1961-1991 History of West Africa

Sierra Leone since 1991

In 1991 the rebellion of the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) headed by Foday Sankoh marks the beginning of the Sierra Leone Civil War. The rebels established a stronghold in the area bordering on Liberia. Coups in 1992 and 1996 destabilized the central government; an attempted negotiated peace failed; in 1997 a group of army officers, in coopeeration with the RUF, toppled the government.
At this time massive international pressure set in; the Commonwealth suspended the membership of Sierra Leone; the UN Security Council imposed an embargo barring the export of petrol and arms to the country. The civil war was financed by "Blood Diamonds"; the embargo was ineffective.
An international peacekeeping force consisting of West African troops lead by Nigeria, ECOWAS, arrived in 1998; they drove armed factions out of capital Freetown. In 1998 to 2000, ECOWAS troops repeatedly came under armed attack; in 2000 the situation caused the British to evacuate all Europeans. In 2001 the rebels were disarmed, in 2002 the civil war declared over. War crimes tribunals were begun in 2004; the control of the country was handed over to Sierra Leonese forces in 2004; ECOWAS forces withdrew in 2005.

Timeline, from BBC News
Article Politics of Sierra Leone, from Wikipedia
Article Economy of Sierra Leone, from Wikipedia
Political Resources on the Net : Sierra Leone
Governments on the WWW : Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone 2000, from Britain's Small Wars
Banknotes, from Ron Wise's World Paper Money
Estimates of Death Toll in Sierra Leone Civil War (1991-), posted by Matthew White, scroll down for Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone Archive, from Africa Online, archive of recent articles
Historical Population Statistics : Sierra Leone, from Population Statistics at Univ. Utrecht
REFERENCE Article : Sierra Leone, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1992 pp.365, 697, 1993 pp.369, 711, 1994 pp.367, 710, 1995 pp.467, 710, 1996 pp.466, 710, 1997 pp.471, 708, 2002 pp.489, 722 [G]
Article : Sierra Leone, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1992-1993 pp.1160-1163, 1993-1994 pp.1158-1161, 1994-1995 pp.1161-1164, 1995-1996 pp.1153-1156, 1996-1997 pp.1129-1132, 1997-1998 pp.1131-1134, 1998-1999 pp.1234-1237, 2000 pp.1381-1385, 2001 pp.1345-1349, 2002 pp.1400-1404, 2003 pp.1399-1403, 2004 pp.1420-1424, 2005 pp.1430-1434, 2006 pp.1438-1442 [G]
Entry : Travel Warning - Sierra Leone, pp.599-601, in : Countries of the World and their Leaders Yearbook, 2000, Supplement [G]
Entry : Republic of Sierra Leone, Cabinet, p.88; in : Countries of the World and their Leaders Yearbook, 2003 [G]
Entry : Sierra Leone, pp.892-895 in : IMF, International Financial Statistics Yearbook 2001 [G]
Entry : Sierra Leone, in : The Commonwealth Yearbook 1989 pp.324-328 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on April 13th 2007

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