Portal:Sierra Leone

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Flag of Sierra Leone.svg

Sierra Leone (/siˌɛrə liˈn(i)/, UK also /sɪˈɛrə-/), officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the northeast, Liberia to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest. It has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests. The country has a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi) and a population of 7,075,641 as of the 2015 census. Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature. Sierra Leone has a dominant unitary central government. The president is the head of state and the head of government. The country's capital and largest city is Freetown. Sierra Leone is made up of five administrative regions: the Northern Province, North West Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area. These regions are subdivided into sixteen districts.

Sierra Leone was a British Colony from 1806 to 1961. Sierra Leone became independent from the United Kingdom on 27 April 1961, led by Sir Milton Margai. In May 1962, Sierra Leone held its first general elections as an independent nation. On April 19, 1971, Siaka Stevens' government abolished Sierra Leone's parliamentary government system and declared Sierra Leone a presidential republic with Stevens as the country's first president. Sierra Leone was a one-party state from 1978 to 1985, in which Stevens' All People's Congress was the only legal political party in the country. The current constitution of Sierra Leone, which includes multi party democracy, was adopted in 1991 by the government of President Joseph Saidu Momoh, Stevens' hand-picked successor. In 1991, a rebel group known as the Revolutionary United Front led by former Sierra Leone army officer Foday Sankoh launched a brutal civil war in the country, in an unsuccessful goal to overthrow the Sierra Leone government.

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Plan of Bunce Island, 1726

Bunce Island (also spelled "Bence," "Bense," or "Bance" at different periods) is the site of an 18th century British slave castle in the Republic of Sierra Leone. It is located deep within Freetown harbor. Located about 20 miles upriver from Sierra Leone's capital city of Freetown, Bunce Island lies in the Sierra Leone River, the estuary formed by the Rokel River and Port Loko Creek. Although just a tiny island only about 1650 feet long and 350 feet wide, its strategic position at the limit of navigation in Africa's largest natural harbor made it an ideal base for European slave merchants.

Bunce Island was first settled by English slave traders about 1670. During its early history the castle was operated by two London-based firms, the Gambia Adventurers and the Royal African Company of England, the later a "crown-chartered company," or parastatal, subsidized by the British government. The castle was not commercially successful at this period, but it served as a symbol of British influence in the region. This early phase of the castle's history came to an end in 1728 when Bunce Island was raided by an Afro-Portuguese competitor in the slave trade named José Lopez da Moura. It was abandoned until the mid-1740s. (read more . . . )

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Class at a secondary school in Pendembu, Sierra Leone




Provinces: Eastern ProvinceNorthern ProvinceSouthern ProvinceWestern Area

History: Sierra Leone Colony and ProtectorateKingdom of KoyaBritish West AfricaSierra Leone Liberated AfricansSierra Leone Creole SettlersSierra 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

Economy: Bank of Sierra LeoneTourism in Sierra Leone

Society: SportDemographicsEducationCuisineMediaMusic

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

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