Sierra Leone: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, size, population, and government of the land Sierra Leone.



Location--In the "hump" of West Africa, with a 210-mi. west and southwest coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. To the north, northeast, and east is Guinea; to the southeast, Liberia.

How Created--The British Crown Colony of Sierra Leone was purchased by abolitionists from King Niambana in 1788 as a settlement for runaway slaves who had escaped to London, and blacks discharged from the British armed forces. The Colony combined with the mainland Protectorate in 1896 to make the present-day boundaries.

Size--27,925 sq. mi. (72,325 sq. km.).

Population--2,850,000: Mende, 30.9%; Temne, 29.8%; Limba, 8.4%; Kono, 4.8%; Koranko 3.7%; Sherbro, 3.4%; Loko, Kissi, Creole and other, 19%. 66% Animist, 28% Muslim, 6% Christian.

Who Rules--President elected to a 5-year term by universal suffrage. Unicameral legislative house--62 elected representatives, 12 indirectly elected paramount chiefs. Only one party ran candidates in the 1973 elections.

Who REALLY Rules--The Republic of Sierra Leone is an independent nation within the British Commonwealth. The Queen is represented by the governor-general of Sierra Leone.

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