Timeline Sierra Leone
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settlers bought land from African tribal leaders in Sierra Leone and
used it as a haven for freed African slaves. The indigenous
community, dominated by the Mende, wiped out the first settlers. A
2nd group followed in 1792. The settlers intermarried but held
themselves aloof, monopolized power and discriminated against the
original population. In 2005 Simon Schama authored “Rough Crossings:
Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution.”
(SFC, 3/11/98, p.A10)(SFC, 2/14/98, p.A8)(WSJ,
5/31/00, p.A26)(Econ, 8/27/05, p.66)(MT, summer 2003, p.8)
1792 The British St. George’s
Bay Company transported a 2nd group of settlers to Freetown. This
included 1,196 Blacks from Nova Scotia, 500 Jamaicans and dozens of
rebellious slaves from other colonies.
(MT, summer 2003, p.8)
1807 After Britain outlawed the
slave trade people called “Recaptives,” those freed from slave
ships, were sent to join the settlers in Sierra Leone. The settlers
formed a new tribe called the Kri and created a language called
(MT, summer 2003, p.8)
1820 Feb 6, The American
Colonization Society sent its 1st organized emigration of blacks
back to Africa from NY to Sierra Leone.
(AH, 2/05, p.17)
1839 Jun 27, The Spanish
coasting vessel La Amistad (The Friendship) set sail from Cuba to
Porta Prince with a load of African slaves. Cinque, originally
Senghbe, and over 50 other Africans had been kidnapped in Sierra
Leone and sold into slavery in Cuba. They were carried on a Spanish
ship, the Tecora, to Cuba. Cinque and 49 other slaves and 4 children
were placed on the ship La Amistad destined for Haiti. They
revolted, killed the captain, and ordered the crew back to Africa
but the ship sailed north and ran aground. It was captured by the US
Navy on August 26. A legal battle ensued in New London, Conn., that
went to the Supreme court where former Pres. John Quincy Adams
argued for their freedom and won. An 1855 novella by Herman
Melville, "Benito Cereno" looked at the rebellion through the eyes
of an American interloper. Barbara Chase-Ribaud later wrote "Echo of
Lions," a novel based on the Amistad. In 1996 Steven Spielberg
announced plans to direct a film based on the incident titled
"Amistad." The film was to be released in 1997. A 1997 opera
production, "Amistad," by Anthony Davis premiered in Chicago.
DB p.57)(USAT, 11/19/97, p.2D)(WSJ, 12/5/97, p.A16)(SFEC,12/797, DB
p.44)(SFC,12/26/97, p.C6)(HN, 6/28/99)
1841 Mar 9, The rebel slaves
who seized a Spanish slave ship, the Amistad, two years earlier were
freed by the US Supreme Court despite Spanish demands for
extradition. John Quincy Adams (74), former US president, defended
“the Mendi people,” a group of Africans who rebelled and killed the
crew aboard the slave ship Amistad, while en route to Cuba. They
faced mutiny charges upon landing in New York but Adams won their
acquittal before the Supreme Court. In thanks they bestowed to him
an 1838 English Bible. In 1996 the Bible was stolen from the Adams
National Historic Site in Quincy, Mass.
(WSJ, 1/3/97, p.A7)(HN, 3/9/99)
1841 Nov, Freed African
survivors of the slave ship Amistad returned to Sierra Leone,
Africa. Abolitionists had raised money to help the freed slaves of
the Amistad return home. When Cinque, the leader of the revolt,
reached home, he found that his family had been captured and sold
1879 Cinque, the leader of the
1839 Amistad revolt, died in Sierra Leone.
1895 Dec 7, Sir Milton Margay,
first Prime Minister of Sierra Leone, was born.
1898 The imposition of a hut
tax sparked an indigenous rebellion in which many settlers were
killed. Britain declared a protectorate and assumed formal
administration until independence.
(WSJ, 5/31/00, p.A26)
1936 Graham Green (1904-1991),
English writer, authored “Journey Without Maps,” a travel account
about a 350-mile, 4-week walk through the interior of Liberia and
Sierra Leone in 1935.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Burnt-Out_Case)(Econ, 9/4/10, p.90)
1961 Apr 27, United Kingdom
granted Sierra Leone independence.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)(SFC, 3/11/98, p.A10)(HN,
1968 Apr 26, In Sierra Leone
Pres. Siaka Stevens (1905-1988) re-assumed the post of prime
minister following brief military rule. He led a one-party socialist
state that was later described as a “17-year plague of locusts.”
(WSJ, 5/31/00, p.A26)(Econ, 8/4/07,
1973 Oct 3, Sierra Leone’s
President Stevens engineered the creation of the Mano River Union,
an economic federation of Sierra Leone and Liberia. Guinea joined in
1975 May 25, ECOWAS Treaty1 was
signed. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was
formed in Nigeria with 15 members that included: Benin, Cape Verde,
Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali,
Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Upper Volta (later
1980 Jul 1, Sierra Leone’s
President Stevens began serving as Chairman of the Organization of
African Unity (OAU) and continued until 24 June 1981.
1980 Guinea joined the Mano
River Union, an economic federation of Sierra Leone and Liberia
created in 1973. Due to conflicts involving the countries the
objectives of the Union could not be achieved. The union was
reactivated in 2004.
1985 Oct 28, In Sierra Leone
Pres. Siaka Stevens retired from office at the end of his term.
After pressuring all other potential successors to step aside,
Major-General Joseph Saidu Momoh was sworn in as the new President
of the Republic.
1985-1992 Pres. Joseph Saidu Momoh presided over a
one-party state. In 1998 he was convicted of a 1997 conspiracy to
(SFC, 11/7/98, p.A14)
1991 RUF guerrillas including
Sam Bockerie invaded Sierra Leone from Liberia. Charles Taylor
formed the guerrillas in 1989.
(SFC, 5/7/03, p.A11)
1991 In Sierra Leone an 11-year
civil war began and by 1996 10,000 had been killed. Foday Sankoh’s
Revolutionary United Front began fighting the bush war. In 1998
Sankoh was charged with treason. By 2002 some 50-200 thousand people
were killed and a third of the country’s 6 million people were
forced to flee.
(WSJ, 5/7/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 6/6/97, p.E2)(SFC,
9/5/98, p.A12)(Econ, 6/2/07, p.48)
1992 In Sierra Leone Valentine
Strasser (25) took over rule in a coup, that toppled Pres. Joseph
Momoh, and became the world’s youngest head of state.
(WSJ, 1/17/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 2/21/98, p.A9)(SFC,
1992 ULIMO, The United Movement
of Liberia arose as a guerilla force to stop cooperation between
Sierra Leone’s rebel leader Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor.
(SFC, 4/17/96, p.A-8)
1995 Sierra Leone hired a
private army to battle rebels.
(WSJ, 6/19/01, p.A1)
1996 Jan, Sierra Leone
Military ruler Valentine Strasser was ousted in a bloodless coup by
Brig. Julius Maada Bio, who immediately suspended elections set for
(WSJ, 1/17/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 7/25/02, p.A16)
1996 Feb, Ahmed Tejan Kabbah
(SFC, 5/27/97, p.A12)
1996 Mar, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
was elected president. The vote ended the rule by military
government which announced a cease fire was with rebels after 5
years of civil war. Rebels chopped off the hands of the voters they
(WSJ, 3/18/96, A-1)(WSJ, 5/14/02, p.A1)
1996 Apr 24, Sierra Leone
reached a truce with rebels after a five-year war and will seek a
permanent peace accord. The truce came after Ivory Coast talks
between the new civilian president and the rebel leader.
(WSJ, 4/24/96, A-1)
1996 May 7, Peace talks opened
in the Ivory Coast to resolve a civil war that has killed 10,000
people since 1991.
(WSJ, 5/7/96, p.A-1)
1996 Aug 26, Rebels killed 31
villagers and 7 soldiers in the eastern village of Foindu.
(SFC, 8/29/96, p.A14)
1996 Oct 20, In northern Sierra
Leone rebels killed 36 people including 6 patients at the Masanga
(SFC, 10/21/96, p.A10)
1996 Nov 30, Pres. Ahmad Tejan
Kabbah and rebel leader Foday Sankoh signed a peace accord. Nearly 1
million displaced people had settled in camps around the capital,
Freetown. The accord failed to hold.
(SFC, 11/30/96, p.A13)(SFC, 6/6/97, p.E2)
1997 Jan 29, The UN World Food
Program announced a 6-month $19.4 million food aid operation.
(SFC, 1/30/97, p.A10)
1997 May 25, In Sierra Leone
rebellious soldiers seized power. Pres. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah fled to
Guinea. Exiled rebel leader Foday Sankoh, leader of the
Revolutionary Unite Front and held in a Nigerian jail, was invited
by Major Johnny Paul Koroma to join a new government. Some 15 people
were killed and 40 injured in the coup.
(SFEC, 5/26/97, p.A8)(SFC, 5/27/97, p.A12)
1997 Jun 2, Nigerian naval
vessels opened fire on Sierra Leone.
(SFC, 6/2/97, p.A8)
1997 Jun 3, Reinforcements from
a peace-keeping force in Liberia was sent in to help Nigerian troops
against the insurrectionist troops of Sierra Leone.
