Sierra Leone. In January, the government decided to ban
timber exports for the time being. Chinese and other foreign
companies have been accused of deforestation, especially
since the logging ban in Guinea and Ivory Coast drove them
to Sierra Leone.
Countryaah reports, local elections were conducted in July in orderly form.
Like the 2007 parliamentary elections, it was a success for
the General People's Congress (APC), followed closely by the
previous ruling party of the Sierra Leone People's Party
In August, the UN Security Council decided to set up a
new peace-building organization for Sierra Leone, named
UNIPSIL. The organization, with 60-70 employees, will help
the government to promote human rights, democracy and the
rule of law and to fight corruption. UNIPSIL replaces the
larger civilian organization UNIOSIL that has been operating
in the country since the unarmed UNAMSIL peacekeeping force
was wound down in 2005.
About 20,000 senior civil servants are forced to report
their personal assets. President Ernest Bai Koroma became
the first to report on his property after signing a law to
intensify the fight against corruption.
Security forces shot and killed a protester in March
2017, injuring at least 2 others during student protests in
Bo. Students at Njala University demonstrated courage for
not receiving tuition since October. The teachers had then
gone on strike in protest of the government's failure to pay
their wages. Acc. the police had the students build
barricades, burnt car tires and were not allowed to
demonstrate. There were also student demonstrations in
Freetown. There they were met with tear gas from the police.
After 3 days of cloudburst in August 2017, landslides in
residential areas around Freetown came. Somewhere between
500 and 1,000 people were killed. The disaster was a
consequence of unusually heavy and prolonged rain, and
extensive forest felling, so that there was no longer
anything to hold on the ground.
In September, Nigerian priest Victor Ajisafe was jailed
in Freetown after preaching extreme religious intolerance
and fanatical hate speech against Islam and Sierra Leone's
Muslims. His Pentecostal unity and his religious license
were temporarily closed and revoked. The incident created
religious tensions in the otherwise religiously tolerant
country. Muslims demanded Ajisafe be deported back to
Nigeria. During his detention, Ajisafe apologized to the
Muslims and the government of Sierra Leone. After a few days
in jail, he was then released, allowed to reopen his
congregation and got his license again, but was put on the
government watch list.