Colony of Freed Slaves In 1652, the first slaves in North America were brought from Sierra Leone to the Sea Islands off the coast of the southern United States. In 1787 freed slaves formed a province in Sierra Leone The British helped 400 freed slaves from the United States, Nova Scotia, and Great Britain return to Sierra Leone to settle "Province of Freedom." Disease and hostility from the indigenous people nearly eliminated the first group of returnees.
Colonial Rule Britain divided the protectorate into “chiefdoms” Control was indirect The important chiefs were known as Paramount Chiefs and ruled for life and was an inheritable position Played a role in economic development and authority over the indigenous population Competition for this office was intense and violent Tension in rural communities caused by abuse by the chiefs was also excessive Forced labor, punishment of dissenters, cash levies After independence this resentment continued
Freetown This settlement was joined by other groups of freed slaves and soon became known as Freetown. In 1792, Freetown became one of Britain's first colonies in West Africa. Thousands of slaves were returned to Freetown and most chose to remain in Sierra Leone. Came to be called Krio and were from all areas of Africa.
Colonial Independence The indigenous people mounted several unsuccessful revolts against British rule and Krio domination. The 1951 constitution provided a framework for decolonization In 1953 Sir Milton Margai was appointed Chief Minister Independence came in April 1961, and Sierra Leone opted for a parliamentary system within the British Commonwealth
First Coup In March 1967, the All Peoples Congress (APC) won a plurality of the parliamentary seats. Declared Siaka Stevens as the new Prime Minister. Within a few hours, Stevens and Lightfoot-Boston were placed under house arrest on grounds that the determination of office should await the election of the tribal representatives to the house. A group of senior military officers, the National Reformation Council, overrode this action by seizing control of the government on 23 March, arresting Brigadier Lansana, and suspending the constitution.
Sergeant’s Revolt NRC in turn was overthrown in April 1968 by a "sergeants' revolt", the Anti-Corruption Revolutionary Movement. In April 1968, Stevens assumed the office of Prime Minister under the restored constitution. He remained as head of state until 1985. Under his rule, in 1978, the constitution was amended and all political parties, other than the ruling APC, were banned.
Characteristics of the State Redistribution of natural resources based on personal favor to the leader Stevens as the “ultimate leader” Benefits to army officers No finance to army for fighting capacity No proper training and weapons (fear for threat to power) Deficit of governmental budget
President Momoh and RUF Dr. Joseph Saidu Momoh was elected President in a one-party referendum on October 1, 1985. In October 1991 Momoh had the constitution amended once again, re-establishing a multi-party system. In 1991 the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) under the leadership of Foday Sankoh began to attack villages in eastern Sierra Leone on the Liberian border.Revolutionary United Front (RUF) On April 29, 1992 military coup was launched Sent Momoh into exile in Guinea Established the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) as the ruling authority
Economic Problems Momoh’s government pursued IMF financial support Austerity measures: major budget cuts on heath and education and reduced subsides in petrol and food Withdrawal of foreign firms due to high levels of corruption Speech delivered by Momoh saying that education was not a right but a privilege RUF used this as a justification to go to war
“They (the RUF) told us that they are fighting to overthrow the APC government because they exploited the people and were taking all the money to Europe to build mighty houses or buy luxurious cars and forgetting about the youth. We, the young people, do suffer a lot in this country. Greed and selfishness was another factor which made the rebel war come to Sierra Leone. Nobody was willing to help the young men, especially the politicians have no sympathy for the young men. (….) Actually we were fighting for awareness and also to have justice in the country. (…) We fought against bribery and corruption in the country. (…) If I become the president I will make all the youth to be engaged in skill training to avoid (the) idleness that will create confusion or make people commit crimes. If you do that for the youth they will not be any problem in this country. The young men should be encouraged by providing them with jobs. I think that will make the country stable. If I have my tools I will not go round town just being idle. I will survive through my trade.” - Interview with on former RUF combatant
NPRC and AFRC The NPRC hired several hundred mercenaries from the private firm Executive Outcomes. Within a month they had driven RUF fighters back to enclaves along Sierra Leone’s borders. T he NPRC handed over power to a civilian government. Presidential and parliamentary elections held in April 1996 Ahmad Tejan Kabbah won the presidential election.
AFRC On May 25, 1997 the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), led by Maj. Johnny Paul Koroma, overthrew President Kabbah Later invited the RUF to join the government In March 1998 the AFRC regime was ousted after 10 months in office reinstated the democratically elected government of President Kabbah.
