Like neighboring Liberia, Sierra Leone was
founded in the late 18th century by freed slaves. By
then, African people had already migrated to the area
for hundreds of years. Having been under strong British
influence since its founding, Sierra Leone became
independent in 1961.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Sierra Leone, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
The oldest finds of stone age implements suggest that
food production already existed more than 5,000 years
ago in what is today Sierra Leone. Iron implements were
used in the area from around 500 AD. The people who live
in the country today have immigrated over the last 500
In the late 1400s, Portuguese sailors began to visit
the area. The mountains at the mouth of the river Rokel
called the Portuguese Serra Lyoa (Lion
Mountains), which gave the country its name. During the
18th century, slaves became the most important export
At the end of the 18th century, when Britain was at
the forefront of the fight against the slave trade,
Freetown was founded in 1787 as a haven for freed and
escaped slaves. These became the origin of the
The hinterland was declared British Protectorate in
1896 but continued to be governed by local chieftains.
In 1924, the coastal colony and the Inland Protectorate
were merged. Political parties began to form after the
Second World War and the inhabitants were allowed to
conduct their own business to a greater extent than
before. In the first general election in 1951, the
Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP),
whose leader Milton Margai became prime minister in
1953, won in 1958.
Former defense ministers are being arrested accused of corruption
Alfred Paolo Conteh and Sannah Marrah, defense minister and former defense
minister under Ernest Bai Koroma, are arrested on charges of corruption.
President Julius Maada Bio, who won the 2018 election with promises to fight
corruption, says it was possible to reimburse around a million dollars that
ended up in the wrong pockets under Koroma's rule.
New program launched to combat sexual violence
Between 300 and 400 people demonstrate in Freetown against the sexual
violence. Participants include Fatima Bio, the president's wife, who the day
before launched a program " Hands off our Girls" to fight sexual violence, child
trafficking, child marriage and teenage pregnancies. The President's wives in
Liberia, Niger, Ghana, Chad and Gambia have supported the program. The Sierra
Leonean police have also pledged to make charges against people accused of rape
and other sexual abuse. According to police statistics, the number of reported
sexual offenses has increased from just over 4,700 in 2017 to more than 8,500 in
2018. According to a domestic voluntary organization, about 150 women a month
become pregnant after rape.
The plans for a new, China-funded, airport are being shelved
The Sierra Leonean government decides not to go ahead with plans to build a
new airport with the help of Chinese loans. The new government justifies the
decision that the project will be too expensive. The settlement made by former
President Ernest Bai Koroma in March then received harsh criticism from both the
IMF and the World Bank, because of the huge debt that the country would take on.
The new government says it will instead renovate the existing airport outside
For this, top politicians are charged with corruption
Victor Foh, Vice President of Ernest Koroma, is charged with embezzlement of
public funds. This is announced by the head of the country's anti-corruption
commission. Among other things, it is about money that would pay for poor Sierra
Leonier pilgrimage to Mecca. Former Mines Minister Mansaray Minkailu is also
arrested. In that case, it applies to his role in selling mining rights at an
underpriced price. Buyer was a relative of Koroma. At the same time, another
commission is publishing a report claiming that corruption was widespread under
Koroma's rule 2007 to 2018. However, the former president denies that there is
anything in these allegations.
Amnesty criticizes Maada Bio
Amnesty criticizes the new government for not doing more to restore the
freedom of assembly or to question the police who have killed nine protesters
and injured 80 over the past ten years. The organization points out that for a
long time, the authorities have regularly chosen not to allow peaceful
government-critical demonstrations or that they have chosen to disperse such
protests by force. It is also emphasized that President Julius Maada Bio often
criticized the former government for restricting freedom of assembly.
Sierra Leone accepts the AU Free Trade Agreement
Sierra Leone and four other countries join the African Union Free Trade
Agreement AFCFTA at the organization's summit in Mauritania's capital
Nouakchott. Before the free trade area can become a reality, the agreement must
be ratified at the national level.
