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08 Dec 2007 description

By Saliou Samb

CONAKRY, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Thousands of Sierra Leoneans who fled to neighbouring Guinea during a civil war are due to return home after elections in the former British colony raised hopes of long-term stability, the United Nations said on Saturday.

The office of the U.N.

05 Dec 2007 description
report Xinhua

GENEVA, Dec 5, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that it is supporting a yellow fever prevention campaign in West Africa which aims to vaccinate at least 48 million people in three years.

The campaign will start this week with the vaccination of 3.1 million people in Senegal, and the final goal is to increase yellow fever vaccination coverage to at least 80 percent of the targeted population across West Africa, WHO said in a statement.

After Senegal, the vaccination efforts will continue in high risk areas of Benin, Burkina Faso, …

23 Oct 2007 description
report Voice of America

By Naomi Schwarz

Nearly 300 people have died in a cholera epidemic in West Africa, and thousands of others have been infected. Naomi Schwarz reports from Dakar, international health experts say if steps to improve West Africa's sanitation, water, and public hygiene are not taken, next year could be worse.

Outbreaks this year have left more than 250 dead in Guinea and 30 dead in Sierra Leone.

08 Oct 2007 description

This map illustrates the total August rainfall accumulation for East Africa, derived from the CMORPH precipitation dataset at a spatial resolution of approximately 10km for this region, and was calculated using microwave and infrared data from geostationary satellites. It is possible that precipitation levels may have been underestimated for local areas, and is not a substitute for ground station measurements.

20 Sep 2007 description
report Voice of America

By James Butty

The woman who conducted Sierra Leone's recent presidential election in which the ruling Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) lost has been reflecting on her experiences as chair of the electoral commission. Christiana Thorpe said she is relieved now that what she called the national tension is over.

She told VOA that conducting free and fair elections requires an interactive process with all the stakeholders, professionalism, and playing by the rules.

19 Sep 2007 description

By Katrina Manson

FREETOWN - Sierra Leone deserves high marks for holding credible elections but needs further international assistance to help rebuild its war-scarred economy and society, a senior U.N.

16 Sep 2007 description

Nairobi/Freetown_(dpa) _ Sierra Leone's ruling party has said it will go to court in a bid to prevent the further publication of the results of presidential run-off elections a week ago, according to reports Sunday.

The injunction being sought by the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) against the electoral commission comes with about three quarters of votes counted following the run-offs.

It also comes amid indications of a clear lead by opposition candidate Ernest Bai Koromo over acting vice president Solomon Berewa, British broadcaster BBC reported.

14 Sep 2007 description

By Katrina Manson

FREETOWN, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Sierra Leone's opposition leader Ernest Bai Koroma, who looks set to win the West African country's presidential election, says he will wage an implacable war on corruption and work to revive the war-scarred economy.

With just over three-quarters of the votes counted from last week's run-off poll, Koroma of the All People's Congress (APC) has a commanding lead with 60 percent.

05 Sep 2007 description
report Voice of America

By Howard Lesser

Authorities in Sierra Leone are accelerating measures to keep peace to ensure an orderly presidential runoff election on Saturday. The effort is being taken following outbreaks of violence in the capital, Freetown over the weekend and in eastern voter strongholds last week. Africa policy analyst Nii Akuetteh is a political organizer of African communities here in the United States.

05 Sep 2007 description

By Katrina Manson

FREETOWN, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Sierra Leone media authorities are trying to tone down party political broadcasts alleging executions and machete attacks to try to defuse tensions ahead of a presidential run-off vote on Saturday.

The poll, the culmination of the first elections since United Nations peacekeepers left, pits opposition leader Ernest Bai Koroma against Vice-President Solomon Berewa. They were the two frontrunners in an inconclusive Aug.

03 Sep 2007 description

By Katrina Manson

FREETOWN, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Sierra Leone's rival presidential contenders will lead supporters in a joint peace march to cement a pact against violence following clashes ahead of a run-off vote, their parties said on Monday.

Opposition frontrunner Ernest Bai Koroma and his ruling party rival, Vice President Solomon Berewa, agreed the deal in talks on Sunday with President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.

In a joint statement, the candidates pledged to work for "violence-free elections" and condemned intimidation and attacks on persons or property.

31 Aug 2007 description

Monrovia_(dpa) _ Police in Sierra Leone said Friday they had imposed a curfew in Kailahun in the east after violence intensified in a run-off to presidential election scheduled for September 8.

