Yenga[1] is a village in Kissi Teng Chiefdom, Kailahun District in the Eastern province of Sierra Leone. The village is at the international border between Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Yenga is located in Sierra Leone
Location in Sierra Leone
Coordinates: 8°29′57″N 10°19′53″W / 8.49917°N 10.33139°W / 8.49917; -10.33139
CountryFlag of Sierra Leone.svg Sierra Leone
ProvinceEastern Province
ChiefdomKissi Teng
 • Village ChiefTamba Nyuma
 (2012 estimate)
 • Total100
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)

Yenga is located on a hill above the south side of the confluence of the Mafissia River and the Makona River (Moa River), where that river forms the border between the two countries.[2] The area is inhabited by the Kissi people.[3] In July 2012 Sierra Leone and Guinea declared the demilitarization of the Yenga area.[4][5] The large majority of the inhabitants of Yenga are members of the Kissi ethnic group.


Prior to the late 1990s Yenga was a small fishing village. However, after occupation by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), alluvial diamonds were discovered in the Makona River.[6] Mining[3] and agriculture[7] have replaced fishing as the major economic activity.

In 2001, during Sierra Leone’s civil war, the Republic of Guinea sent troops into Yenga[3] to help the army of Sierra Leone suppress the rebel RUF. After the rebels were quashed, the Guinean soldiers remained in Yenga. Prior to the civil war Yenga was administered by the Kailahun District of Sierra Leone.[8] In 2002 Sierra Leone and Guinea signed an agreement than Yenga would be returned to Sierra Leone, as soon as Guinea's border could be secured.[3] In 2005 Sierra Leone and Guinea signed an agreement that Yenga belonged to Sierra Leone.[9] The dispute was officially "resolved" in 2019 when President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah announced that "Conakry has now affirmed that Yenga is a part of Sierra Leone".[10] However, in early 2021, President Julius Maada Bio reported to the 58th Ecowas summit that "The issue remains unresolved and our Guinean counterparts have continued to encroach on Sierra Leone's land and sea borders".[11]


  1. ^ Yenga (Approved) at GEOnet Names Server, United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  2. ^ The Geographer, Office of the Geographer, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, United States Department of State (2 July 1973). Guinea — Sierra Leone Boundary (PDF). International Boundary Study, No. 136. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 September 2003.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b c d Gberie, Lansana (3 September 2009). "The Guinea–Sierra Leone border dispute: Time for ECOWAS to intervene". Pambazuka News.
  4. ^ "Sierra Leone: Guinea, Sierra Leone Demilitarize Yenga". All Africa. 28 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Guinea-Sierra Leone 'deal' to end Yenga dispute". BBC News. 2 August 2012.
  6. ^ Yenga, is a village within Sierra Leone believed to have huge deposits of diamonds "Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone sign Makona River Union communiqué". The Analyst. Monrovia, Liberia. 30 March 2006.
  7. ^ Bawoh, Cheik (1 January 2008). "The Yenga Conflict Hinders Border Economic Prospects / Le Conflit de Yenga Gêne des Perspectives Économiques aux Frontières" (PDF). Borderlands. World Bank. 1 (1): 1–2, 18–20.
  8. ^ Konneh, Mohamed (5 June 2012). "Guinea returns disputed Yenga to Sierra Leone July". West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR).
  9. ^ In 2005, tensions were quelled with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries: Yenga belonged to Sierra Leone and the Makona belonged to Guinea. Bangura, Abdul Karim (29 December 2011). "The occupation of Yenga by Guinean Troops". Expotimes. Freetown, Sierra Leone.
  10. ^ Fofana, Umaru (2019-05-09). "Sierra Leone, Guinea "resolve" dispute over border town of Yenga". Retrieved 2021-09-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Milne, Nicky (2021-01-24). "Sierra Leone Says Guinea Encroaching On Its Territory". Retrieved 2021-09-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)