Sierra Leone

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 deten...read 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 t...read more

The Independent Media Commission (IMC), the statutory media regulatory body on September 26, 2012 suspended for a month, three privately-owned newspapers for allegedly producing offensive publications. The newspapers namely Independent Observer, the Senator and Awareness Times will thus, not appear on newsstands from September 26 – October 26, 2012.

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