War criminals are released after serving their sentence
Moinina Fofana, one of the leaders of the so-called Kamajormilis, is released
after serving his sentence for abuse committed during the civil war. In 2008, he
was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Special Court for war crimes. In
2015, he was conditionally released after serving two-thirds of the sentence,
but was arrested again after violating the terms of his release. The court has
sentenced seven others to war crimes, who now serve sentences of between 20 and
52 years. The most renowned is former Liberian President Charles Taylor.
President Maada Bio urges Sierra Leonis to help "reshape society"
President Julius Maada Bio urges the public to help him transform the Sierra
Leonean society. The speech will be held at a sports arena in Freetown in front
of tens of thousands of spectators in a formal installation ceremony. Among the
guests were the presidents from Liberia Senegal, Mali and Togo. The congestion
at the arena is great and at least one person is so badly injured that they die.
Maada Bio took office as president in April. During the election campaign he
promised to boost the economy and to fight poverty in the country, and
expectations of him are high.
The new president promises free schooling
President Julius Maada Bio promises free tuition in both primary and
secondary schools from September 2018. He also promises to double the funding
for education and special efforts to educate more teachers.
Chaos when the Parliament gathers
Chaos arises when the new parliament rallies again. This since the police
forcibly dismissed 16 members of the opposition party APC after being accused of
disruptive behavior. As a result, all of the MPC MPs are pulling out of the
House. Despite this, presidential elections are held and SLPP's Abass Bundu wins
by 72 votes. The day before, unrest had occurred outside the parliament
building, with fights and stone throwing. The unrest has been preceded by a
court order that 14 APC members and two SLPP members should not be present at
the opening ceremony following allegations from the SLPP that the former APC
government paid salaries to APC politicians in violation of the law.
Kamara appeals against the election result
Samura Kamara, who lost the second round of the presidential election, is
appealing to the Supreme Court to have the result rescinded, citing deficiencies
in the entire election process. It only happens a few days after he
congratulated his opponent for the electoral victory. According to a spokesman
for the Election Commission, the appeal had been filed on April 11.
New president ahead of cleaning days
One of the new president Julius Maada Bios first decision is to introduce a
general cleaning day on the first Saturday of each month from seven in the
morning to twelve in the day. A similar cleaning day was introduced during the
junta 1992 to 1996, when garbage was collected, trees were planted and walls
were repaired. Maada Bio also announces that all officials and ministers will be
on duty from half past nine in the morning until quarter past five in the
evening, and that random checks will be made.
Kamara congratulates Maada Bio for rolling victory
Samura Kamara, who lost the presidential election against Julius Maada Bio,
now says he supports his political rival and congratulates him on the electoral
victory. His statement is seen as a way to pour oil on the waves and reduce the
tensions that arose around the election. He also makes a point that the new
president must intervene to protect even APC sympathizers.
Maada Bio takes over as president
Julius Maada Bio takes over as president, the same evening as the results are
presented. He promises in connection with trying one country. In 1992, Maada Bio
belonged to a group of soldiers who carried out a coup against the then
President Joseph Momoh. Four years later he participated in a new coup and led
the country for a few months in early 1996. After a first meeting with
representatives of the country's civil servants, Maada Bio promises that they do
not have to worry about any major purging, as long as they work hard and deliver
what they should. He also appoints a transition group, consisting of ten men and
two women, who will work with the outgoing government. A spokesperson for SLPP,
Alie Kabba, says that the new government, despite Maada Bio's party not becoming
the largest party in the parliamentary elections,
Maada Bio wins the presidential election
Julius Maada Bio from the opposition party SLPP wins the second round of
presidential elections with just under 52 percent of the vote, while APC
candidate Samura Kamara gets just over 48 percent of the vote. The election is
held under a strong police force. Noise is reported from at least one polling
station. Police open fire to people involved in a violent dispute in western
Freetown, but no witness has been killed. Information also comes about that the
police intervened in polling stations to prevent people from voting.
Nevertheless, Ecowas says it is satisfied with how the election has been
New election day for the second round of the presidential election
Following a decision in the High Court (High Court), the Election Commission
announces that the second round of presidential elections will be held on March
31, four days later than planned.
