Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leone is a country on the west coast of Africa that came out of ten years of civil war in 2002 with help from United Nations and United Kingdom peacekeeping troops disarming the local fighters. One of the trademarks of the war was the cutting off of the hands or feet of victims. A U.N. backed war crimes court is now trying to bring the perpetrators from both sides to justice.

Diamonds which are now helping the economy, were helping to fund the civil war. Conflict diamonds are defined by the United Nations as rough diamonds that are used by rebel movements to finance military activities. Currently, poverty, corruption, and economic mismanagement are big problems. [1]


The BBC says of the country's media:

Media freedom in Sierra Leone has its limits; media rights monitors have reported that high-level corruption is a taboo topic, with the authorities using libel laws and the courts to target errant journalists.
Broadcasters face many challenges, including unreliable electricity supplies, a shortage of funds and a lack of advertising revenue.[1]


  • Ernest Bai Koroma, President since September 17, 2007, winning 54.6% of vote, promised zero tolerance for corruption



  • Population: 5,525,000
  • Capital city: Freetown
  • GDP per Capita: U.S. $500


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 Country profile: Sierra Leone, BBC, accessed April 2008.
  2. Sierra Leone, National Geographic, accessed April 2008.

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