Prehistory

The Stone Age is poorly known, but finds of stone implements, ceramics and microliters from the 3000s BC. indirectly suggests that food production then occurred. Iron was probably not used until the middle of the first millennium AD.

History

Most of the people of Sierra Leone immigrated during the period 1400-1900. In the 15th century, Portuguese merchants also began to visit the coast. The mountains at the mouth of the Rokelf River called the Serra Lyoa, the “Lion Mountains”, which gave the whole country its name. Trade was mainly slave exports, which gained momentum in the 18th century. Then the area was also hit by the surges from Fulani’s holy Muslim war.

In European colonialism, Sierra Leone was withdrawn through the fight against the slave trade, initiated under British rule at the end of the 18th century. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Sierra Leone. In 1787, the city of Freetown was founded, which became a sanctuary for freed and escaped slaves and, from the beginning of the 19th century, the main port for the British navy’s hunting of slave ships. The exempt were brought to Sierra Leone and gave rise to the Creoles, West Africans with Christian-European civilization and their own, Creole, English-based Creole language. Through trade and mission, they spread the influence of the colony inland. It was not until 1896 that the United Kingdom established patronage over this inland.

  • Countryaah: Check to see the location of Sierra Leone on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Sierra Leone.

In 1924, the colony and the protectorate were united and were given a joint legislative council. The creoles gradually lost their political influence. When Sierra Leone became independent in 1961, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) with voter support inland took power, with Milton Margai (1895–1964), later Brother Albert Margai (1910–80), as prime minister. In 1967, a more radical party, the All People’s Congress (APC), won under Siaka Stevensmajority in the general elections. Militants tried to prevent a change of power through a coup, but in 1968 left the government to Stevens. In 1971 he introduced a republic and became president himself. He made the country a one-party state in 1978. When he resigned in 1985, Major General Joseph Saidu Momoh (1937–2003) became President. In the early 1990s, he gave way to growing demands for a return to multi-party democracy, but a new military coup came in 1992. A year earlier, the rebel movement Revolutionary United Front (RUF), led by the dismissed Corporal Foday Sankoh (1937–2003), had begun a bloody war against state power. RUF had been formed with the help of rebel leader Charles Taylor in Liberia in response to the Sierra Leonean army’s commitment to the international force sent to Liberia to disarm Taylor’s militia.

The new president, Captain Valentine Strasser (born 1966), tried, like the former presidents, to legitimize his regime through the fight against corruption and inflation. He did not succeed in ending the civil war, but still tried to keep the promise of return to civilian rule. Shortly before the promised general elections, Strasser was overthrown by other military in 1996, but the elections could still be carried out. They resulted in the SLPP regaining government power and its candidate, former UN official Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, was elected president. The new government began contacts with the RUF, the war activity waned and in November a peace agreement was signed under which the rebel movement would be transformed into a political party and run for election. However, before the peace agreement came into force, another group of military forces took power and Kabbah fled the country. The new military junta under Johnny Paul Koroma (1960–2003) called himself the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).

Nigerian soldiers commanded by the West African Cooperation Organization ECOWAS, British and South African mercenaries and traditional hunter militia were able to drive AFRC and RUF out of the capital Freetown in early 1998. After a new peace agreement, all rebels were granted amnesty, despite UN protests, and all convicted were pardoned. RUF and AFRC were assigned seats in the government, and the UN sent a peace force of 6,000 men, called the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL). Already in 2000, however, RUF broke the ceasefire again and took several hundred UN soldiers hostage. Only after a British elite force was deployed to Sierra Leone and the UN extended UNAMSIL could the rebels be defeated.

In 2002, the war was declared ended, after all the irregular forces had been disarmed. In May, general elections were organized with the help of the UN. The rebels were allowed to be converted into parties, but received extremely limited support. President Kabbah, who returned in 1998, was clearly re-elected and the SLPP retained its government majority. With the help of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a UN-backed Special Court, Sierra Leone has tried to heal the wounds after the civil war. However, the value of war crimes trials has diminished due to the death of RUF leader Foday Sankoh and his closest associates and the death of junta leader Johnny Paul Koroma. Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who is considered to be a decisive blame for the war, was forced after pressure from mainly the US into exile in Nigeria in 2003. Following demands from Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was extradited to Liberia in 2006. In April 2012, the Special Court declared him guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Earlier, several members of the RUF, the AFRC and the Civil Defense Forces (CDF), which stood on the side of the legal government, have been sentenced to long prison terms.

In the elections held in 2007, the SLPP lost the position of Parliament’s largest party to the APC. The presidential post also went to the APC since party candidate Ernest Bai Koroma won 55 percent of the vote in the second round. Koroma was re-elected in 2012 with 59 percent of the vote and APC again won the parliamentary elections. The SLPP was the only other party to receive a mandate in Parliament. The election was largely approved by EU observers, but it was pointed out that APC had benefits during the election movement and used state funds for its campaign, among other things.

In the 2018 elections, the APC retained its grip on Parliament, where it again became the largest party, but was forced to relinquish the presidential post to the SLPP, whose candidate Julius Maada Bio defeated former Finance and Foreign Minister Samura Kamara (born 1963). Bio was one of the militants who ousted President Strasser in 1996 and he was the nation’s highest leader for a few months before the presidential election.

Since the end of the war, economic growth has accelerated in the mineral-rich country. President Koroma initiated social reforms, such as free care for toddlers, pregnant women and nursing women. The outside world has encouraged the progress that has been made, among other things through large write-offs of foreign debt. In 2010, the UN Security Council lifted the last of the sanctions that have been directed at the country since the civil war.

In May 2014, the largest outbreak of ebola fever ever spread from Guinea to Sierra Leone, among others.

History of Sierra Leone
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