(SFC, 6/4/97, p.A10)
1997 Jun 4, The 53-nation
Organization of African Unity unanimously condemned the coup in
Sierra Leone. The 16-member Nigerian-led Economic Community of West
African states pledged not to tolerate military coups on the
continent a day after it approved the use of force to restore the
government of Sierra Leone.
(SFC, 6/5/97, p.C3)
1997 Jun 17, In Sierra Leone
Major Johnny Paul Koroma was sworn in as head of state and pledged
to work to restore democracy.
(SFC, 6/18/97, p.A10)
1997 Jul 1, Thailand let its
currency, the baht, float and it devalued about 20%. This event
marked the beginning of the Asian economic crises. In 1999 Thailand
sought to extradite Rakesh Saxena, a currency trader, from Canada
for his role in an alleged fraud that drained over $2 billion from
the Bangkok Bank of Commerce, which led to the devaluation of the
baht. Pin Chakkaphak was blamed for the collapse of the currency and
fled Asia. He was ordered back from Britain in 2001 to face
accounting and theft charges. In 2009 Saxena (57) arrived in
Thailand after his extradition from Canada to face charges he
embezzled $88 million from the Bangkok Bank of Commerce, which
collapsed in 1995. Saxena was also implicated in backing the
attempted 1997 coup in Sierra Leone.
(SFC, 7/3/97, p.D4)(WSJ, 7/21/97, p.A1)(SFEC,
5/31/98, p.D1)(WSJ, 5/7/99, p.A1)(SFC, 3/9/01, p.A16)(Econ, 3/25/06,
p.80)(AP, 10/30/09)(Econ, 11/7/09, p.42)
1997 Jul 18, Leaders of the
ruling junta pledged to implement an immediate cease fire and to
restore constitutional government.
(SFC, 7/19/97, p.A11)
1997 Jul 30, Major Johnny
Komora announced that elections for civilian rule would be held in
Nov of 2001.
(SFC, 8/1/97, p.A16)
1997 Sep 8, In Liberia some
200,000 refugees from Sierra Leone had spilled over from escalating
(WSJ, 9/9/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 8, The UN imposed
sanctions on Sierra Leone to pressure for the restoration of
(SFC, 10/9/97, p.C3)
1997 Oct 19, At least 70 people
fleeing air raids in Freetown were killed when their truck
overturned. Nigerian jets were bombing the city and at least 10,000
people had already fled.
1997 Dec 15, At least 60 people
died in a canoe mishap on the Manor River near the Liberian border
while fleeing renewed violence.
1998 Jan 27, In Sierra Leone
fighting broke out between junta troops and Nigerian peacekeepers
trying to restore Pres. Kabbah.
(WSJ, 1/28/98, p.A1)
1998 Feb 5, In Sierra Leone
fighting began as Nigerian led intervention forces moved to oust the
(SFC, 2/12/98, p.A12)(SFC, 2/13/98, p.D5)
1998 Feb 8, A jet belonging to
West African peacekeepers fired on a tank with a mounted
anti-aircraft gun in Freetown and killed 6 people. Nigerian led
peacekeepers were moving toward Freetown in an effort to drive the
military junta from power.
(SFC, 2/9/98, p.A12)
1998 Feb 12, In Sierra Leone
the Nigerian led intervention force captured the country’s State
House in Freetown.
(SFC, 2/13/98, p.D5)
1998 Feb 13, Freetown fell to
Nigerian led forces. Two helicopter gunships with some 50 senior
members of the military junta were captured near Monrovia.
(SFC, 2/14/98, p.A8)
1998 Feb 17, In Sierra Leone 7
Western relief workers were reported kidnapped.
(SFC, 2/18/98, p.C3)
1998 Feb 20, Former pres.
Joseph Momoh was caught while trying to escape the capital under
disguise as a woman. He was alleged to be a close advisor to the
junta that ousted Pres. Kabbah.
(SFC, 2/21/98, p.A9)
1998 Feb 25, Bo was captured by
Nigerian-led peacekeeping troops. The city was reported badly
damaged with many dead.
(WSJ, 2/26/98, p.A1)
1998 Mar, Ahmed Kabbah was
restored to power with the help of a Nigerian-led African force that
ousted the military junta. In May it was reported that Sandline
Int’l. was paid $10 million on behalf of Kabbah to arm and train a
force to return him to power. Peter Penfield, the British
ambassador, coordinated the operation. The planeloads of weaponry
that were brought were in direct violation of a UN arms embargo on
Sierra Leone. The US was reportedly kept informed of the entire
(SFC, 5/13/98, p.A11)
1998 May 25, In Sierra Leone
Borboh Jeff Kamara (14) was walking to school with classmates when
rebels grabbed him, held him down and cut off his fingers, leaving
only his thumbs.
1998 May 29, Defeated rebels
were conducting a campaign of terror in the countryside and hundreds
have been killed since the rebels were driven from the cities in
(WSJ, 5/29/98, p.A1)
1998 Jun 3, It was reported
that 243,000 refugees had fled to camps in Liberia and Guinea in
terror of the ousted junta’s loyalists.
(WSJ, 6/3/98, p.A1)
1998 Jul 29, A report called
“Sowing Terror” was published that documented the violence of the
Armed Forces Revolutionary Council and the Revolutionary United
Front. The rebel campaign code-named “No Living Thing” maimed
civilians and sent them as messengers to the government of Pres.
Ahmad Kabbah. Rebel leader Foday Sankoh was turned over by Nigeria
to face charges in Sierra Leone.
(SFC, 7/30/98, p.A12,14)
1998 Aug 24, A jury found 16
people, including 5 journalists, guilty of collaborating with the
ousted military junta.
(SFC, 8/25/98, p.A8)
1998 Sep 24, In Sierra Leone
troops from the ECOMOG peacekeeping force killed at least 50
traditional Kapra hunters after the hunters opened fire on them. The
hunters claimed to have mistaken the troops for rebels.
(SFC, 9/28/98, p.A10)
1998 Oct 12, In Sierra Leone a
military court condemned 34 officers to death for their
participation in a 1997 coup.
(SFC, 10/13/98, p.A11)
1998 Oct 19, In Sierra Leone a
firing squad executed 24 soldiers for taking part in the May, 1997,
(SFC, 10/20/98, p.C12)
1998 Nov 4, Former Pres. Joseph
Saidu Momoh was convicted of conspiracy to commit treason in the May
(SFC, 11/7/98, p.A14)
1998 Nov 15, Rebels attacked a
village on the northern border and killed 16 people with guns and
machetes. Another 50 were abducted.
(SFC, 11/16/98, p.A13)
1998 Dec 6, In Sierra Leone at
least 51 rebels were killed in fierce fighting north of Freetown.
(WSJ, 12/9/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 8, It was reported
that Chief Samuel Hinga Norman, the deputy minister of defense, had
founded a cult-based militia, the Kamajors, to help fight the
(SFC, 12/8/98, p.A12,16)
1998 Dec 13, As many as 200
died in weekend battles 35 miles from the capital. The Nigerian-led
military said that a large force of rebels had been cut off and
(WSJ, 12/15/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 19, In Sierra Leone
rebels overran the eastern diamond city of Koidu and many were
(WSJ, 12/21/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 25, In Sierra Leone
Sam Bockarie of the Revolutionary United Front said that his rebels
would march into Freetown on New Year's Day unless the government
agreed to terms that included the release of Foday Sankoh. Rebels
had captured Makeni and were battling for Kenema.
(SFC, 12/26/98, p.A14)
1998 Dec 26, In Sierra Leone
residents in Freetown burned alive 2 suspected rebel spies. The
rebel United Front reported that it had killed 60 Nigerian soldiers
of ECOMOG. Defenses in Freetown were bolstered by Kamajor militia.
(SFEC, 12/27/98, p.A23)
1998 Dec 27, In Sierra Leone
Nigerian jets killed some 50 rebels in Makeni and ECOMOG forces took
control following fierce fighting.
(SFC, 12/28/98, p.B1)
1998 Johnny Paul Koromo, the
junta leader, was run out of Freetown by a Nigerian led intervention
(SFEC, 6/4/00, p.C15)
1998 Foday Sankoh was sentenced
to death for treason.
(SFC, 10/4/99, p.A16)
1999 Jan 4, In Sierra Leone
Nigerian troops repelled a rebel attack on Freetown's airport.
Gambia and Mali agreed to send troops to join the Nigerian forces.
(WSJ, 1/5/99, p.A1)
1999 Jan 6, In Sierra Leone
rebels shot their way into Freetown and captured the presidential
(SFC, 1/7/99, p.A8)
1999 Jan 7, In Sierra Leone
rebels rampaged through Freetown as Pres. Kabbah announced an
agreement with jailed rival leader, Foday Sankoh, for a cease-fire.
(SFC, 1/8/99, p.A13)
1999 Jan 8, In Sierra Leone Sam
Bockarie of the rebel army rejected a cease-fire and pushed to the
western parts of Freetown.
