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Sierra Leone Terrain: coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east;

Natural Resources: diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite;

Natural Hazards: dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February); sandstorms, dust storms;

Population: 5,612,685 (July 2013 est.)

Profile

Quick Facts About Sierra Leone

Population 5,245,695 (July 2010 est.)
Age Structure 0-14 years: 41.8% (male 1,086,560/female 1,105,285)
15-64 years: 54.6% (male 1,372,609/female 1,491,202)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 85,090/female 104,949) (2010 est.)
Religions Muslim 60%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs 30%
Languages English (official, regular use limited to literate minority), Mende (principal vernacular in the south), Temne (principal vernacular in the north), Krio (English-based Creole, spoken by the descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area, a lingua franca and a first language for 10% of the population but understood by 95%)
Internet Users 13,900 (2008)
Country Name conventional long form: Republic of Sierra Leone
conventional short form: Sierra Leone
local long form: Republic of Sierra Leone
local short form: Sierra Leone
Government Type constitutional democracy
Capital name: Freetown
geographic coordinates: 8 30 N, 13 15 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Military Branches Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF): Army (includes Maritime Wing and Air Wing) (2008)
Dependency Status *
Background Democracy is slowly being reestablished after the civil war from 1991 to 2002 that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (about one-third of the population). The military, which took over full responsibility for security following the departure of UN peacekeepers at the end of 2005, is increasingly developing as a guarantor of the country”s stability. The armed forces remained on the sideline during the 2007 presidential election, but still look to the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) – a civilian UN mission – to support efforts to consolidate peace. The new government”s priorities include furthering development, creating jobs, and stamping out endemic corruption.
Area – Comparative slightly smaller than South Carolina
Area total: 71,740 sq km
land: 71,620 sq km
water: 120 sq km
Terrain coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east
Climate tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)
Natural Hazards dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February); sandstorms, dust storms