Sierra Leone. According to
Countryaah.com, elections to both parliament and the
presidential post were held in March. The governing party
General People's Congress (APC) lost support, but still
received 68 out of 132 directly elected seats. The Sierra
Leone People's Party (SLPP) got 49 seats and three other
smaller parties also got a seat in Parliament. However, the
APC failed to maintain its grip on the presidential post.
Julius Maada Bio (SLPP) defeated APC's candidate, former
Finance and Foreign Minister Samura Kamara, by 51.8% in the
second round. Contradictions between supporters of APC and
SLPP several times led to violent clashes.
In October, the government decided to lay down plans for
a new airport to be financed with loans from China and
initiated by former President Ernest Bai Koroma in March.
The huge debt that the costly project would entail was
criticized by both the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). Instead of a new airport, the existing
airport outside Freetown should be refurbished.
The eastern part of the country was occupied by the
United Liberation Liberation Movement for Democracy, which
used Sierra Leone as a base for attacks on Charles Taylor's
forces in Liberia. In the southeast, the Revolutionary
United Front of Sierra Leone (RUF) operated.
The zones affected by the war are the richest in the
country. Here are the deposits of gold and diamonds, as well
as agricultural production. Guerrilla activity led to a
sharp decline in mining. Diamond's share of export revenues
dropped from 54.7% in 1987 to just under 7% in 1990. Per
capita income fell from $ 320 in 1980 to 210 in 1991.
Because of the war, more than 1 million people were
displaced. Some fled to safer areas of the country, while
others fled to neighboring Guinea and Liberia.
Following pressure from Britain, the government launched
a unilateral ceasefire on December 1, 1993, promising
amnesty to the partisans who dropped the weapons. However,
the offer was rejected by the RUF.
Nor did the government's promises to conduct elections
convince the RUF that continued the armed struggle. The
Rebels achieved a number of military victories in early
1994. However, they cost 150 civilian lives.
The World Bank expressed its "satisfaction" with the
country's economic policy, after reducing inflation from
120% in 1991 to 15% in 1994.
In early 1995, the war spread to almost the entire
country. Government forces recaptured the titanium mine in
Sierra Rutile, whose production accounted for half of
Freetown's foreign trade. But despite the fact that the
government now spent 75% of the state budget on the military
and had increased the number of soldiers to 13,000 men, the
government seemed unable to crush the guerrillas.
Following a relentless coup in January 1996, Strasser was
replaced by his former ally Brigadier General Julius Maada
Bio. In February, presidential elections were held, as
predicted in the second round by SLPP Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
with 60% of the vote.
During the period 1991-96, the war had cost 10,000 killed
and driven 2 million on the run - as internal and external
The rebel forces led by Major Johnny Paul Koroma
overthrew President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah on May 25, 1997.
Koroma put itself at the head of a National Council. It was
dominated by his own RUF, but also consisted of the crashed
presidential secretary as well as the former defense
minister and military commander. At the same time, the OAU
held a summit in Namibia, from which the organization
condemned the coup and initiated negotiations to get the
coup makers to give up their positions.
In September 1997, the toppled President Ahmad Tejan
Kabbah requested UN support to reinstate his government. To
the General Assembly, Kabbah recalled that a month earlier,
the Security Council had promised to "take the necessary
steps" to force Koroma to return power to elected