The second round of presidential elections is postponed following
accusations of cheating
Accusations of cheating in the election cause the second round of
presidential elections to be postponed. It is then decided by a court that
complaints of cheating, made by a member of the governing APC, must be
investigated before holding the electoral round. The decision is criticized by
Julius Maada Bio, SLPP's candidate, and several civil society organizations.
New unrest after the election
New reports come about unrest after the election, with clashes between
supporters of SLPP and APC. Both houses and cars are on fire. APC presidential
candidate Samura Kamara sues APC sympathizers for throwing stones at him. A bar
he visited must also have been burned down. Concerns are occurring in Freetown,
Bo and elsewhere in the country. EU, US and UK man censors to calm for the
18 are arrested in connection with valor riots
the 13th of March
At least 18 people are arrested after clashes between supporters of the
country's two largest parties SLPP and APC in Koquima in Kono district.
Police strike against presidential candidate
Police make a strike against presidential candidate Julius Maada Bio's
campaign headquarters after receiving information that the office was being used
to hack the voting system. Bio and his election workers firmly reject the
allegations. The Election Commission goes out and announces that voting cannot
be hacked when it is done manually.
Second round between Maada Bio and Kamara on March 27
General elections are held for the presidential post, parliament and
municipalities. In the presidential election, SLPP's Julius Maada Bio, which
lost to Koroma in 2012, receives just over 43 percent of the vote and Samura
Kamara from APC receives an almost equal share of the vote. Kandeh Yumkella, who
dropped out of the SLPP and formed his own party, the National
Grand Coalition (NGC) receives about 7 percent of the vote, and
Samuel Sam-Sumanam of the Coalition for Change (C4C), gets just
over 3 percent. There will thus be a second round of elections between Maada Bio
and Kamara. However, in the parliamentary elections, APC becomes the largest
party with 62 seats, while SLPP wins 48 seats, C4C receives 8 seats and NGC 4
seats. Three independent candidates come into Parliament. The result is not yet
clear in 7 of the constituencies. Representatives of NGC and The
Democratic Alliance Party (ADP) believes that the election figures do
not match and is considering submitting protests to the Election Commission to
get a recalculation in some districts. The turnout is 85 percent.
The IMF stops support for Sierra Leone
Information appears that the International Monetary Fund (IMF)) stopped
payments of aid to Sierra Leone. However, the IMF has chosen not to report why
the money has been stopped. It is about $ 200 million, which, according to an
agreement from summer 2017, would have gone to fight inflation, build up
reserves in foreign currency, etc. Sierra Leone, for its part, had pledged to
withdraw more money from royalities from mining companies and import taxes on
cars, among other things, and abolish subsidies on fuel and rice, among other
things. Instead, the government presented a budget in October that included
major investments in education and paid out gratuities to MEPs (who had
threatened to vote against the budget). According to media reports, other
donors, such as the EU, have withdrawn their budget support for the country.
16 presidential candidates are running in March
16 of the country's 17 parties have presented presidential candidates for the
March elections. The Election Commission has tentatively approved all of the
candidates. The only party that does not participate with its own candidate is
the People's Democratic Party (PDP), due to conflicts within the party.
Trial begins against mining company
A lawsuit against the mining company Tonkolili Iron Ore Ltd, which had its
headquarters in the UK before it went bankrupt in 2015, will start in a UK
court. The case concerns 142 small farmers who accuse the company, which now has
Chinese owners, of being involved in abuses committed against them by the police
after the company obtained its license to extract. It's about murder, rape,
assault and false arrests on two occasions in 2010 and 2012. Judge Mark Turner
travels to Sierra Leone to hear witnesses. Representatives of Tonkolili Iron Ore
Ltd deny that it has any part in what happened.
Court orders that presidential candidate be arrested
A court orders that Mohamed Kamaraimba Mansaray, presidential candidate for
the Alliance's Democratic Party (ADP), be arrested after the politician did not
appear in court in a case involving illegal weapons possession. Mansaray denies
that he has committed any crime and says the charge against him is politically
motivated. According to the prosecutor, the ADP politician wore a stunning gun
when he was arrested in connection with clashes with supporters of the APC
government party during a filling election in Segbwema.