RUF Attacks The RUF’s renewed attempts to overthrow the government in January 1999 brought the fighting to parts of Freetown Left thousands dead and wounded before RUF was driven back weeks later.
Peace Agreement With the assistance of the international community, President Kabbah and RUF leader Sankoh signed the Lome Peace Agreement in 1999. The accord called for an international peacekeeping force run initially by both ECOMOG and the United Nations. Almost immediately the RUF began to violate the agreement. On May 8, 2000, members of the RUF shot and killed as many as 20 people demonstrating against the RUF violations outside Sankoh's house in Freetown. As a result, Sankoh and other senior members of the RUF were arrested and the group was stripped of its positions in government.
Peace After the events of May 2000 an agreement was signed in Abuja. Demobilization, Disarmament, Reintegration (DDR) did not resume, and fighting continued. In late 2000, Guinean forces entered Sierra Leone to attack RUF bases. A second Abuja Agreement took place in 2002 President Kabbah declared the civil war officially over. In May 2002 President Kabbah was re-elected to a 5-year term The RUF political wing failed to win a single seat in parliament. Sierra Leone’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) attempted to reconcile between victims and perpetrators involved in the conflict Special court established to try war crimes
Natural Resources Rich in minerals Diamonds Titanium ore Bauxite Iron ore Gold Chromite Mining of diamonds is Sierra Leone’s economic base.
Resources Much of Sierra Leone’s formal economy was destroyed in the civil war in the 1990’s. Full recovery to pre-war economic levels will require effective government management of natural resources. Conflict Diamonds Originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments used to fund military action in opposition to those governments
Diamonds Mineral exports remain Sierra Leone's principal foreign exchange earner. Sierra Leone is a major producer of gem-quality diamonds. Annual production estimates range between $250-$300 million In October 2000, a UN-approved export certification system for exporting diamonds led to a dramatic increase in legal
Founding In 1816, a group of white Americans founded the American Colonization Society (ACS) to deal with the “problem” of the growing number of free blacks in the United States. They aimed to resettle them in Africa. An initial group of 86 immigrants, who came to be called Americo- Liberians, established a settlement in Christopolis (now Monrovia) in 1820. The resulting state of Liberia would become the second (after Haiti) black republic in the world at that time.
Joseph Jenkins Roberts First President of Liberia ( 1848 – 1856 ( 1848 – 1856 ) Born free in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, Roberts emigrated to Liberia in 1829 as a young man. He opened a trading store in Monrovia, and later engaged in politics.NorfolkVirginiaUSAMonrovia When Liberia became independent in 1847, Roberts was elected the first president, serving until 1856. In 1872 he was elected again to serve as Liberia's seventh president.
Samuel Kanyon Doe 21 st President of Liberia ( 1986 – 1990 ) First Indigenous Head of State in Liberian History
First Liberian Civil War ( 1989 – 1996 ) A small band of rebels led by Charles Taylor, invaded Liberia from Cote d'Ivoire. Taylor and his National Patriotic Front rebels rapidly gained the support of many Liberians. They reached the outskirts of Monrovia within 6 months. It claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Liberians and further displaced a million others into refugee camps in neighboring countries.
Charles Taylor 22 nd President of Liberia ( 1997 – 2003 ) Leader of National Patriotic Front Elected in special election in July of 1997.
Revolutionary United Front ( RUF ) Charles Taylor funded and armed RUF rebels in Sierra Leone. The rebels were known for hacking off the hands and arms of tens of thousands of men, women and children.
Second Liberian Civil War Second Liberian Civil War ( 1997 – 2003 )
Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace Started with local women praying in a fish market. Helped end the Second Liberian Civil War Leymah Gbowee won Nobel Peace Prize in 2011
Free Elections The October 11, 2005 presidential and legislative elections and the subsequent November 8, 2005 presidential run-off were the most free, fair, and peaceful elections in Liberia's history. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf defeated international soccer star George Weah 59.4% to 40.6% to become Africa's first democratically elected female president.
Resources iron ore timber diamonds gold hydropower
Firestone Natural Rubber Company Largest rubber plantation in world - Harbel, Liberia
Mano River Union International association between the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Cote d”Ivoire to foster economic cooperation. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the current chairperson. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the current chairperson.
Today Sierra Leone today Sierra Leone today Road to change Road to change Liberian Returnees Liberian Returnees Mining in Liberia Mining in Liberia The Vice Guide to Liberia The Vice Guide to Liberia