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Sierra Leone

Yearbook 2008

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.

According to 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 (SLPP).

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.

2008 Sierra Leone

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.

 

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