Sierra Leone is an independent nation in Western Africa. With the capital city of Freetown, Sierra Leone 2020 population is estimated at 7,976,994 according to countryaah. 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.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: 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 years. For Sierra Leone political system, please check cancermatters.
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 commodity.
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 crying-speaking population.
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 residents 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 Freetown.
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 conducted.
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 second round.
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.