Portal:Sierra Leone

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Introduction

Flag of Sierra Leone.svg

Sierra Leone (/siˌɛrə liˈn, -ˈni/, UK also /siˌɛərə-, ˌsɪərə-/), 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. It is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature, the Parliament. Its capital and largest city is Freetown (population 1,050,301). The second largest city is Kenema (population 200,354) located about 200 miles from Freetown. The country's other major cities with a population above one hundred thousand are Bo, Koidu Town and Makeni. 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, which are further divided into 190 chiefdoms. Each district has its own directly elected local government, though with very limited powers, as most of the powers are held by the central government in Freetown.

Sierra Leone became independent from the United Kingdom on 27 April 1961, led by Sir Milton Margai, who became the country's first Prime Minister. The current constitution of Sierra Leone was adopted in 1991, though it has been amended several times. Since independence in 1961 to present, Sierra Leonean politics has been dominated by two major political parties: the Sierra Leone People's Party and the All People's Congress. From 1991 to 2002, the Sierra Leone Civil War was fought and devastated the country. The war left more than 50,000 people dead, much of the country's infrastructure destroyed and over two million Sierra Leoneans displaced as refugees in neighbouring countries. In January 2002, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah fulfilled his campaign promise by ending the civil war with the help of the British government, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations. More recently, the 2014 Ebola outbreak overburdened the weak healthcare infrastructure, leading to more deaths from medical neglect than Ebola itself. It created a humanitarian crisis situation and heavily impacted economic growth. The country has an extremely low life expectancy relative to other countries, at 57.8 years.

Selected article

Pygmy Hippopotamus
The Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis) is a large mammal native to the forests and swamps of western Africa (the scientific species classification means "of Liberia", as this is where the vast majority lives). The pygmy hippo is reclusive and nocturnal. It is one of only two extant species in the hippopotamidae family, the other being its much larger cousin the common hippopotamus.

The pygmy hippopotamus displays many terrestrial adaptations, but like its larger cousin, it is semi-aquatic and relies on proximity to water to keep its skin moisturized and its body temperature cool. Behaviors such as mating and birth may occur in water or on land. The pygmy hippo is herbivorous, feeding on whatever ferns, broad-leaved plants, grasses and fruits it finds in the forests.

A rare nocturnal forest creature, the pygmy hippopotamus is a difficult animal to study in the wild; it also lives primarily in countries with a great degree of civil strife. Pygmy hippos lead mostly solitary lives; they are sometimes seen in pairs or threesomes, but never large pods like the common hippopotamus. Unlike the common hippopotamus, they are not known to be territorial. (read more . . . )

Selected picture


The road from Kenema to Kailahun District
Credit: Lindsay Stark
The road from Kenema to Kailahun District. (read more . . . )

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Class at a secondary school in Pendembu, Sierra Leone

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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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