(SFC, 1/9/99, p.A9)
1999 Jan 10, In Sierra Leone
Myles Tierney (34), an AP TV producer, was killed in Freetown by a
rebel fighter. AP journalist Ian Stewart was wounded. In 2002
Stewart authored “Ambushed: A War Reporter's Life on the Line.”
(SFC, 1/11/99, p.A10)(SSFC, 11/30/02, p.M3)
1999 Jan 14, In Sierra Leone
the rebel alliance was prepared for a cease-fire after Nigerian led
forces took control of Freetown.
(SFC, 1/15/99, p.A15)
1999 Jan 21, In Sierra Leone
the rebels were killing and mutilating civilians as they fell back
before Nigerian led troops.
(WSJ, 1/22/99, p.A1)
1999 Jan 25, A mortuary worker
reported that at least 2,000 men, women and children were killed in
(SFC, 2/12/99, p.A8)
1999 Jan 31, In Sierra Leone
rebels freed 11 Indian nationals abducted a week ago. The government
said that as many as 3,000-5000 people died during the fighting in
Freetown. The number of dead was raised to 6,350.
(WSJ, 2/1/99, p.A1)(SFC, 2/12/99, p.A8)(SFC,
1999 Jan, The RUF assault on
Freetown was dubbed “Operation No Living Things.” Over 4,500
children under 18, close to 60% girls, were reported missing from
Freetown following the rebel invasion.
(SFC, 6/28/00, p.A12)(SFC, 7/22/01, p.A12)
1999 Feb 3, A boatload of
refugees from Sierra Leone sank near Guinea and 50 people were
(WSJ, 2/4/99, p.A1)
1999 Mar 2, In Sierra Leone the
Kamajors militia won the battle for Moyamba after 6 days of heavy
fighting. They reported that 200 rebels were killed.
(SFC, 3/3/99, p.A10)
1999 Mar 9, A Sierra Leone
rebel leader made a radio appeal to his followers for a cease-fire
and peace talks.
(WSJ, 3/10/99, p.A1)
1999 Mar 10, Rebels rejected a
cease fire plea by their jailed leader.
(WSJ, 3/11/99, p.A1)
1999 Mar 22, In Sierra Leone at
least 150 people drowned when an overloaded motorized canoe capsized
(SFC, 3/26/99, p.A14)
1999 Apr 6, In Sierra Leone
rebels ambushed 2 passenger boats on the Mabang River and 60 people
(SFC, 4/7/99, p.C12)
1999 Apr 16, Rebel troops fled
Songo and killed over 100 men, women and children as the ECOMOG West
African and loyalist militia entered the town.
(SFC, 4/22/99, p.D12)
1999 Apr 26, Foday Sankoh,
Sierra Leone rebel leader, offered a cease-fire following a meeting
with his commanders in Togo.
(SFC, 4/27/99, p.A10)
1999 May 18, In Sierra Leone
the government and the rebels agreed to a cease-fire to begin next
week along with peace talks.
(SFC, 5/19/99, p.A12)
1999 Jun 3, From Sierra Leone a
new wave of mutilations was reported by Doctors Without Borders.
(SFC, 6/3/99, p.C3)
1999 Jun 30, In Sierra Leone
the rebel movement accepted a government offer of power-sharing and
a peace accord.
(SFC, 7/1/99, p.A14)
1999 Jul 7, Pres. Ahmed Tejan
Kabbah of Sierra Leone signed a peace accord, the Lome Accord, with
rebel leader Foday Sankoh in Togo. Sankoh was given the
vice-presidency and the rebels were promised 4 ministerial and 4
deputy ministerial posts.
(SFC, 7/8/99, p.A8)
1999 Aug 5, In Sierra Leone
former RUF soldiers kidnapped over 2 dozen UN military observers,
aid workers and journalists at Okra Hills during a meeting for a
(SFC, 8/6/99, p.A18)
1999 Aug 8, In Sierra Leone
rebels freed at least 19 of 35 captives taken on Aug 5.
(SFC, 8/9/99, p.A10)
1999 Aug 10, In Sierra Leone
rebels released the remaining hostages along with 200 civilians
taken prisoner earlier.
(SFC, 8/11/99, p.A10)
1999 Aug 20, It was reported
that tens thousands of refugees from Sierra Leone had fled to
northern Liberia and that many were robbed and killed by retreating
(SFC, 8/20/99, p.D3)
1999 Sep 28, Officials called
for a 6,000 member UN force to safeguard the fragile peace accord.
(SFC, 9/29/99, p.C14)
1999 Oct 3, Foday Sankoh
returned home with former junta leader Johnny Paul Koroma and met
with Pres. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. Sankoh gave a radio speech and
pleaded for forgiveness.
(SFC, 10/4/99, p.A16)
1999 Oct 18, In Sierra Leone US
Sec. Albright paid a visit and promised $55 million in US aid and
$65 million in debt forgiveness, conditioned on the implementation
of an IMF economic program.
(SFC, 10/19/99, p.A11)
1999 Oct 22, The UN Security
Council voted to send a 6,000 member peacekeeping force to safeguard
the July 7 peace deal.
(SFC, 10/23/99, p.A10)
1999 Oct 24, In Sierra Leone
some 100 soldiers were killed over the weekend as the Revolutionary
United Front battled former junta soldiers between Makeni and
(SFC, 10/27/99, p.A13)
1999 Nov 30, Kenyan soldiers
began to arrive as part of a 6,000 member 2-year peacekeeping force
that would include 3,000 soldiers from ECOMOG.
(SFC, 12/1/99, p.C8)
1999 Dec, Sam Bockerie fell out
with RUF leader Foday Sankoh over diamonds and fled to Liberia with
several hundred loyalists.
(SFC, 5/7/03, p.A11)
1999 Yair Klein, a former
lieutenant colonel in the Israeli army, began a prison term in
Sierra Leone. He spent 16 months in prison on charges that he was
smuggling arms to rebels from the Revolutionary United Front (RUF).
Klein, through his private mercenary company, Spearhead Ltd., had
provided arms and training to armed forces in South America,
Lebanon, and Sierra Leone.
2000 Jan 15, Three hundred
child soldiers were released. They had been held by AFRC rebels in
Kabala for months.
(SFC, 1/22/00, p.A11)
2000 Jan 20, A hundred child
soldiers arrived in Freetown. They had been held by RUF rebels in
Kabala for months.
(SFC, 1/22/00, p.A11)
2000 Feb 7, The UN Security
Council voted to expand the peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone from
6,000 to 11,100.
(SFC, 2/8/00, p.A14)
2000 Mar 6, It was reported
that RUF rebels earned tens of millions of dollars annually from the
sale of diamonds.
(SFC, 3/6/00, p.A11)
2000 Mar 6, In Sierra Leone
some 150 former rebel fighters were reported killed after a
clandestine diamond mine they were working collapsed.
(SFC, 3/8/00, p.C4)
2000 May 2, Revolutionary
United Front rebels seized 50 UN workers over the last 2 days as the
West African intervention force completed its pullout. The seizures
took place in Makeni, Kailahun and Magburaka.
(SFC, 5/3/00, p.A13)
2000 May 3, Rebels of the
Revolutionary United Front killed 7 UN Kenyan peacekeepers. The
number was later reduced to 4 presumed dead.
(SFC, 5/4/00, p.A1)(WSJ, 5/5/00, p.A1)
2000 May 4, Rebels seized more
UN troops and brought the total of hostages to 90.
(SFC, 5/5/00, p.A18)
2000 May 5, Rebels seized more
UN troops and were reported to be holding 300 troops and observers
hostage. Gen. Vijay Kumar Jetley of India scrambled to consolidate
his UN troop positions.
(SFC, 5/6/00, p.A1)
2000 May 6, Rebels clashed with
UN peacekeepers and advanced on Freetown.
(SFEC, 5/7/00, p.A1)
2000 May 8, In Sierra Leone
bodyguards of Foday Sankoh fired into a crowd of pro-government
protestors in Freetown and killed 7 people. Sankoh later
(SFC, 5/9/00, p.A1)(SFC, 5/10/00, p.A12)
2000 May 10, In Sierra Leone
the cease-fire ended as pro-government forces rushed to fight rebels
moving toward Freetown as refugees clogged the roads. The rebels
were pushed back 23 miles to Newton.
(SFC, 5/11/00, p.A18)(WSJ, 5/11/00, p.A1)
2000 May 14, Rebels handed over
139 UN peacekeepers to Liberia while officials in Freetown secured
the release of 18 others. Meanwhile fighting continued for control
of Masiaka town 30 miles east of Freetown.
(SFC, 5/15/00, p.A12)
2000 May 17, In Sierra Leone
pro-government troops captured rebel leader Foday Sankoh.
(SFC, 5/18/00, p.A10)
2000 May 21, Rebels freed 54
more UN workers as government forces advanced on rebel positions.
(SFC, 5/22/00, p.A10)
2000 May 22, In Liberia 29
captured UN peacekeepers were freed while in Sierra Leone a half
dozen men with UN uniforms and Zambian insignia were found dead.
