerous riots directed against tribal chiefs. These culminated in the Protectorate-wide riots of 1955-1956, which were suppressed only by a considerable slaughter of peasants by the army. After those riots reforms were introduced: the forced labour system was completely abolished and reductions were made in the powers of the chiefs.

One notable event during the 20th century was the giving of a monopoly on mineral mining to the De Beers run Sierra Leone Selection Trust in 1935, which was scheduled to last for 99 years. The 1951 constitution provided a framework for decolonization. Local ministerial responsibility was introduced in 1953, when Sir Milton Margai was appointed Chief Minister. He became Prime Minister after successful completion of constitutional talks in London in 1960.

In April 1961, Sierra Leone became politically independent of Great Britain. It retained a parliamentary system of government and was a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), led by Sir Milton Margai were victorious in the first general election under universal adult franchise in May 1962. Upon Sir Milton's death in 1964, his half-brother, Sir Albert Margai, succeeded him as Prime Minister. Sir Albert attempted to establish a single-party state but met fierce resistance from the opposition All People's Congress (APC) and ultimately abandoned the idea.

In closely contested elections in March 1967, the APC won a plurality of the parliamentary seats. Accordingly, the Governor General (representing the British Monarch) Henry Josiah Lightfoot Boston declared Siaka Stevens – APC leader and Mayor of Freetown – as the new Prime Minister. Within a few hours, Stevens and Margai were placed under house arrest by Brigadier David Lansana, the Commander of the Sierra Leone Military Forces (SLMF), on grounds that the determination of office should await the election of the tribal representatives to the house. A group of senior military officers overrode this action by seizing control of the government on 23 March, 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. The NRC in turn was overthrown in April 1968 by a "sergeants' revolt," the Anti-Corruption Revolutionary Movement. NRC members were imprisoned, army and police officers were deposed, the democratic constitution was restored, and power was handed back to Stevens, who at last assumed the office of Prime Minister.

After the return to civilian rule by-elections were held beginning in the fall of 1968 and an all-APC cabinet was appointed. Tranquility was not completely restored: in November 1968 a state of emergency was declared after provincial disturbances, and in March 1971 the government survived an unsuccessful military coup. In April 1971 a republican constitution was adopted under which Stevens became President. In 1972 by-elections the opposition SLPP complained of intimidation and procedural obstruction by the APC and militia. These problems became so severe that it boycotted the 1973 general election; as a result the APC won 84 of the 85 elected seats. In July 1974, the government uncovered an alleged military coup plot. As in 1971, the leaders of were tried and executed. In 1977, student demonstrations against the government disrupted Sierra Leone politics. A general election was called later that year in which corruption was again endemic; the APC won 74 seats and the SLPP 15.

In 1978 Stevens' APC government won approval for the idea of one-party government (which the APC had once rejected) in a referendum. Following enactment of the 1978 constitution, SLPP members of parliament joined the APC.

The first elections under the new one-party constitution took place on 1 May 1982. Elections in about two-thirds of the constituencies were contested. Because of irregularities, the government canceled elections in 13 constituencies. By-elections took place on 4 June 1982. The new cabinet appointed after the election was balanced ethnically between Temnes and Mendes. It included as the new Finance Minister Salia Jusu-Sheriff, a former leader of the SLPP who returned to that party in late 1981. His accession to the cabinet was viewed by many as a step toward making the APC a true national party.

Siaka P. Stevens, who had been head of state of Sierra Leone for 18 years, retired from that position in November 1985, although he continued his role as chairman of the ruling APC party. In August 1985 the APC named military commander Maj. Gen. Joseph Saidu Momoh, Stevens' own choice, as the party candidate to succeed Stevens. Momoh was elected President in a referendum on 1 October 1985. A formal inauguration was held in January 1986, and new parliamentary elections were held in May 1986.

In October 1990 President Momoh set up a constitutional review commission to review the 1978 one-party constitution with a view to broadening the existing political process, guaranteeing fundamental human rights and the rule of law, and strengthening and consolidating the democratic foundation and structure of the nation. The commission, in its report presented January 1991, recommended re-establishment of a multi-party system of government. Based on that recommendation, a constitution was approved by Parliament in July 1991 and ratified by referendum in September; it became effective on 1 October 1991. There was great suspicion that Momoh was not serious, however, and APC rule was increasingly marked by abuses of power. The rebel war in the eastern part of the county, led by Capt. Foday Sankoh and his Revolutionary United Front (RUF), posed an increasing burden on the country.

On 29 April 1992 a group of seven young military officers, led by 25 year old Capt. Valentine Strasser, launched a military coup, which sent Momoh into exile in Guinea and established the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) as Strassar as President. They were 25 year-old Captain Valentine Strasser, Sergeant Solomon Musa, Brigadier-General Julius Maada Bio, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Nyuma, Colonel Yahya Kanu, Lieutenant Colonel Komba Mondeh, and Captain Samuel Komba Kambo. But he was ousted in January 1996 and replaced by his defense minister Brig. Gen. Julius Maada Bio. 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, after the conclusion of elections in early 1996.

Kabbah's government reached a cease-fire in the war with the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), which had launched its first attacks in 1991; rebel terror attacks continued, however, apparently aided by Liberia.

The Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), led by Maj. Johnny Paul Koroma, overthrew President Kabbah on 25 May 1997, and invited the RUF to join the government. After 10 months in office the junta was ousted by the Nigeria-led ECOMOG forces, and the democratically elected government of President Kabbah was reinstated in March 1998. Following the reinstatement of Kabbah's government, 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 6 January 1999 another unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the government by the AFRC resulted in massive loss of life and destruction of property in Freetown and its environs.

In October 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 Security Council voted in February 2000, to increase the UN force to 11,000 (and subsequently to 13,000). In May, when nearly all Nigerian forces had left and UN forces were attempting to disarm the RUF in E Sierra Leone, Sankoh's forces clashed with the UN troops, and some 500 peacekeepers were taken hostage as the peace accord effectively collapsed.

An 800-member British force entered the country to secure W Freetown and evacuate Europeans; some also acted in support of the forces (including Koroma's AFRC group) fighting the RUF. After Sankoh was captured in Freetown, the hostages were gradually released by the RUF, but clashes between the UN forces and the RUF continued, and in July the West Side Boys (part of the AFRC) clashed with the peacekeepers. In the same month the UN Security Council placed a ban on the sale of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone in an attempt to undermine the funding of the RUF. In late August, Issa Sesay became head of the RUF; also, British troops training the Sierra Leone army were taken hostage by the West Side Boys, but were freed by a British raid in September.

General elections scheduled for early 2001 were postponed in February 2001, due to the insecurity caused by the civil war. In May 2001 sanctions were imposed on Liberia because of its support for the rebels, and UN peacekeepers began to make headway in disarming the various factions. Although disarmament of rebel and progovernment militias proceeded slowly and fighting continued to occur, by January 2002 most of the estimated 45,000 fighters had surrendered their weapons. In a ceremony that month, government and rebel leaders declared the civil war to have ended; an estimated 50,000 persons died in the conflict.

Elections were finally held in May 2002. President Kabbah was reelected, and his Sierra Leone People's party won a majority of the parliamentary seats. In June 2003 the UN ban on the sale of Sierra Leone diamonds expired and was not renewed. The UN disarmament and rehabilitation program for Sierra Leone's fighters was completed in February 2004, by which time more 70,000 former combatants had been helped. UN forces returned primary responsibility for security in the area around the capital to Sierra Leone's police and armed forces in September 2004; it was the last part of the country to be turned over. Some UN peacekeepers remained to assist the Sierra Leone government until the end of 2005.

The 1999 Lomé Accord called for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to provide a forum for both victims and perpetrators of human rights violations during the conflict to tell their stories and facilitate genuine reconciliation. Subsequently, the Sierra Leonean Government and the UN agreed to set up the Special Court for Sierra Leone to try those who "bear the greatest responsibility for the commission of crimes against humanity, war crimes and serious violations of international humanitarian law, as well as crimes under relevant Sierra Leonean law within the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996." Both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court began operating in the summer of 2002. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its Final Report to the government in October 2004. In June 2005, the Government of Sierra Leone issued a White Paper on the Commission’s final report which accepted some but not all of the Commission's recommendations. Members of civil society groups dismissed the government’s response as too vague and continued to criticize the government for its failure to follow up on the report’s recommendations.

In March 2003 the Special Court for Sierra Leone issued its first indictments. Foday Sankoh, already in custody, was indicted, along with notorious RUF field commander Sam "Mosquito" Bockarie, Johnny Paul Koroma, and Hinga Norman, the Minister of Interior and former head of the Civil Defense Force, among several others. Norman was arrested when the indictments were announced, while Bockarie and Koroma remained in hiding. On 5 May 2003 Bockarie was killed in Liberia, allegedly on orders from President Charles Taylor, who feared Bockarie’s testimony before the Special Court. Johnny Paul Koroma was also rumored to have been killed, though his death remains unconfirmed. Two of the accused, Foday Sankoh and Hinga Norman, have died while incarcerated. On 25 March 2006, with the election of Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo permitted transfer of Charles Taylor, who had been living in exile in the Nigerian coastal town of Calobar, to Sierra Leone for prosecution. Two days later, Taylor attempted to flee Nigeria, but he was apprehended by Nigerian authorities and transferred to Freetown under UN guard.

Elections held on 11 August 2007 had a good turnout and were initially judged by official observers to be "free, fair and credible".

Arthur Abraham, Mende Government and Politics under Colonial Rule. Freetown, 1978.

Martin Kilson. Political Change in a West African State: A Study of the Modernization Process in Sieera Leone. Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A. ; 1966.

Christopher Fyfe, A History of Sierra Leone. London, 1962.

Kenneth Little, The Mende of Sierra Leone. London, 1967.

M. McCulloch, The Peoples of Sierra Leone Protectorate. London; n.d., but approximately 1964.

Walter Rodney, "African Slavery and Other Forms of Social Oppression on the Upper Guinea Coast in the Context of the Atlantic Slave Trade". The Journal of African History, vol 7, num 3 (1966).

Walter Rodney, "A Reconsideration of the Mane Invasions of Sierra Leone". The Journal of African History, vol 8, num 2 (1967).

Akintola J.G. Wyse. H. C. Bankole-Bright and Politics in Colonial Sierra Leone, 1919-1958. Cambridge, 1950.

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