Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, bordering Guinea to the north, and Liberia to the southeast. It gained independence from Britain in 1961. Sierra Leone's long running civil war (1991 to 2002) killed an estimated 50,000 and displaced more than two million people out of a total population of six million.
At the end of 1999, the United Nations deployed the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) to implement the Lomé Peace Accord which was intended to end the civil war. UNAMSIL completed its mandate in December 2005.
In March 2014, the closure of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone marked the end of more than 15 years of peacekeeping and political operations in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone became a leading example of a peacekeeping success and a key contributor to other peace keeping missions.
Sierra Leone's major mineral exports are diamonds, titanium, bauxite and gold and it has large deposits of rutile. Despite the abundance of its natural resources, the majority of the population live below the poverty line.
Australia is represented in Sierra Leone through our High Commission in Accra, Ghana.
Economic and trade information
- Country/Economic Fact Sheet [PDF]
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