(SFC, 5/23/00, p.A10)
2000 May 24, In Sierra Leone 2
journalists and 4 soldiers were killed by rebel soldiers some 60
miles northeast of Freetown. Kurt Schork (53) of Reuters was one the
(SFC, 5/25/00, p.C16)(SFEC, 5/28/00, p.C14)
2000 May 26, In Sierra Leone
rebels released another 180 UN hostages. Pres. Kabbah announced
plans to prosecute rebel leader Foday Sankoh. The government issued
a statement promising not to recruit children under 18.
(SFC, 5/27/00, p.A12,14)
2000 May 28, In Sierra Leone
the last 85 UN peacekeepers were released by rebels into Liberia and
returned to Freetown.
(SFC, 5/29/00, p.A1)
2000 Jun 26, RUF rebels looted
food and burned down the villages of Komrabai, Mamilla and Robis
near the town of Mile 91.
(SFC, 6/28/00, p.A12)
2000 Jun 29, In Sierra Leone 21
UN peacekeepers were freed by rebels and arrived in Liberia.
(SFC, 6/30/00, p.A18)
2000 Jul 5, The UN Security
Council placed a diamond ban on the rebels of Sierra Leone to
strangle their ability to finance the civil war. 90% of the diamond
mines were in rebel hands.
(SFC, 7/6/00, p.A12)
2000 Jul 15, In Sierra Leone UN
troops freed 222 Indian peacekeepers and 11 military observers held
by rebels since May 1. One Indian peacekeeper was killed and 7
(SFEC, 7/16/00, p.B9)(SFC, 7/18/00, p.A12)
2000 Aug 21, In Sierra Leone
Issa Sesay, the top field commander of the Revolutionary United
Front, replaced Foday Sankoh as head.
(SFC, 8/22/00, p.A11)(WSJ, 8/22/00, p.A1)
2000 Aug 26, Eleven British
soldiers were seized by the “West side Boys,” a faction of a former
(SFEC, 8/27/00, p.C11)
2000 Sep 10, In Sierra Leone
British troops stormed the jungle base of the West Side Boys and
freed 7 hostages. 25 rebels were killed along with 1 British
soldier. 18 rebels were taken prisoner including leader Foday
Kallay. SAS troopers eradicated the West Side Boys led by Commanders
Mega-Rapist, Slaughter and others.
(SFC, 9/11/00, p.A8)(Econ, 10/22/05, p.61)
2000 Oct 25, The 1,800 man
peacekeeping contingent from Jordan began to withdraw and charged
that rich nations were not doing their share.
(WSJ, 10/26/00, p.A1)
2000 Oct 26, Diamonds from
Sierra Leone arrived in Antwerp under a new UN plan to keep diamond
revenues from financing civil war.
(SFC, 10/28/00, p.A12)
2001 Jan 19, In Liberia Pres.
Charles Taylor said that he has ended support of the RUF in Sierra
Leone and would submit to int’l. scrutiny of his finances.
(SFC, 1/20/01, p.A14)
2001 Mar 7, The UN Security
Council imposed an embargo on Liberia’s trade in weapons and
diamonds in an effort to halt arms to rebels in Sierra Leone.
(SFC, 3/8/01, p.A13)
2001 Mar 20, Liberia ordered
its security forces to seal its border with Sierra Leone.
(SFC, 3/21/01, p.A14)
2001 May 16, Rebels and
pro-government militias agreed to end hostilities and begin
(SFC, 5/17/01, p.A12)
2001 May 23, Pres. Bush banned
the import of rough diamonds from Liberia in an effort to deprive
rebels in Sierra Leone of a source of funds.
(SFC, 5/24/01, p.C3)
2001 May 23, The UN reported
that in Sierra Leone some 2,300 fighters turned in their weapons in
the 1st 6 days of a new disarmament deal.
(SFC, 5/24/01, p.C3)
2001 May 25, In Sierra Leone
the Revolutionary United Front surrendered 581 boys and 10 girls
(6-11) to the UN.
(SFC, 5/26/01, p.A10)
2001 Aug 21, It was reported
that rebels were still mining diamonds using conscripts and
children. Sales were being made to middlemen who smuggled the stones
out of the country. The UN mandate to enforce a cease-fire did not
include enforcing a mining ban.
(SFC, 8/21/01, p.A6)
2001 Sep 3, Pres. Ahmed Tejan
Kabbah shook hands with RUF Gen. Issa Sesay in Koidu and declared
himself convinced that the war was over.
(SFC, 9/4/01, p.B1)
2001 Sep 6, Britain announced
that it would wrap up its mission in Sierra Leone by the end of the
(SFC, 9/7/01, p.A16)
2001 Nov 2, It was reported
that Ibrahim Bah, a Libyan-trained former Senegalese rebel, lived in
Burkina Faso and selected diamond dealers to handle deals in Liberia
between rebels from Sierra Leone and the al Qaeda network.
(SFC, 11/2/01, p.A8)
2002 Jan 3, The UN made public
a decision by Kofi Annan to pursue war crimes in Sierra Leone with a
war crimes tribunal.
(SFC, 1/5/02, p.A7)
2002 May 14, UN sponsored
voting for the presidency and parliament took place for the 1st time
since the war ended in 2000. Pres. Kabbah posted a strong lead.
(WSJ, 5/14/02, p.A1)(SFC, 5/15/02, p.A14)(WSJ,
5/16/02, p.A1)(SSFC, 5/19/02, p.A18)
2002 May 19, The National
Election Committee declared Pres. Kabbah the winner with 70.6% of
(SFC, 5/20/02, p.A6)
2002 Jul 26, Liberian attackers
crossed into eastern Sierra Leone and abducted 18 villagers, in the
second such raid in just over a week.
2003 Jan 11, It was reported
that former combatants from Liberia and Sierra Leone were pouring
into Ivory Coast to fight with the rebels.
(SFC, 1/11/03, p.A8)
2003 Jan 19, Sierra Leone
declared ex-junta leader Johnny Paul Koroma a wanted man linking him
to an alleged plot to destabilize the country.
2003 Mar 3, A Special Court for
Sierra Leone indicted Liberian Pres. Charles Taylor on charges
including murder, rape, sexual slavery, conscripting child soldiers
and terrorizing civilians for his support of rebels during Sierra
Leone civil war. The Indictment was unsealed on June 4, 2003, during
Taylor's first overseas trip since his indictment.
2003 Mar 10, In Sierra
Leone Foday Sankoh, a former rebel leader whose followers were known
for mutilating civilians, was indicted along with 6 others by Sierra
Leone’s war crimes tribunal. Sam Bockerie was among the indicted.
(AP, 3/11/03)(SFC, 5/7/03, p.A11)
2003 Apr 14, Sierra Leone began
holding truth commission public hearings across the nation.
2003 cApr 19, In Sierra Leone
an international war crimes tribunal indicted Augustine Gbao, a
former rebel battlefield commander in the decade-long civil war
declared over in 2002. He was the 8th person indicted by the special
2003 Apr 25, Fighters from
Sierra Leone and Liberia killed rebel leader Sgt. Felix Doh near the
town of Gbinta, in western Ivory Coast.
2003 Jun 4, The UN Security
Council agreed to end a ban on the export of so-called "blood
diamonds" from Sierra Leone because of government efforts to control
the diamond industry.
2003 Jul 29, Foday Sankoh (65),
an indicted Sierra Leone war criminal whose rebel forces were
notorious for hacking off the limbs, lips and ears of civilians,
died in UN custody at a Freetown hospital.
2003 Dec 4, Interpol put ousted
Liberian leader Charles Taylor on its most-wanted list, issuing a
"red notice" calling for his arrest on war crimes charges in Sierra
Leone's civil war.
2003 Daniel Bergner authored
"In the Land of Magic Soldiers: A Story of White and Black in West
Africa," an account of the war in Sierra Leone.
(Econ, 8/30/03, p.62)
2003 Peter Griffiths authored
"The Economist's Tale: A Consultant Encounters Hunger and the World
Bank," an account of the factors that caused the war in Sierra
(Econ, 8/30/03, p.62)
2004 Feb 4, In Sierra Leone
Pres. Ahmed Tejah Kabbah and international sponsors declared a
successful end to disarmament, closing a final chapter in an 11-year
war that was one of the modern world's most vicious.
2004 May 22, Voters in Sierra
Leone choose local councils for the first time in 30 years.
2004 Jun 15, In Sierra Leone a
U.N.-backed war crimes trial began. The court was trying alleged
crimes including rape, burning and looting, use of child soldiers
and forced marriage committed during the 1991-2002 war.
2004 Jun 29, A UN helicopter
crashed in Sierra Leone and all 24 aboard were killed.
(WSJ, 6/30/04, p.A1)
2004 Jul 5, In Sierra Leone a
UN-sponsored war crimes court opened the first trials for rebel
military commanders accused in the 10-year campaign for control of
the diamond-rich country.
2004 Oct, Fanny An Eddy, Sierra
Leone’s best known lesbian, was found murdered.
(Econ, 10/9/04, p.42)
2004 Dec 20, Ten men charged
with plotting to overthrow Sierra Leone's government last year were
convicted of treason and sentenced to death by hanging.
2004 In Sierra Leone a
government sponsored Truth and Reconciliation Commission published
its conclusions and decided that rampant corruption during the
preceding decades was a major cause of the civil war that erupted in
(Econ, 11/21/09, p.50)
2005 Feb 21, In Sierra Leone an
Australian investigator for a U.N.-backed war-crimes tribunal was
convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl who sought a job
as a nanny in his household.
