Sierra Leone

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is no stranger to controversy, especially in Sierra Leone. This time round he has angered opposition supporters by openly endorsing and campaigning for the incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma ahead of elections set for November 17. The former Nigerian leader arrived in Freetown Sunday unannounced, reportedly aboard a presidential jet, and was flown out of the capital in a government-provided helicopter to where President Koroma was canvassing for more

President Koroma is expected to win a second term in next month's elections, but not because he has transformed the country; he has deployed clever tactics. The legacies of identity politics, violence, corruption, poverty and inequality remain.

Many Sierra Leonean women who are unable to repay small debts end up in prison for want of decent legal representation after their creditors report them to the police, meaning that civil disputes turn into criminal cases. An estimated 10 percent of all charges issued by the Sierra Leonean police involve the failure to repay small debts. The criminalization of debt upsets the livelihoods of the accused who are mostly petty traders. Their children at times are forced to live with them in more

The vast majority of pirate vessels illegally fishing off Sierra Leone are accredited to export their catches to Europe, an environmentalist group says. A report by the Environmental Justice Foundation says West Africa has the highest levels of illegal fishing in the world. Its says pirate fishermen fish inside exclusion zones, attack local fisherman and refuse to pay fines.

Sierra Leone’s international partners and citizens are paying close attention to possible threats to peace ahead of presidential, parliamentary and local elections scheduled for 17 November, which it is hoped will consolidate stability a decade after the end of a civil war and lead to improved living standards. Campaigns are intensifying, especially between historical rivals the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), now in opposition. These are more