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Sierra Leone, located in West Africa, bordering Liberia and Guinea, is a resource-rich state. The country experienced a complex civil conflict, with regional elements, from 1991 to 2001. Despite being relatively peaceful since the end of the conflict, the country’s persistent poverty and governance challenges has meant it has yet to achieve sustainable peace.

Background

Prior to British colonization in 1808, Sierra Leone was a primary port for the shipment of African slaves to the Americas during the Atlantic slave trade. British abolitionists against slavery envisioned Sierra Leone as a protectorate for former slaves from the Americas to “return” to Africa. Over the next century, thousands of former and freed slaves were brought to Sierra Leone, though many died due to disease and conflict with local groups ...

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