2005 Feb, Emmerson Bockarie
released an album called “Bor Bor Belleh” (Fat Belly Boys), a
reference to corrupt officials hampering Sierra Leone development.
(Econ, 6/25/05, p.46)
2005 Oct 4, UN peacekeepers
preparing to pull out of Sierra Leone said they have completed the
mission they began six years ago but warn the country still has a
long way to go before it recovers from one of Africa's most brutal
2005 Dec 30, In Sierra Leone
the last soldiers, in what was once the United Nations' biggest
peacekeeping force, packed up old refrigerators and fax machines,
striking camp after six years helping end the civil war there.
2005 P.W. Singer authored
“Children at War,” a detailed analysis of the use of child soldiers
around the world, including Liberia and Sierra Leone.
(SSFC, 1/30/05, p.C3)
2006 Apr 4, Charles Taylor
appeared in a UN-backed court in Sierra Leone with 11 counts of
crimes against humanity and other violations of int’l. law.
(Econ, 4/8/06, p.46)
2006 Sep 11, Taxi drivers in
Sierra Leone went on strike, bringing the capital to a standstill
after police jailed 100 of their colleagues for driving with bald
tires, broken lights or without a valid license.
2006 Aminatta Forna authored
“Ancestor Stones,” a novel that tells the stories of 4 women in
Sierra Leone following independence in 1961.
(SSFC, 10/1/06, p.G5)
2007 Feb 22, Sam Hinga Norman
(67), a former government minister on trial for allegedly overseeing
a militia accused of torturing and mutilating civilians during
Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war, died at a Senegalese hospital.
2007 May 30, Outgoing British
PM Tony Blair arrived in the small west African nation of Sierra
Leone on the second leg of a three-nation African tour.
2007 Jun 3, In Sierra Leone a
helicopter ferrying passengers to the main airport crashed, bursting
into flames and killing 22 people, mostly Togo soccer fans.
(AP, 6/4/07)(AP, 6/5/07)
2007 Jun 20, In Sierra Leone 3
former military leaders were found guilty of war crimes by a
UN-backed court, the first verdicts from the country's civil war and
the first convictions in an international court for using child
soldiers. Alex Tamba Brima, Brima Bazzy Kamara and Santigie Borbor
Kanu were indicted in 2003 as the alleged leaders of a junta, called
the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, which toppled the government
in 1997 and then teamed up with rebels to control the country until
2007 Jun 25, In the Netherlands
former Liberian president Charles Taylor boycotted the resumption of
his war crimes trial.
2007 Jul 19, A UN-backed court
sentenced three former rebel leaders to prison, the first
punishments handed down by the war crimes tribunal since it was set
up five years ago after Sierra Leone's decade-long conflict ended.
Alex Tamba Brima (35) and Santigie Borbor Kanu (42) were each given
50-year jail terms, while Brima Bazzy Kamara (39) received 45 years.
2007 Aug 2, In Sierra Leone 2
former members of a pro-government militia were convicted of war
crimes, the second round of rulings by a UN-backed court attempting
to punish those most responsible for brutalities committed during
Sierra Leone's decade-long civil war. A boat traveling from Freetown
to the northern town of Kassiri capsized in the mouth of the Little
Scarcies River. At least 10 people were killed and 45 others left
(AP, 8/2/07)(AP, 8/3/07)(AP, 8/4/07)
2007 Aug 4, Unemployment in
Sierra Leone, with a population of some 6 million, stood at close to
80% with poverty and corruption widespread and endemic. The
country’s Anti-Corruption Commission was now a lame duck as its $2
million annual funding was suspended by exasperated British donors.
(Econ, 8/4/07, p.42)
2007 Aug 7, ECOWAS said the
last refugees from Liberia and Sierra Leone in Nigeria have been
allowed to settle and they will have access to work, education and
health on the same terms as Nigerians, West African regional bloc.
2007 Aug 11, Sierra Leone held
its first elections since UN peacekeepers left nearly two years ago,
a vote that will test whether the diamond-rich West African country
can transfer power peacefully after years of conflict. The
opposition won a parliamentary majority, but the presidential race
faced a runoff in September.
(AP, 8/11/07)(WSJ, 8/24/07, p.A1)
2007 Sep 8, Voting began in
Sierra Leone's presidential runoff, a ballot to choose the West
African nation's first new leader since UN peacekeepers withdrew two
2007 Sep 15, In Sierra Leone
with three-quarters of the vote counted opposition leader Ernest Bai
Koroma held a commanding lead in the presidential runoff.
2007 Sep 17, Sierra Leone
election officials declared opposition candidate Ernest Bai Koroma
has won the presidential run-off.
2007 Oct 9, In Sierra Leone a
UN-backed court sentenced Moinina Fofana and Allieu Kondewa, two
former leaders of a pro-government militia, to six and eight years
in prison for brutalities committed during Sierra Leone's civil war
(1991-2002). In 2008 a UN-backed war crimes court more than doubled
the prison terms for the two ex-militia leaders.
(AP, 10/9/07)(AP, 5/28/08)
2007 Nov 21, Ishmael Beah (27),
a former child soldier and survivor of Sierra Leone's civil war, was
appointed UNICEF's first Advocate for Children Affected by War.
2007 Dec 21, In Freetown,
Sierra Leone, a two-story building of apartments and shops caught
fire and exploded, killing 14 people and injuring 40.
2007 Ishmael Beah (26), former
child soldier in Sierra Leone, authored “A Long Way Gone.”
(WSJ, 2/10/07, p.P8)
2007 In Sierra Leone Abdul
Tejan-Cole, a human rights lawyer, took over as head of the
country’s Anti-Corruption Commission.
(Econ, 11/21/09, p.51)
2008 Jan 22, A UN report said a
newborn in Sierra Leone has the lowest chance in the world of
surviving until age 5, and the prospects are almost as bad for
children in Angola and Afghanistan.
2008 Jul 13, In Sierra Leone a
passenger plane loaded with 1,540 pounds of cocaine was found
abandoned at the main airport.
(SFC, 7/14/08, p.A11)
2008 Sep 2, Sierra Leone's
President Ernest Koroma signed-off on legislation to fight
corruption, then fulfilled his obligations by handing over a
declaration of his assets. Abdul Tejan-Cole, head of the country’s
Anti-Corruption Commission, had introduced a system whereby every
public official must declare his or her assets.
(AFP, 9/2/08)(Econ, 11/21/09, p.51)
2008 Nov 26, Off Sierra Leone
pirates from neighboring Guinea attacked a Chinese fishing vessel in
a rare attack that ended with four suspects dead. Two pirates were
shot, two drowned and the other pirates were arrested by the Sierra
2008 Dec, Sierra Leone again
earned the distinction of being the world’s least developed country.
Over 70% of the population lived on less than 70 American cents per
(Econ, 12/13/08, p.55)
2009 Feb 25, In Sierra Leone an
international court modeled after the Nuremberg tribunal convicted 3
top rebel leaders of crimes against humanity. Revolutionary United
Front leader Issa Sesay and one of his battlefield commanders Morris
Kallon were found guilty on 16 of 18 counts, including mutilation,
terrorism, rape, forced marriage, sexual slavery and the enlistment
of child soldiers. Commander, Augustine Gbao, was found guilty on 14
of the 18 counts. On April 8 Sesay was sentenced to 51 years in
prison, Kallon to 40 years, and Gbao to 25 years.
(AP, 2/25/09)(WSJ, 4/9/09, p.A10)
2009 Apr 21, Sierra Leone sent
three men convicted of drug smuggling to the US, where they are
wanted on similar charges, shortly after they were sentenced to
five-year prison terms along with five other foreign nationals.
2009 Sep 9, In Sierra Leone at
least 221 people, including many schoolchildren returning from
holidays, remained missing a day after the wooden Teh Teh ferry
capsized at sea. 39 people survived. 30 bodies were recovered and
all the missing were feared dead.
(AP, 9/10/09)(AP, 9/12/09)
2009 Sep 17, Spanish oil major
Repsol YPF said it had discovered oil off the coast of Sierra Leone,
its first find in the west African nation, along with its
Australian, American and British partners.
2009 Sep 22, The UN Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs announced that flash floods
and lighting have claimed 187 lives and affected 635,273 people in
west Africa since the rainy season started in June. This included
103 dead in Sierra Leone, followed by Ghana (24), Mali (20), Ivory
Coast (19), Burkina Faso (8), Niger (7) and Senegal (6).
2009 Dec 15, In Sierra Leone a
woman barred from running for chief of her district because of her
gender said she has appealed for a new election and a place on the
ballot. Elizabeth Kumba Simbiqa Torto said she wants a new election
because she believes the officials' decision barring her from
running in the Dec 5 Kono District election is discriminatory.
2009 In Sierra Leone the
African Minerals Corp. discovered magnetite at Tonkolili. This was
said to be the world’s largest desposit of the mineral, used among
other things, to coat industrial boilers.
2010 Feb 26, Sierra Leone and
five other west African countries (Mauritania, Senegal,
Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea) signed onto an action plan in
Freetown for sustainable mangrove management.
