The Sierra Leone Portal

Location of Sierra Leone
The flag of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It shares its southeastern border with Liberia, and the northern half of the nation is surrounded by Guinea. Covering a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi), Sierra Leone has a tropical climate, with diverse environments ranging from savanna to rainforests. The country has a population of 7,092,113 as of the 2015 census. Freetown is the capital and largest city. The country is divided into five administrative regions, which are subdivided into 16 districts.

Sierra Leone is a presidential republic with a unicameral parliament and a directly elected president. Sierra Leone is a secular state with the constitution providing for the separation of state and religion and freedom of conscience (which includes freedom of thoughts and religion). Muslims make up about three-quarters of the population, though with an influential Christian minority. Religious tolerance in the West African country is very high and is generally considered a norm and part of Sierra Leone's cultural identity.

The geographic area has been inhabited for millennia, but Sierra Leone, as the country and its borders are known today, was founded by the British Crown in two phases: first, the coastal Sierra Leone Colony in 1808 (for returning Africans after the abolition of the slave trade); second, the inland Protectorate in 1896 (as the Crown needed to establish more dominion inland following the outcome of the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885). Hence, the country formally became known as the Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate or simply British Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, becoming a Commonwealth realm as the Dominion of Sierra Leone with Sir Milton Margai of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) as the country's first prime minister.

A new constitution was adopted in 1971, transforming the country into a presidential republic led by Siaka Stevens of the All People's Congress (APC). After declaring the APC the sole legal party in 1978, Stevens was succeeded by Joseph Saidu Momoh in 1985, who enacted a new constitution reintroducing a multi-party system in 1991. A brutal civil war between the government and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel group broke out the same year, which went on for 11 years with devastating effects. During the war, the country experienced three coups d'état and alternated between civilian and military rule. Following military interventions by the ECOMOG and later the United Kingdom, the RUF was definitively defeated in 2002. The country has remained relatively stable since then, and is attempting to recover from the war. The two main political parties are the APC and the SLPP. (Full article...)

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Emmerson Amidu Bockarie (born December 23, 1980), better known as Emmerson, is a Sierra Leonean Afropop singer. His music focuses on political topics relating to corruption in the government of Sierra Leone, and he has become well known in his country for lyrics that promote social change. He sings in the Krio and English languages. (Full article...)
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Mass wasting of mud in Freetown on August 14, 2017

On the morning of August 14, 2017, significant mudflow events occurred in and around the capital city of Freetown in Sierra Leone. Following three days of torrential rainfall, mass wasting of mud and debris damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings in the city, killing 1,141 people and leaving more than 3,000 homeless.

Causal factors for the mudslides include the region's particular topography and climate – with Freetown's elevation close to sea level and its greater position within a tropical monsoon climate. Those factors were assisted by the generally poor state of the region's infrastructure and loss of protective natural drainage systems from periods of deforestation. (Full article...)


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Provinces: Eastern ProvinceNorthern ProvinceSouthern ProvinceWestern Area

History: Sierra Leone Colony and ProtectorateKingdom of KoyaBritish West AfricaSierra Leone Liberated AfricansSierra Leone Civil WarUnited Nations Mission in Sierra Leone

Law: Sierra Leone PoliceSpecial Court for Sierra LeoneTruth and Reconciliation CommissionPrisons in Sierra Leone

Politics: List of PresidentsPolitical PartiesParliamentForeign relationsElectionsMilitary of Sierra Leone

Geography: ProtectedSierra Leone RiverWestern Guinean lowland forestsOutamba-Kilimi National ParkTransport

Society: SportDemographicsEducationCuisineMediaMusic

Symbols: FlagCoat of armsNational anthem (High We Exalt Thee, Realm of the Free)

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A map of Sierra Leone

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Religions in Sierra Leone

West Africa


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