Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone,
is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by
Guinea, Liberia and the Atlantic
Leone covers a total area of 71,740 km2
and has a population estimated at 6,296,803.The country has a tropical climate,
with a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests.
became an important centre of the transatlantic slave trade, until 1787 when Freetown, the largest city of Sierra Leone, was founded by the Sierra
Leone Company as a home for formerly enslaved African American and West Indians.
In 1808, Freetown
became a British Crown Colony, and in 1896, the interior of the country became
a British Protectorate; in 1961, the two combined and gained independence. Over
two decades of government neglect of the interior followed by the spilling over
of the Liberian conflict into its borders eventually led to the Sierra Leone
Civil War, which began in 1991 and was resolved in 2000 after the United
Nations led by Nigeria defeated the rebel forces and restored the civilian
government elected in 1998 to Freetown.