2010 Jul 29, In Sierra Leone
'Papa Jacques,' Montouroy (63), French legendary aid worker, died of
complications from an ulcer. He spent 41 years as a humanitarian
worker for Catholic Relief Services and was known for delivering
food in parts of the world no one else dared enter.
2010 Sep 29, The UN Security
Council lifted a 13-year-old arms embargo against Sierra Leone after
being assured that the nation is sufficiently stable following the
civil war that ended in 2002.
2010 Nov 27, Guinea's
government announced border closures with Sierra Leone by land, sea
and air this evening stranding hundreds of people from Sierra Leone
on Guinea's side.
2010 Nov 29, A Sierra
Leone-flagged cargo ship, Karam 1, sank after colliding with the
Dutch tanker Alessandro DP, 10 miles (16 km) off Cape Emine in the
Black Sea. 5 sailors were rescued and 5 were missing.
2010 Dec 28, West African
leaders Boni Yayi of Benin, Sierra Leone's Ernest Bai Koroma and
Pedro Pires of Cape Verde met with incumbent Ivory Coast leader
Laurent Gbagbo to deliver an ultimatum from the ECOWAS regional bloc
to step down or face removal by force. But Gbagbo's government
signaled he was unlikely to agree to cede power to Alassane
(Reuters, 12/28/10)(SFC, 12/29/10, p.A4)
2010 Sierra Leone writer
Olufemi Terry won the 2010 Caine Prize for African Writing.
2010 In Sierra Leone the UN
radio station merged with the government-controlled Sierra Leone
(Economist, 9/1/12, p.51)
2011 Mar 11, In the Netherlands
the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor,
once among West Africa's most powerful figures, ended with judges
expected to take months to reach a verdict on whether he can be
linked to murders and amputations during Sierra Leone's civil war.
2011 May 17, Sierra Leone
police seized three tons of marijuana with an estimated street value
of some $10 million, one of its biggest seizures in recent years.
Authorities said they are fighting the increased production of
marijuana, mainly by unemployed youths looking for ways to earn
2011 Jul 25, Sierra Leone said
it has launched a five-year plan to regulate the sale and use of
small arms, which still abound a decade after the end of a civil
war, causing insecurity.
2011 Sep 2, Sierra Leone said
its tourism industry raked in $19 million in the first half of the
year, as the country lures travellers to its white beaches after a
brutal civil war.
2011 Sep 6, Sierra Leone said
it has struck 27 political parties off the register for failing to
submit audited 2010 accounts. This left only four parties in the
running for next year's polls.
2011 Sep 9, In Sierra Leone
violence broke out in the second largest city Bo when people pelted
Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), the main
opposition presidential candidate with stones, hitting him on the
2011 Sep 22, Police in Sierra
Leone, where elections are due next year, ordered a moratorium on
all political party rallies and public meetings until further
2011 Sep 23, Sierra Leone's
albinos launched an association to defend their rights and asked the
government for jobs and scholarships to help them fight
2011 Oct 10, An undersea
telecommunications table landed in Sierra Leone, part of a 17,000-km
fiber optic line that aims to connect countries along the west
African coast to Europe.
2011 Dec 3, Sierra Leone's
Pres. Ernest Bai Koroma officially declared the Gola Rainforest a
2011 In Sierra Leone the annual
income per person averaged $340.
(Econ, 12/1/12, p.56)
2012 Jan 15, Sierra Leone
police used live bullets and tear gas to quell rioting between
followers of the ruling party and opposition where several people
suffered stab wounds.
2012 Feb 6, Sierra Leone’s
Pres. Ernest Bai Koroma forced the UN mission chief Michael von der
Schulenburg out of his job in order to improve his re-election
chances. Schulenburg had warned of this possibility in December.
(Econ, 2/18/12, p.52)
2012 Mar 22, UN envoy Michael
von der Schulenburg called on the impoverished Sierra Leone
government to explain why it imported several million dollars worth
of assault weapons last January for a police paramilitary wing. A
leaked shipping bill indicated the arms included machine guns and
even grenade launchers.
2012 Apr 4, Sierra Leone's
government defended a multi-million dollar weapons shipment as part
of routine procurement, after the United Nations called for an
explanation over the import.
2012 Apr 26, In the Netherlands
an international court convicted former Liberian President Charles
Taylor (64) of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against
humanity for supporting notoriously brutal rebels in neighboring
Sierra Leone in return for "blood diamonds." Taylor became the first
head of state convicted by an international court since the
post-World War II Nuremberg military tribunal.
2012 May 30, In the Netherlands
international judges sentenced former Liberian President Charles
Taylor to 50 years in prison for atrocities in Sierra Leone during
(AP, 5/30/12)(SFC, 5/31/12, p.A2)
2012 Jul 20, Sierra Leone's
health ministry said an outbreak of cholera in the west African
country has killed 66 people and sickened more than 3,800 since
2012 Jul 24, Sierra Leone's
government said it has issued provisional offshore oil prospecting
awards to nine companies.
2012 Aug 21, Sierra Leone said
it has signed a $15 million (12 million euro) loan agreement with
China for the installation of a fiber optic cable which will boost
2012 Aug 23, A cholera epidemic
in Guinea and Sierra Leone has left 250-300 people dead. 846 deaths
were reported this year in the 14 countries of West and Central
Africa. Sierra Leone's health ministry said that deaths from a
cholera outbreak had reached 220.
(SFC, 8/23/12, p.A5)(AFP, 8/23/12)
2012 Aug 24, Sierra Leone
lawmakers passed a sexual offences law introducing stiff minimum
sentences for offenders that has been hailed as a victory in a
nation where sexual abuse is rife.
2012 Sep 8, Sierra Leone said
that 10 suspected Iranian ships "hiding" under the Sierra Leonean
flag "have recently been removed from the register." The action was
in relation to a vessel that was seized in Lebanon recently carrying
arms for Syria, and allegedly flying the Sierra Leone flag.
2012 Nov 17, Sierra Leone held
elections for the 3rd time since the 2002 end of an 11-year civil
war. Final results made public on Nov 23 said incumbent Pres. Ernest
Bai Koroma, who has expanded health care and paved roads, won with
58.7% of the vote over former military leader Julius Maada Bio.
(AP, 11/17/12)(SFC, 11/24/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 21, In Sierra Leone
the OCTEA diamond mining company said that the company is increasing
the year-end salary bonus for workers from 20% to 30%. Officials
said a deadly strike at the Koidu diamond mine is now over. Two
people were killed in violence there, where workers went on strike
over bonuses and work conditions.
2013 May 11, Sierra Leone state
radio said that opposition politician Charles Francis Margai has
been detained for alleged subversion. Margai earlier in the week
spoke about a land displute he has with Sierra Leone's first lady,
Sia Koroma. Margai was reported released on May 13.
2013 Aug 5, A Sierra Leone
court issued an arrest warrant for Ibrahim Bah, one of the most
notorious arms dealers of its brutal 11-year civil war, but a
justice official later said the ally of imprisoned former Liberian
President Charles Taylor had already been kicked out.
2013 Aug 9, In Sierra Leone at
least 6 homeless people sleeping under a bridge in the heart of
Freetown were crushed to death when the bridge collapsed in a
landslide caused by heavy rain.
2013 Sep 11, In Sierra Leone a
statement from the office of the president said Mamoud Tarawalie,
the country's deputy education minister, has been relieved of his
duties "with immediate effect" because he was facing "sexual assault
and rape" allegations.
2013 Nov 13, The Afrobarometer
survey, a poll of Africans in 34 countries across the continent,
found that nearly one-third of people have been forced to pay bribes
including for medical treatment. Sierra Leone fared the worst
overall when it came to bribes, with 63 percent of respondents
saying they'd paid up at least once in the previous year. Morocco
and Guinea came next, each with 57 percent.
2014 Mar 9, A Sierra Leone
airport official said International airlines have cancelled flights
to and from Sierra Leone after a UN aviation regulator discovered
that the only functioning fire engine at its main airport had broken
2014 Apr 4, Mali, Liberia and
Sierra Leone geared up to tackle killer haemorrhagic fevers
including Ebola, which has claimed 86 lives in Guinea. Mali claimed
3 suspect cases; Liberia claimed 14; Sierra Leone claimed several
2014 May 27, In Sierra Leone a
woman died from the Ebola virus, the second person in the country to
succumb to the haemorrhagic fever.
2014 Jun 3, In Sierra Leone the
death toll from an Ebola outbreak rose to at least five victims. The
Ebola disease has had a 70 percent fatality rate during the first
crisis of its kind in West Africa.
2014 Jun 9, Sierra Leone's
Pres. Ernest Bai Koroma fired his powerful chief of staff, Richard
Conteh, over how he negotiated a mining agreement and his granting
of another company the right to log unlimited amounts of timber.
2014 Jun 11, The Sierra Leone
government announced a state of emergency in the Kailahun district
from the outbreak of the Ebola virus which has claimed 17 lives in
this West African nation, banning public gatherings and closing
schools. Local parliamentarian Momoh Moiwai said the death toll was
2014 Jun 18, The World Health
Organization said an Ebola outbreak continues to spread in Guinea,
Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the death toll in the outbreak has
risen to more than 330.