Police Assistant Inspector General, Chris Charlie, who is in charge of professional standards and the media, said a probe into renewed violence has begun.

Violence has overshadowed preparations for next Saturday's

presidential run-off elections between Vice President Solomon Berewa and opposition candidate Ernest Koroma.

Koroma's APC won 44 per cent of the polls over 38 per cent …

31 Aug 2007 description
report Voice of America

By James Butty

As Sierra Leone prepares for next Saturday's presidential run-off elections between Vice President Solomon Berewa and opposition candidate Ernest Koroma, Sierra Leone police say they are investigating reports renewed violence among rival political parties.

The latest reports which have yet to be confirmed, say rival supporters of the ruling Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) and the opposition All People's Party (APC) have been burning down houses in the eastern town of Segbwema.

30 Aug 2007 description

By Katrina Manson

SEGBWEMA, Sierra Leone, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Rival supporters in Sierra Leone fought with sticks and stones on Thursday, adding to fears that the build-up to next week's presidential run-off could reopen wounds from the civil war.

Dozens of youths stoned a convoy of the opposition All People's Congress (APC) as it rolled into the southeastern town of Segbwema. They then fought with the party's guards before police dispersed them with tear gas, a Reuters reporter said.

APC leader Ernest Bai Koroma, who came first in an Aug.

28 Aug 2007 description
report AllAfrica

President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone, whose ruling Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) faces the prospect of losing power in the second round of a presidential election, is threatening to impose a state of emergency, news agencies report.

The BBC reported today that Kabbah warned, in a television address made yesterday, that he might declare an emergency after two days of clashes between rival parties.

His warning came as the SLPP issued a statement complaining that supporters of the main opposition party, the All People's Congress (APC), had "brutally …

15 Aug 2007 description

By Christo Johnson

FREETOWN, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Sierra Leone's main opposition party said on Wednesday it had won a parliamentary majority in weekend elections and vowed to mount a legal challenge if official results still trickling in showed otherwise.

The opposition All People's Congress (APC) said it had won 61 of a total 112 seats in parliament, based on results published outside polling stations around the West African country and collated by its party officials.

The APC said its leader, Ernest Bai Koroma, was also ahead in presidential elections held alongside the …

10 Aug 2007 description

By Daniel Flynn

GRAFTON, Sierra Leone, Aug 10 (Reuters) - For many in West Africa, a decade of civil wars has become just a terrible memory, but Mamou Su Toronka cannot leave the past behind.

The poor Sierra Leonean was dragged from her home eight years ago by Revolutionary United Front rebels who hacked off her left hand at the wrist. Today she earns living begging on the streets of the capital Freetown.

"They killed my brother, they raped my sister and took her away," said the 42-year-old, who has three children.

10 Aug 2007 description

The war-torn country holds its first election without foreign peacekeepers on Saturday.

By Tristan McConnell, Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

Freetown, Sierra Leone - The last time residents of Sierra Leone were asked to choose their president, the tiny West African country was just coming out of a brutal 11-year civil war fueled by the illicit trade of "blood diamonds." There were 17,000 international peacekeepers in the country and the process was run by the United Nations.

Five years later, the peacekeepers are gone and Sierra Leone is trying to show …

07 Aug 2007 description

ABUJA, Aug 7 (Reuters) - The last refugees from Liberia and Sierra Leone in Nigeria have been allowed to settle and they will have access to work, education and health on the same terms as Nigerians, West African regional bloc ECOWAS said on Tuesday.

The 7,292 refugees, who fled the long civil wars in their countries at different times, had opted against going home under a voluntary repatriation scheme which ended in December 2004 for Sierra Leoneans and in June 2007 for Liberians.

Over 4,000 of them have been living in a refugee camp run by the Nigerian authorities at Oru, in …

07 Aug 2007 description

By Katrina Manson

FREETOWN, Aug 7 (Reuters) - In Freetown's rubbish-strewn slums, where sick children defecate in sewers by pot-holed streets, music blaring from shops and taxis tells Sierra Leone's youth that politicians have failed their war-ravaged country.

The West African nation's 1991-2002 civil war was infamous for drugged child soldiers who raped and mutilated thousands of civilians, but now young Sierra Leoneans hold in their hands the future of their country, one of the poorest on earth.

At presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday -- the first since …