Sierra Leone

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Official Name:
Republic of Sierra Leone
short form: Sierra Leone

ISO Country Code: sl

Time:
Local Time = UTC

Capital City: Freetown (1 million)

Country Calling Code: +232

Other Cities: Bo, Kenema, Lungi, Makeni, Yengema

Government:
Type: Republic with a democratically elected President and Parliament.
Independence: 27 April 1961 (from Britain).
Constitution: 1 October 1991.

Geography:
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia.
Area: 71,740 km² (27,698 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Three areas are coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hills along the immediate interior, and a mountainous plateau in the interior.
Highest point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani) 1 948 m

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December)

People:
Nationality: Sierra Leonean(s).
Population: 5.4 million (2011 est.)
Ethnic groups: Temne 30%, Mende 30%, Krio 1%, small Lebanese community.
Religions: Muslim 60%, Christian 30%, animist 10%.
Languages: English (official, regular use limited to literate minority), Krio, Temne, Mende, and 15 other indigenous languages.
Literacy: 15-30%.

Natural resources: Diamonds, gold, titanium, bauxite, iron ore, chromite.

Agriculture products: Rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish.

Industries: Diamonds mining; small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, cigarettes, footwear); petroleum refining.

Exports partners: Belgium 61.6%, Germany11.8%, USA 5.4% (2004)

Imports partners: Germany 14%, Cote d’Ivoire10.7%, UK 9.1%, USA 8.4%, China 5.6%,Netherlands 5%, South Africa 4.1% (2004)

Currency: New Leone (SLL)

Background:
The 1991 to 2002 civil war between the government and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (about one-third of the population), many of whom are now refugees in neighboring countries. With the support of the UN peacekeeping force and contributions from the World Bank and international community, demobilization and disarmament of the RUF and Civil Defense Forces (CDF) combatants has been completed. National elections were held in May 2002 and the government continues to slowly reestablish its authority. However, the gradual withdrawal of most UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) peacekeepers in 2004 and early 2005, deteriorating political and economic conditions in Guinea, and the tenuous security situation in neighboring Liberia may present challenges to the continuation of Sierra Leone’s stability.

border countries: Guinea, Liberia

related countries: UK


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