2014 Jun 23, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said that the latest figures show 567 cases of
Ebola with 350 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The virus
has no cure and causes internal bleeding and organ failure,
spreading through contact with infected people.
2014 Jul 8, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said fifty new cases of Ebola and 25 deaths have
been reported in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea since July 3.
2014 Jul 11, The World Health
Organization (WHO) reported 44 new cases of Ebola including 21
deaths. 539 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone have
been attributed to the outbreak.
2014 Jul 22, In Sierra Leone
Sheik Umar Khan (39), the head doctor fighting the deadly tropical
virus Ebola, was reported to have caught the disease. Across Guinea,
Liberia and Sierra Leone, 632 people have died from the illness
according to the latest WHO report.
2014 Jul 25, The World Health
Organization the death toll in West Africa's Ebola outbreak has
risen to 660, with the number of cases surpassing 1,000. In Guinea
fatalities reached 314, with 127 in Liberia and 219 in Sierra Leone.
2014 Jul 26, In Sierra Leone a
patient with Ebola, whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they
forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a
traditional healer, died in an ambulance on the way to hospital
following a struggle with police.
2014 Jul 29, In Sierra Leone
Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, who was praised as a national hero for
treating Ebola, died from the disease. ASKY regional airline
announced it was suspending flights to the cities hardest hit by an
outbreak that has killed more than 670 people.
2014 Jul 31, Sierra Leone
leader Ernest Bai Koroma declared a state of emergency and as the
country struggled to contain the deadly Ebola epidemic.
(Yahoo News, 7/31/14)
2014 Jul 31, The World Health
Organization said the deaths of 57 more people from Ebola in west
Africa have pushed the overall fatality toll from the epidemic to
729, including 339 in Guinea, 156 in Liberia and 233 in Sierra
2014 Aug 1, The leaders of
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone agreed to a $100 million emergency
action plan to beef the response to Ebola.
2014 Aug 4, The World Bank said
that it would provide up to $200 million to Guinea, Liberia and
Sierra Leone to help the west African nations contain the deadly
2014 Aug 7, In Sierra Leone
police and soldiers blockaded rural areas hit by the deadly Ebola
virus, after neighboring Liberia declared a state of emergency to
tackle the worst-ever outbreak of the disease, which has killed 932
2014 Aug 9, Guinea announced
the closure of its borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia in a bid to
halt the spread of Ebola.
2014 Aug 14, The UN health
agency said the death toll from the worst outbreak of Ebola in four
decades had now climbed to 1,069 in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and
Sierra Leone. The WHO said the scale of the Ebola epidemic has been
vastly underestimated and that "extraordinary measures" were needed
to contain the killer disease.
2014 Aug 19, Air France said
some of its flight crews were refusing to board planes bound for
Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria over fears of the Ebola outbreak.
2014 Aug 22, Sierra Leone
passed a new law imposing possible jail sentences for anyone caught
hiding an Ebola patient.
(SSFC, 8/24/14, p.A6)
2014 Aug 27, Sierra Leone said
a third top doctor has died from Ebola, as health workers tried to
determine how a fourth scientist also contracted the disease before
being evacuated to Europe.
2014 Sep 5, Sierra Leone said
it will impose a four-day, countrywide "lockdown" starting Sept. 18,
in an escalation of efforts to halt the spread of Ebola across the
West African country.
2014 Sep 14, A fourth Sierra
Leonean doctor, a woman, died after contracting the dreaded Ebola
2014 Sep 19, In Sierra Leone
thousands of health workers began knocking on doors across the
country in search of hidden Ebola cases as the entire West African
nation was locked down in their homes in an unprecedented effort to
combat the deadly disease.
2014 Sep 21, West Africa
intensified its response to the deadly Ebola epidemic, with Sierra
Leone uncovering scores of dead bodies during a 72-hour shutdown and
Liberia announcing 1,000 hospital beds.
2014 Sep 22, Sierra Leone ended
a 3-day unprecedented nationwide shutdown during which officials
said about 75 percent of 1.5 million households were checked for
Ebola patients and given information on the deadly disease. At least
130 cases of Ebola were identified and scores of bodies were buried
during the shutdown.
(AP, 9/22/14)(SFC, 9/23/14, p.A2)
2014 Sep 25, Sierra Leone began
a quarantine of more than one million people in the largest
open-ended lockdown in the Ebola outbreak.
2014 Oct 2, The Save the
Children charity warned that five people are being infected with
Ebola every hour in Sierra Leone and demand for treatment beds is
far outstripping supply.
2014 Oct 20, In Sierra Leone 49
confirmed cases of Ebola emerged just today in two Ebola zones in
and around the capital. So many people were dying that removing
bodies was a problem.
2014 Oct 20, China was reported
to have donated $6 million to help stave off food shortages in
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the countries worst affected by
the Ebola virus.
2014 Oct 21, In Sierra Leone a
machete-wielding mob clashed with security personnel in the eastern
town of Koidu and then went on a rampage, after preventing a medical
team from taking the blood from the 90-year-old mother of a youth
leader. Two people were killed.
2014 Oct 24, China's president
pledged to provide $81 million in aid to help fight Ebola in the
three West African countries at the heart of the crisis.
2014 Oct 30, The World Bank
said it was immediately providing $100 million to support the
deployment of more health workers to Ebola-stricken West Africa.
2014 Oct 31, Doctors Without
Borders (MSF) said Ebola has wiped out whole villages in Sierra
Leone and may have caused many more deaths than the nearly 5,000
official global toll.
2014 Nov 2, Sierra Leone
confirmed that a fifth doctor has tested positive. The other four
all have died from the virus that has killed nearly 5,000 across
2014 Nov 3, In Sierra Leone Dr.
Godfrey George, medical superintendent of Kambia Government
Hospital, died overnight becoming the 5th local doctor to die of
2014 Nov 4, Sierra Leone aid
agencies said thousands of people were being forced to violate Ebola
quarantines to find food because deliveries are not reaching them.
2014 Nov 8, The African Union,
African Development Bank and regional business leaders meeting in in
Ethiopia announced a crisis fund to help areas hit by the Ebola
2014 Nov 11, Sierra Leone said
it was holding a journalist at the Pademba Road prison, built for
324 inmates but currently houses around 1,200, because he had
accused the government of provoking the kind of unrest seen in
Burkina Faso through mismanagement of the Ebola crisis. David Tam
Baryoh was arrested a week ago on the orders of President Ernest Bai
2014 Nov 14, Sierra Leone
authorities freed journalist David Tam-Baryoh arrested 11 days ago
for making supposedly disparaging comments about the country's
effort to fight Ebola.
2014 Nov 14, Senegal partially
reopened air and sea borders with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,
countries worst hit by the Ebola virus.
2014 Nov 17, In Sierra Leone a
member of the 165-member medical team Cuba sent to fight Ebola in
Sierra Leone was diagnosed with the disease. Dr. Felix Baez Sarria
caught the disease when he rushed to help a patient who was falling
over. On Nov 19 the Swiss government said it planned to bring Baez
for medical treatment in Geneva.
2014 Nov 24, Italy’s health
ministry said an Italian doctor, who has been working in Sierra
Leone, has tested positive for the Ebola virus and is being
transferred to Rome for treatment. In Freetown Dr. Aiah Solomon
Konoyeima also tested positive for Ebola.
(AP, 11/24/14)(AP, 11/25/14)
2014 Dec 5, In Sierra Leone two
more doctors died of Ebola bringing to 9 the number of local doctors
killed by the disease.
(SSFC, 12/7/14, p.A4)
2014 Dec 9, Sierra Leone's
junior doctors struck for a 2nd day to demand better care for
medical workers after a spate of recent Ebola deaths.
2014 Dec 10, Sierra Leone
authorities launched a two-week "lockdown" in an eastern diamond
mining district, hoping to halt the spread of Ebola after the area
recorded seven confirmed cases in a day.
(AP, 12/10/14)(SFC, 12/11/14, p.A4)
2014 Dec 12, Sierra Leone said
it was banning any public Christmas celebrations as the spiraling
caseload of Ebola infections continues to spread alarm.
2014 Dec 14, Sierra Leone
confirmed that Dr. Victor Willoughby has tested positive for Ebola,
the 12th local physician to become infected — 10 of whom have died.
2014 Dec 17, Sierra Leone Ebola
surveillance teams fanned out in Freetown in a house to house search
for sick people, as the president imposed new restrictions on
movement and gatherings in a bid to stop the disease's spread.
(AP, 12/17/14)(Econ, 1/3/15, p.33)
2014 Dec 18, In Sierra Leone
Dr. Victor Willoughby became the 11th doctor in the country to die
(SFC, 12/19/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 20, The World Health
Organization said the death toll from Ebola in Guinea (1,550),
Liberia (3,346) and Sierra Leone (2,477), the three worst-affected
countries in West Africa, has risen to 7,373 among 19,031 cases
known to date there.
2014 Dec 23, In Sierra Leone a
village chief became the first person in the country to be jailed
under laws aimed at preventing the spread of Ebola. Amadu Kargbo was
sentenced to six months in jail by a court in the southwestern city
of Moyamba for secretly burying the dead and failing to report a
2014 Dec 25, In Sierra Leone
nurses at a public hospital went on strike to demand hazard pay for
treating Ebola patients.
2015 Jan 2, The World Health
Organization said deaths last year from Ebola had reached 7,989 with
2,827 from Sierra Leone, 3,423 from Liberia and 1,739 from Guinea.
(SFC, 1/3/15, p.A2)
2015 Jan 13, In Sierra Leone a
Red Cross male nurse who worked at an Ebola treatment center in
Kenema, died and was confirmed to have been suffering from the
disease. He was the first Red Cross worker or volunteer to succumb
to the disease there.
2015 Jan 23, Sierra Leone
lifted quarantine measures imposed at the height of the Ebola
epidemic, as the World Health Organization warned the crisis was
still "extremely alarming" despite a drop in new cases.
2015 Jan 23, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have
recorded falling numbers of new Ebola cases for four successive
(SFC, 1/24/15, p.A2)
2015 Feb 13, Sierra Leone
placed some 700 hundred homes in a fishing district of the capital
under quarantine following the death of a fisherman who was later
diagnosed Ebola positive. At least five new cases were confirmed in
(AFP, 2/13/15)(SSFC, 2/15/15, p.A5)
2015 Feb 16, Sierra Leone's
government promised a full investigation after an internal audit
found that nearly one-third of the money received to fight Ebola was
spent without saving the necessary receipts and invoices to justify
2015 Feb 28, Sierra Leone
President Ernest Bai Koroma reinstated restrictions as 18 new cases
of Ebola were recorded this week.
2015 Mar 6, In Sierra Leone
Vice Pres. Sam-Sumana was kicked out of the ruling party, the All
Peoples Congress, after a meeting of the party's National Advisory
Council. A statement said he was expelled for several reasons
including allegations that he presented a fake Master's degree
certificate and that he was involved in the formation of a new
2015 Mar 12, Moinina Fofana,
convicted in 2007 by a special UN-backed court of war crimes and
crimes against humanity including murder, cruel treatment, pillage
and collective punishment, was transferred from a Rwanda prison back
to Sierra Leone and granted provisional release to serve out the
remainder of his term in his community.
2015 Mar 12, The World Health
Organization (WHO) estimated that the Ebola outbreak has killed over
10,000 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
(SFC, 3/13/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 14, Sierra Leone's
vice president Samuel Sam-Sumana sought asylum from the United
States, saying he no longer felt safe in the country after soldiers
disarmed the security team at his residence.
2015 Mar 14, In Sierra Leone 10
American aid workers were evacuated following contact with a
colleague who was evacuated a day earlier after showing signs of
(SSFC, 3/15/15, p.A10)(SFC, 3/16/15, p.A5)
2015 Mar 18, Sierra Leone
President Ernest Bai Koroma sacked Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana
for seeking asylum in a foreign embassy.
2015 Mar 21, Sierra Leone's
President Ernest Koroma ordered the country's entire population to
stay in their homes for three days in a bid to stem the spread of
the deadly Ebola epidemic.
2015 Mar 27, Sierra Leone's 6
million people were told to stay home for three days, except for
religious services, beginning today as the West African nation
attempted a final push to rid itself of Ebola.
2015 Mar 29, Sierra Leone
announced the end of a three-day nationwide lockdown aimed at
preventing a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus.
2015 Mar 30, Guinea closed its
border with Sierra Leone as part of new efforts to stamp out Ebola.
(SFC, 3/31/15, p.A2)
2015 Apr 2, Sierra Leone police
raided a funeral and arrested 13 people suspected of organizing an
unsafe burial, risking the spread of Ebola.
2015 Apr 17, Guinea, Liberia,
and Sierra Leone, the three West African countries hit hardest by
the Ebola epidemic, called for an $8 billion "Marshall Plan" to help
rebuild their economies and boost prevention efforts at a meeting
with heads of the World Bank, IMF, and UN. World Bank President Jim
Yong Kim announced a new $650 million in funds for the three
countries, in addition to $1 billion committed last year to fight
2015 May 7, The WHO said the
number of Ebola cases reported in Guinea and Sierra Leone had
dropped to its lowest total last week with nine in each country.
(SFC, 5/8/15, p.A2)
2015 May 12, Italy’s health
ministry said a nurse who returned from Sierra Leone last week has
tested positive for Ebola.
(SFC, 5/13/15, p.A2)
2015 Jun 12, Sierra Leone Pres.
Ernest Bai Koroma imposed new restrictions preventing people from
entering or leaving two northern districts that were experiencing a
resurgence of Ebola. Sierra Leone reported 15 new cases in the week
ending June 7.
(SFC, 6/13/15, p.A2)
2015 Jun 23, Sierra Leone’s
National Ebola Response Center (NERC) said three cases of Ebola had
emerged in the east-end slum of Magazine Wharf -- three weeks after
the last known infections in the capital.
2015 Jun 25, Sierra Leone said
it has quarantined three doctors and 28 nurses in the capital
Freetown when a mother tested positive for Ebola after giving birth.
2015 Aug 3, Sierra Leone said
two new cases of Ebola have surfaced in the Tonkolili District after
a man died last week in the area where the deadly virus had been
gone for months. Following the death authorities quarantined 500
2015 Aug 4, Liberian state
radio said 14 men from Sierra Leone illegally mining for gold fell
victim to a landslide last week. They were trapped under rubble and
were presumed dead.
2015 Aug, Spanish authorities
arrested Michael Desaedeleer, a businessman with dual
American-Belgian citizenship, who has been accused of enslavement
and pillaging "blood diamonds" during Sierra Leone's civil war.
2015 Sep 1, In Sierra Leone a
food trader (67) died of Ebola in Sella Kafta village in the
northern district of Kambia, after being sick for up to 10 days
without the authorities' knowledge. The entire village of almost
1,000 was soon placed under quarantine.
2015 Sep 13, In Sierra Leone a
girl (16) died from Ebola, dealing a blow to optimism that the west
African country has finally turned the page on the devastating
2015 Sep 15, Sierra Leone
health authorities said they had quarantined almost 700 people as
they battled to contain a new outbreak of Ebola.
2015 Sep 16, In Sierra Leone
severe flooding followed torrential rain. In Freetown at least 10
people were killed. A week later an estimated 9,000 survivors were
still sheltering in tents.
2015 Nov 7, The World Health
Organization said that Ebola-ravaged Sierra Leone had beaten an
18-month outbreak that killed almost 4,000 citizens and plunged the
economy into severe recession.
2016 Jan 15, The World Health
Organization confirmed a new death from Ebola in Sierra Leone just a
day after west Africa celebrated the end of an outbreak which killed
2016 Mar 26, Sierra Leone
police and military arms experts began destroying nearly 5,000
"unserviceable weapons" in an operation set to last two weeks.
2016 Jul 1, In Nigeria
kidnappers seized Alfred Nelson-Williams, Sierra Leone's deputy high
commissioner, as he was on his way to Kaduna from Abuja. They
demanded a $40 million ransom in the first kidnapping of a diplomat
from the west African country in more than half a century. The
diplomat was freed on July 5 but it was not clear whether or not a
ransom was paid.
(AFP, 7/2/16)(SFC, 7/2/16, p.A2)(Reuters, 7/6/16)
2017 Jan 31, In Sierra Leone
human rights defender Abdul Fatoma appeared on a radio show in which
he challenged the government and the anti-corruption commission to
do more to make authorities accountable, in a system that he says
answers only to itself. He was later arrested, bailed without
charge, and summoned twice to parliament to answer questions, yet
denied an audience when he showed up.
2017 Mar 15, In Sierra Leone a
706-carat diamond was presented to President Ernest Bai Koroma.
Pastor Emmanuel Momoh found the diamond in Yakadu village in the
country's diamond-rich eastern province.
2017 May 2, Greenpeace said
authorities in West Africa have detained eight Chinese vessels for
fishing illegally and the boat owners could be subject to millions
of dollars in fines. Inspectors from Guinea, Sierra Leone and
Guinea-Bissau boarded the ships off their respective coasts. They
found them to be violating regulations on catching protected fish
and using nets with small holes to facilitate bigger hauls.
2017 Aug 14, In Sierra Leone
hundreds of people were believed killed when a mudslide struck the
outskirts of Freetown.
2017 Aug 15, Sierra Leone's
Pres. Ernest Bai Koroma appealed for urgent help for the flood-hit
capital of Freetown where more than 300 people have died, as rescue
workers resumed the grim search for bodies. The Red Cross estimated
that 600 people were still missing.
(AFP, 8/15/17)(AP, 8/15/17)
2017 Aug 18, In Sierra Leone
aid workers warned of a humanitarian crisis as the official death
toll passed 400, with more than a hundred children among the victims
-- and a similar number orphaned.
2017 Aug 30, Guinea’s
government said that the bodies of 19 people thought to have
perished in an August 14 mudslide in Sierra Leone have washed up on
the shores of Guinea. The mudslide at Freetown's crowded Mount Sugar
Loaf killed an estimated 500 people, with hundreds of others still
Subject = Sierra Leone
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